There are several ways I could have written this Plantskydd deer repellent review but I decided, in the end, that brutal honesty was the best course of action here. Sigh… (If you doubt my commitment to providing honest reviews, check out the others at my garden blog)
So I heard about Plantskydd from fellow garden writer Dan Clost who sang its praises at the nursery he works in. He claimed it protected the entire woody plant collection (a significant and expensive one) while neighbors had their trees chewed to toothpicks by rabbits.
OK. I’m in for a box (a not insignificant sum of money I note but hey, my trees are worth a ton more than that and if it stops rabbits and deer, it’s worth it).
This past fall, just before freezeup was expected and on a really nice day in early November, I got out the sprayer and product and went at it. Or perhaps I should say, I “attempted” to get at it.
I mixed up the product with water exactly the way the directions indicated. A bit at a time into a bucket of water in order to get it to mix properly. Stirring like a whirling dervish, I slowly loaded in this blood-red powder. It’s really fine and was easily blown off the spoon (he says doing it in a bit of a breeze) so that was lesson number one – always do this out of the breeze.
Lesson number two was this powder really doesn’t like water and really doesn’t want to mix nicely or easily. It took a concerted effort to keep it stirring and keep slowly adding more powder.
When I dumped the mix into the sprayer, I noticed a stream of sludge at the bottom of the bucket that glurped into the sprayer. Not a good thing at all as I noted a minute later as I charged up the sprayer with the pump and tried a bit of an experimental spray at the nearby cedar trees.
The darn sprayer plugged up solid within 30 seconds of starting. It would have to soak in soapy water to get this stuff out of the filters and nozzles.
Poured it into can. Got paintbrush. You can paint this material on as well as spray it on.
Winds getting higher and paintbrush spatters.
Bottom line – I applied a gallon of spray (somewhat goopy on the bottom) to all the new shrubs and trees (I planted a dozen maples this fall) and covered them heavily top to bottom to deter deer. As you can see from the attached picture, I got myself covered as much as I got the plants covered. (check out the hands) 😉
Note – this stuff stains. The shirt and pants I was wearing are pretty much toast (which is why I only wear old stuff to garden – I’m no fashion model in the garden I can tell you) And good thing that hands wash because mine are disasters. 🙂
I don’t know yet. Winter isn’t over but as soon as it is – I’ll give you an update right here. If you’ve tried this product – either the mix-it yourself or the ready-mix – do let us know the results in the comments box (p.s. I’d recommend the ready to use version having tried the powder form)
April 2012 Returned home to no damage to the trees from deer or rabbit. So while it is a monster to spray, the painted on product seemed to do the job.
October 2012. Deer seen all over the property so I mixed up some Plantskydd and painted it on the cedar and apple trees. Next morning, one young cedar tree was eaten to the ground but nothing else touched.
April 2013 Applied in late November 2012 again after October problem and the other cedar tree had been eaten away in the middle (rabbits?) but the tops were left alone. No apple trees were touched.
Bottom line – works but don’t try spraying the blend that claims to be sprayable – plan on painting it on or using professional level sprayers and agitators.
Pellets: I understand Plantskydd has just released a pelletized product for consumers that could replace this spray product. I have not tested it yet.
You can see all Plantskydd products and other reviews right here
If you’re looking for a all your deer deterrent options, here’s an article