Protecting Plants from Winter, Deer & Wabbits

Listen 53:15

What’s the best way to protect your plants from deer, rabbits, mice and voles–and what’s so bad about ‘cleaning things up’ for winter? On the latest episode of You Bet Your Garden, host Mike McGrath covers the best ways to protect your plants from herbivores…and YOU! Plus, your fabulous phone calls!

Questions of the Week:

I have a huge butterfly bush; it grows to around eight feet tall and six feet wide each summer—but the growth is not that sturdy; when it sleets or snows, the branches get bent down low or break off. How and when should I prune the plant in the fall to prepare it for winter? I have heard your advice to not prune in the fall, as it promotes new growth when the plant is preparing to go dormant, but my neighbors cut their butterfly bush back hard as part of their fall ‘clean up’ and it survives. (But it’s not nearly as large or hearty as mine.)
—Tom in South Jersey

I planted a darling Brown Turkey fig in my garden. It’s a Mediterranean plant and I have a somewhat Mediterranean climate. Perfect, right? I planted it in mid-September as the temperatures were cooling and the Oregon rains were beginning. Perfect planning, perfect execution; right? Sadly, the deer stripped it bare and continue to do so anytime fresh leaves emerge. My husband and I plan to fence in our little property this winter. In the meantime, do you think the fig can survive until spring? My husband says yes. I say no. Tell us your prediction.
—Anne in Medford, Oregon

Read Mike’s answers »

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