Whether large or small, cute or creepy, they see your garden as an open buffet!
They come out to dine as the sun sets, uncaring that the tomatoes you’ve nurtured are meant to be part of your dinner, not theirs. The battle between gardeners and critters is epic one. If you're wondering how to keep animals out of your garden, here are some tips to give you an edge.
Good fences make good gardens, so if you’re a committed gardener, you may want to surround your beds with one. First, consider what kind of animals make up the opposition. Keeping deer out will require some serious fencing, but for smaller critters like bunnies, a wire border about two to three feet above ground will suffice.
To discourage burrowing, always dig your fence trench as deep as you can – and make sure the jagged fence bottom is bent outward a bit. Be sure to allow a wide border between the outer edge of your plant bed and the fence, giving yourself room to pull weeds, water, deadhead and harvest
Deterrents are as varied as the animals they prevent. Good cooks love the fact that deer are put off by aromatic herbs like sage, mint, dill and oregano. Mice and gophers won’t go near wonderful flowers like daffodils. Raccoons have sensitive feet, and hate walking across the rough surfaces of prickly plants like squashes, oriental poppies and thistle.
Slugs won’t go near coffee grounds. Moles are repelled by eucalyptus and mint oil. And squirrels? Sprinkle the flowers that squirrels love – geraniums, hyacinths, lilies-of-the-valley and marigolds – with flakes of cayenne pepper, which they do not love.
Using common scents is great critter control. Plant strong smells around the garden with mothballs, cheap perfume and highly fragranced bars of soap. Put out a plate of minced garlic. Hot peppers, peppermint and chili pepper provide potent plant protection!
It goes without saying, but let’s say it anyway. It is a fine – and infuriating – line between feeding birds and feeding pests. As bird lovers know, squirrels in particular are Olympian in their gymnastic ability! Compost piles also attract a variety of animals. And if there’s a pooch in residence, the food dish must be taken in nightly.
We know how you fuss over creating and protecting your plants. Don’t you deserve an awesome Teknor Apex garden hose?