QUESTION: We moved to the foothills to get closer to nature, and although we love the deer in our area, they devastate our vegetable garden and most of our landscape plants. What can we do?
ANSWER: As far as the vegetable garden is concerned, your only remedy is to enclose it with a high fence. As for your landscape, you should consider utilizing plants that deer don't find appealing. The Sunset Western Garden Book offers an extensive list of deer-resistant ornamental plants.
Lawn-Digging Culprit May Be a Skunk
Q: Is it a dog or a cat that has been digging in my lawn at night? I haven't been able to catch the culprit in the act.
A: It's probably neither a dog nor a cat. Judging from where you live in the canyon, the culprit is most likely a skunk. They are nocturnal animals and they savor the insects they can find in a lawn. See if you can get the local animal control people to humanely trap (perhaps an odoriferous job) and transport it to a different location.