Readers want to know how to keep deers out of their gardens.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – As the new year arrives, lists of favorites abound – best movies, top albums and most-watched TV shows. Not to be outdone, we present the five most popular Oregon State University Extension Service stories of 2016.

How this list was compiled is a bit unscientific. We looked at which stories got the most hits on the website; how they panned out on Facebook; and what experience tells us. Articles like any to do with edible plants regularly make their way to near the top. This year, growing onions, artichokes, figs and cool-weather vegetables fell into that category.

An introduction to a new Extension app about the selection, planting and maintenance of trees grabbed readers’ attention, as did a surprising piece on a new study showing cities are not the biological deserts once thought. Not surprisingly, people always want to learn about how to deal with aggravating pest and disease problems, edging stories on those matters into top slots. In that category, how to use IPM to deal with pests was a biggie for 2016.

But while all those topics ranked near the top, five others rose above.

SLUGS AND DEER: The damage done by slugs and deer drives gardeners crazy – really crazy. Coming out to…