Deer Gardener says: It’s thyme to think ahead

  • Sep. 26, 2011 2:00 p.m.

Thyme to think ahead to next seasons’ plantings. Take photos now. Digital cameras are awesome, huh? Refer to the pictures in the spring for feature areas in your yard. A glance at your last year’s window box or planter will help you decide what worked and what could be better in our climate. Be sure to take photos of struggling plants (severely deer mauled or slugged) for reference. That’s about the only good thing I can say about foliage that is eaten, it’s an ‘excellent bad example’. So next season hopefully, you will encage the yummiest deer fodder in chicken wire right from the first shoots. Wait, we could do it now even! The recent deluge has souped up the garden making even the thought of digging potatoes icky. The very wet soil will encourage scab on the potatoes however, so do get them out at the earliest reasonable opportunity. They need to dry somehow, on an absorbent surface, perhaps on an old sheet hung like a hammock to thoroughly drain them, out of the light. Good luck with that! I have a dreadful time storing vegetables. They seem to do best if I dig them as we eat them, except when it’s super wet, like now. What to do! My sedum are drowning. They love dry sunny places, oh dear. I’m moving the potted ones into the greenhouse for the winter. In my little collection of six out of 300 available, the ‘Dragons Blood’ is my current favorite. It has red stems and grayish rosettes edged with red, which are very charming. The larger autumn sedum that is just ready to show colour is a favorite for the town deer. It is a permanent planting which I cover with wire, I suggest you do likewise. Lillies are blooming so nicely just now. The bright colours and height really enhance my yard. I managed to save about half of the possible bloom with plastic fencing from Ranch Feeds. It’s easy to handle, and will be easy to roll up and put away until spring. Why didn’t I think of it sooner? Yesterday, I surprised two deer grazing on the lawn and shooed them away with a rock thrown for punctuation. As they reached a safe distance from me I received a very dirty look. Rude lady! It made me chuckle and I hope they remember not to lunch here. We have as many as eight town deer in Port. They are a smarter breed, as they have discerned the safe boundary notion. My newest interest is ground covers you can walk on sometimes and which smother out the weeds in borders. As I read up on the many varieties, moss shows up as the most obvious, but no, it’s too wet all the time, plus it has to be harder than that! I’m liking the ‘baby blue eyes’ (veronica). It can be mowed, and walked on. A purple leaf that is great here is ajuga (bugleweed) and creeping thyme is very nice and low growing. Any suggestions from your experience? deergardener@hgqci.org