Deer Defense Seed Mix
We’ve gotten so many requests over the years for an easy-to-grow seed mix that defies deer, that we finally had to dig in and create one.
For a full disclaimer, deer will nip, taste, and browse a huge range of plants, including many of the ones included in this mix. However, based on field testing over years, and watching many thousands of our own plants devoured by deer, this mix is composed of species that deer mostly leave alone, or flat out do not like after a single taste.
And yet, these are also some of our showiest, easiest-to-establish species, and ones that still support an amazing abundance and diversity of wildlife (just not deer!).
We’ve aimed for a balance of species that can survive everything from damp to rather dry sites, but everything in this mix does indeed need full sun to prosper. If you’ve got a shaded site with heavy deer pressure, consider something like ferns or salal.
One notable inclusion in this mix is California poppy. We’ve heard countless debates, discussions, and speculations about how far north the actual native range of this plant is. (With various arguments ranging from it stopping at the Oregon border, to other claims that it historically occurred all the way north to southern Alaska!). While there are Pacific Northwest records of the plant at least as far back as the 1800s, we simply don’t know. What we do know is: 1) It does occur wildly in some interesting regional places where it seems rather implausible for someone to have planted it, including coastal bluffs, and cliff embankments in the Columbia gorge, 2) It naturalizes nicely without ever becoming invasive in our region and extends the bloomtime much later into the season than most other wildflowers, and 3) It is a ridiculously great bumble bee plant, attracting many different bumble bee species, not just common ones like the yellow-faced bumble bee (Bombus vosenesenkii). All of these factors make it a very attractive and effective complement to this deer-resistant seed mix.Here’s the full package:
Annual Wildflowers (31%) Seablush (Plectritis congesta), Bicolor Lupine (Lupinus bicolor), Common fiddleneck (Amsinckia menziesii), California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Farewell to Spring (Clarkia amoena)
Perennial Wildflowers (36%) Western Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Puget Gumweed (Grindelia integrifolia), Big Leaf Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus), Riverbank Lupine (Lupinus rivularis), Wooly Sunflower (Eriophyllum lanatum), Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris), Western Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis), Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), Blue Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium idahoense)
Native Grasses (33%) Tufted Hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa), Roemer’s Fescue (Festuca romeri), Blue Wild Rye (Elymus glaucus), Meadow Barley (Hordeum brachyantherum)
Select from two sizes:
1000 Square Feet (6.5 ounces)
½ Acre (9lbs)