The Extension Service is here to serve the residents of Columbia County, providing knowledge from universities nationwide. We provide research-based information to families, youths, schools, agricultural producers, home gardeners, foresters and governments.

Our office offers a variety of programs, which include 4-H Youth Development, Home Gardening, Agriculture and Small Farms, Family and Community Health, Forestry & Natural Resources and Master Gardeners.


We publish three newsletters from our office:

If you would like to receive these newsletters by email or mail, please give the office a call.


News Items:

Managing Bambi:

The tree or shrub or vegetable we plant will only thrive if Bambi or her brethren don’t covet it. So what are our options? First, you can plant trees and shrubs deer don’t like. The Sunset Garden book has a list or get a list here. There are few edible plants on that list but lots of nice ornamental species. Or you can fence deer out, usually the best solution.  More on that next month.

Repellents that can be used only on plants not producing food in the season you use a repellent. The most effective products seem to be ones that have something rotten in them. Deer-Away™ has “putrescent egg solids” as the active ingredient, otherwise known as rotten eggs.

Another product that has a good reputation currently (and did the best in a test in the Olympic Rain Forest on a forest replant site) is a product called Plantskydd™. While the ingredients are proprietary, they seem to be based on rotten things from Sweden formula (perhaps fermented blood meal). Less effective are mixtures that rely on garlic or hot pepper extracts. Mint oil repels east coast deer but there has been little testing here. There are a lot of new products on the market so this is still a work in progress.

Repellents should be applied now and re-applied several times, especially after rain.

A homemade deer repellent: Beat one egg with ½ cup milk (past its use by date and slightly smelly is better). Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and one tablespoon of liquid dish detergent. Add mixture (using a sieve to remove any clumps) to a gallon of water and stir or shake well. Spray mixture on non-edible plants every one to two weeks. If you try it, let me know if it works for you.






Hours of Operation
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed Fridays from Noon to 1 p.m.


OSU Columbia County Extension

505 N. Columbia River Hwy

St. Helens, OR 97051

PH: 503-397-3462

FAX: 503-397-3467

For information on public transportation, visit the Columbia County Rider website.


We offer classes, workshops, opportunities for youth and adult volunteer activities:

Volunteer as a Master Gardener, Master Woodland Manager, or with the 4-H youth program

Nutrition education events

Home Garden educational events


Columbia County General State/County Resources