Deer and Rabbit protection and using Bt for growing sweet corm
Dale Tate 6580 Fernbrook Ct. N. Maple Grove, MN 55311 87 year old Master Gardener El Paso County come to live with my children because they think I am too old to care for myself - Daughter Mary Beth Tate Kepler tries to garden but deer and rabbits eat her plant to the ground. 14 year old grandson expressed interest in growing sweet corn, also has 11 year old son. I was thinking that a hoop house say 16 feet x 20 may solve the pest problem except for the corn ear worms - used it some 12 or so years ago but don't remember the recipe. Your thoughts on my idea would be appreciated. Using email because I am too hard of hearing to use telephone.
Hennepin County Minnesota
Welcome to another Master Gardener. If you decide to join a Minnesota group, you can contact the Hennepin County Master Gardeners at 612-596-2130
The hoop house would be wonderful. I would assume you would have to fence the open ends to keep the critters out. Otherwise, fencing and chemical deterrents around the corn should hopefully keep them out. I have found that if you put up a poultry netting kind of fence and then have vines (like pole beans) growing on one side and maybe the tall Russian sunflowers on the other side, deer cannot see through the fence and will not jump into a space they cannot see. Here is a link to our publication on deterring deer. There may be other ideas for you: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/wildlife/deer-in-the-home-landsca The earworm problem publication is one for agribusiness but the chemical recommendations are solidhttp://www.vegedge.umn.edu/pest-profiles/pests/corn-earworm-sweetcorn