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How to outsmart deer in your garden



Deer
Hungry deer are a constant issue for foothill
gardeners. (Photo courtesy UC IPM)

Nevada County master gardeners offer free virtual workshop

It’s a constant question from foothill gardeners: What will deer NOT eat?

Find out during a free virtual workshop, “Living with Deer as a Foothill Gardener.”

Hosted by the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Nevada County, this Zoom session is open to the public regardless of where they live. Set for 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, the workshop has no pre-registration; just click on the link and join in.

Deer rank among the most frustrating issues for foothill gardeners – and some Valley gardeners, too. These large mammals seem to always be hungry, and our gardens look so appetizing.

“Although there are no guarantees when gardening in deer country, there are ways to live with these browsers and have a lovely landscape and garden veggies as well,” say the master gardeners. “To learn more about managing deer in foothill gardens, join us to learn facts about the deer in our area and ways you can defend your gardens and landscape.”

Deer not only have big appetites; they can be just plain big. Mule deer, the most common species in the Sierra foothills and California’s only native deer species, can reach 6 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds. And they can jump!

Right now, deer are fattening up for the winter on acorns and other nutrient-rich foods. But they don’t care for lavender, rosemary or other pungent herbs. Think like a deer and, yes, you can redirect them away from your garden to native oaks and other more appropriate food sources.

More details and Zoom links (including passcode): https://ncmg.ucanr.org/ .




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Dig In: Garden checklist for week of Sept. 25

This week's warm break will revive summer crops such as peppers and tomatoes that may still be trying to produce fruit. Pumpkins and winter squash will add weight rapidly.

Be on the lookout for powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that may be enjoying this combination of warm air and moist soil.

* Late September is ideal for sowing a new lawn or re-seeding bare spots.

* Compost annuals and vegetable crops that have finished producing.

* Cultivate and add compost to the soil to replenish its nutrients for fall and winter vegetables and flowers.

* Plant for fall now. The warm soil will get cool-season veggies and flowers off to a fast start.

* Plant onions, lettuce, peas, radishes, turnips, beets, carrots, bok choy, spinach and potatoes directly into the vegetable beds.

* Transplant lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

* Sow seeds of California poppies, clarkia and African daisies.

* Transplant cool-weather annuals such as pansies, violas, fairy primroses, calendulas, stocks and snapdragons.

* Divide and replant bulbs, rhizomes and perennials.

* Dig up and divide daylilies as they complete their bloom cycle.

* Divide and transplant peonies that have become overcrowded. Replant with "eyes" about an inch below the soil surface.

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