By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Trees leafing out, grass growing, bulbs blooming, perennials sprouting up through the soil and whaaaa the heck happened here? That’s some ugly deer damage. All around my neighborhood I see fresh shoots of plants, hostas in particular, bitten off at the base.

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While hostas are deer candy any time of year, in early spring when there isn’t much to eat, fresh green growth and buds are a particular target for deer, bunnies, and other critters that are hungry after a cold winter.

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This is also the time of year when mother does are teaching their young fawns what to eat and where to find favorite dining spots. So you want to nip their garden grazing at your place in the bud.

Since it’s not really very practical or pretty to fence everything off, now is the time to get out and protect your precious plants pronto with a deer deterrent.

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You’ll find lots of stinky sprays on the market – as well as recipes online – to discourage deer from developing the bad habit of using your garden as a fast-food restaurant.