Deer resistant seeds?

Fri. Dec. 28, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Deer resistant seeds?

I’ll admit, when I first saw the ad for “Deer resistant seeds”, I thought they were genetically modified somehow.  That shocked me as the ad came from a highly respected seed company known for native plants!  They wouldn’t genetically modify?  Would they?  No, of course not.  So here’s what they did do….

Prairie Moon Nursery out of Winona, MN, has rolled out a deer-resistant seed mix for 2019.  They are a native seed company focused on the Upper Midwest.

They explain that White-tailed deer populations have increased in many areas and are now commonly observed near our homes.  This is mostly due to loss of their natural habitat and disappearance of their natural predators.

As a result, our favorite plants in our home landscapes and adjacent wooded areas have become tempting food targets for deer.

Who hasn’t considered hanging Irish Spring Soap in their trees as a deterrent?  Or hot pepper sauce? Or any number of loud, large gadgets to deter them?

Like all indigenous animals in North America, deer co-evolved with native plants, making them their preferred food source. The dwindling stands of native plants in nature are imperiled by swelling deer populations. Prairie Moon’s hope is that this new seed mix will deter them.  Deer may browse on any plant if food is scarce, but there are many plants that they don’t find palatable.

Anise hyssop

They tend to shy away from plants with rough texture, milky sap (Milkweeds), or minty, citrus, or onion aroma (Hyssop, Mountain Mint, Bee Balm and Allium species). Deer food preferences may vary in our area and deer can respond differently to local conditions or seasonal variations. This LINK takes you to pictures of all the plants in the seed mix!  Enjoy!!

Many of the plants in my butterfly garden shown here are in the deer resistant mix
Marsh blazing star

Prairie Moon Nursery states that this seed mix will be an ever-evolving design and if you have insights to offer from your own experience, they want to know.