Deer v. Milorganite

Would like to hear your experience using Milorganite to keep deer away from orchard trees.

Is top dressing sufficient or better to hang bags of it?

I would be shocked if either worked.

I don’t have personal hands-on with Milorganite and fruit trees, but I have a lot of experience with deer. Most things like this and other repellants are deterrents. With these, it is really a balancing act. It depends on what other foods deer have available, the population density, and the perceived threat of accessing a particular food source. Repellents simply make a food source less attractive and the effect us usually short-lived. Milorganite is often used to make a crop like soybeans less attractive for a short period during establishment. Once established, if planted in enough volume, they can handle the browsing pressure. However, if other foods are scarce and the populations are high, milorganite will not stop deer from using the beans when young.

The only thing I’ve found to be really effective is a Gallagher-style Electric fence. The 3 dimensional design exploits several weaknesses that deer have. I have found these to be very effective even when populations are high.

I think forest pretty well nailed my thinking on the subject. Repellents I think can work very well under the conditions he mentions, but if it’s the best eating around they won’t care in the least.
I’ve always felt sulfur had a good deterrent effect and with all the continuous rain we’ve had my trees have been getting munched to hell and back since I’ve been unable to spray. It would seem that after all this rain and warmth there would be tons of fresh tender growth to eat elsewhere, but apparently they favor apple and pear to almost anything it seems. They’ve never once bothered my sour cherries, and barely nibbled at the plums, the apples get it the worst.
I would think Imidan should have some deterrent effect because it is so strong odored and a very unnatural chemical smell at that.

OK Thanks. Maybe we need to trade recipes that call for apples and venison.

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hahaha…I refuse to eat venison, but my wife likes it.

Bumping this old thread.

I just went and bought 5 bags of milorganite today. I spread a wide band of the stuff around the perimeter of our veggie garden to keep deer and other critters out. It’s worked very well for a number of years (knock on wood). In the spring I’ll apply a bag to the perimeter every 10 days to 2 weeks, then ease off later in the year once the deer have been “trained” to stay away from that area.

I bet your grass grows well around your garden :grin:

It does indeed