Deer Continue To Be a Problem For Gardeners and Growers Throughout the Country

Natural Product Repels Deer

By Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Co-author of The Indiana Gardener’s Guide
Published: August 31, 2002 – IndyStar, Indianapolis, IN

Deer continue to be a problem for gardeners and growers throughout the country, but a new product promises to repel the creatures while feeding the plants.

Called Plantskydd, the product is 100 percent natural, and, in July, the Organic Materials Review Institute accepted it for use in the production of organic food and fiber.

The product was developed in Sweden in 1991 for the forest industry as a way to ward off deer, moose and rabbits. Plantskydd, Swedish for plant protection, comes in a ready-to-use spray or soluble powder concentrate.

Made with food-grade blood and vegetable oils, the product emits an odor that discourages animals from browsing on plants. Many other repellents rely on a bad taste to keep critters away, which means they have to browse and potentially damage plants before they are deterred.

Plantskydd has been tested in the United States with professional growers, foresters and home gardeners, and received rave reviews. For one thing, it doesn’t have to be reapplied after a rain, unlike most other spray repellents. Plantskydd lasts for six months on dormant plants and four months on plants actively growing. Because it is made with dried blood, the product acts as a natural fertilizer for many plants.

Even though it is a natural product, there are precautions. Don’t apply directly to the edible parts of food crops because the residue tolerance for dried blood has not been established.

Special instructions are given for use on conifers and broadleaf evergreens. The product may darken needles or foliage, but the original color should return within a couple of days. It also may discolor concrete or wood.

In the meantime, Plantskydd can be ordered online at www.plantskydd.com, or by calling 1-800-252-6051.

Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp is an Advanced Master Gardener and co-author of The Indiana Gardener’s Guide. Her column, which emphasizes organic gardening methods, appears each Saturday in Home & Garden. Mail questions and announcements about garden related events to : Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, 6040 Garver Road, Indianapolis, IN 46208. Send them via fax to 1-317-251-8545, or via e-mail to jemsharp@aol.com.