Hallo again my friends.

I received this email from Casey yesterday, and would like to share it with you…..

Danie,
Let me first say that I absolutely love your book (The Complete Grape Growers Guide), and I want to express how helpful it was in starting my first few vines. The information was very a relief as many other books I’ve read lacked the quality information about pruning. Following your instruction I was able to get my vines on track and they were growing very well.


Unfortunately, I’ve had a run in with a few deer that really took a lot of my vines out. The deer proceeded to eat all of the leaves on my main shoot and they’ve nearly stopped growing completely. I was wondering what my plan of attack should be next, should I choose a new shoot to train or should I wait for a new growing point to start on the main shoot I have now.


Also, is a good trick to keeping deer away? I’ve tried spreading my dog’s hair around the area, and it seems to keep them away for a bit of time, but my dog can only shed so much haha. Any information will be helpful.

First of all…

 

Thanks Casey, and all of you, for so many kind words I so often receive in my emails. Showing your appreciation really makes my day and motivates me to keep on sharing useful grape growing information – Thanks a million and I will try my best to keeping it up! 😉

To get to Casey’s email …

Problems with deer in vineyards is becoming a bigger problem year after year, since we all strive to preserve mother nature and all wildlife. On the other hand, as much as most of us love the wildlife and working outside, we also love our grape vines and anyone who is having problems with deer, rabbits and other leave eating animals in their vineyards, can tell you how much damage they can cause to new vines – even devastate a young vineyard.

Rock Dassie or Hyrax is a huge problem where I live,
because my farm lies at the foot of the a big mountain range.

I once read an article about the proliferation of deer in North America because of the so called “Bambi Syndrome”. We all know the movie Bambi and how cute the little deer is and how his mother was killed by a hunter and the struggle to survive.

The result was, humans started preserving these deer at all cost and even lured them to their houses by feeding them. Unfortunately, more and more suburban home owners started having problems with deer destroying their gardens as their numbers increased dramatically.

The point is; no matter what your feelings about deer are, it is a fact that you can’t allow them in your vineyard as they will for sure damage the vines (especially when young). I think you will agree that if it wasn’t for the fact that deer devour young vines right down to the the cuttings, it would actually be nice having them around!

So now what? You have problems with dear, like Casey has, but you also don’t want to loose deer?

There are a few other option available except stripping your dog from all it’s hair :-) LOL

1. Fencing

Although the best way to keep deer out, it’s also the most expensive method as deer can jump as high as 8 feet you will need a fence of about 8 feet high. If your land (vineyard) is quite big, this method will cost you a significant amount of money, not to mention the labour involved.

2. Electric fences (single strand and multi-wire)

Electric fence is much cheaper than other styles of fencing and is much easier to setup as well. The only problem is the availability of power, but solar chargers are also available these days.

A single strand of wire is stretched 3 to 4 feet above the ground and supported with a non-conducting material poles. Once the deer touch the wire a non-lethal electric impulse will shock the deer and spook it.

Milti-wire electric fences is also used and is about 5 feet tall. A slanted support will stretch the wires at different angles which will confuse the depth perception of the animal. The deer can easily jump over the fence, but the angles of the wires confuse the deer as they approach to jump and will touch the electrified wires before they actually jump – clever hey?

3. Animal repellant sprays

Using repellents is another option you could consider. There are many products on the market but I’ve heard that some grape growers are sceptical to use these products as they are affraid that the smell and taste products could be picked up in fruit and wine in the end. There is however no proof (as far as I know) that this is the case. In fact, if your vines are still young, it won’t bear any fruit so this is an option for young vineyards.

Products you can try are:

 

4. Egg spray or garlic juice

Although I never tried it myself, there are grape growers that claims to get great results from this method.

A mixture of 20% blended eggs and 80% water is sprayed on the vines. It is said that the eggs contains a sulfur compound that is chemically close the sent that alarms deer when they feed. If all fails, try this method.

5. Electronic Deer Repellers

I haven’t tried out this method, but some gardeners have great success with this product. Simply place a few drops of the acorn scented deer lure onto a cotton ball and stake it in your yard. When the deer repellent is properly placed near a deer path, the lure will attract deer to the posts. Upon contact, the deer receive a gentle static shock (likened to static electric shock received from carpeting, etc.), conditioning them to stay away from your vineyard!

 

6. Hunting

For most people this is not an option (me as well, as I love wild animals). If you do decide to hunt the deer, just keep within the laws of your state or country.

Okay people, this is all for now, but I would like to hear some comments about how you keep deer from YOUR vineyards. Click on the comments link below this post and leave your 2 cents value.

Will talk to you soon.

Danie

http://www.my-grape-vine.com/

 

I would like to express my thanks to you again, as some of my vines have already reached the bottom wire on my trellis, and I have another month or two left in the growing season!!

Thanks again.
Casey