Those of us that enjoy growing food relish the rewards when we can forego the grocery stores and put fresh produce from our gardens on the table. But with all the blood, sweat, and tears, sometimes even our best efforts are hampered by those cute little furry creatures that live in our backyards. Remember Peter Rabbit? He was always hopping and bopping over to Mr. McGregor's vegetable patch for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However cute as they are, you'd rather not give them access to a free buffet. Here are some ways to keep animals from eating your garden.
Types of Animals That Ruin Gardens
How to Keep Animals From Your Garden
- Begin by figuring out what animal is eating your produce. Then familiarize yourself with the animal, learning its habitat. This will help determine the best course of action for keeping those critters out of your yard.
- "De-beautify" your garden. In other words, create a garden that is not attractive to wildlife creatures. Eliminate possible areas that they can make nests by removing tall grass or brush areas. Plug up potential crawl spaces under your deck and porch. Cover your compost piles so raccoons stay away, and clean up birdseed, as this will discourage squirrels. By using what is called "Milky Spore," you will eliminate or greatly reduce the food that skunks and moles like to munch on, such as grubs.
- Consider repellents that smell bad to animals. Good examples are castor oil, garlic, and the urine of a so-called predator are excellent choices. However, they will need to be reapplied if you want to keep your garden. Mothballs are also an excellent choice, as well as fritillaria and castor bean. But if you have children, you will need to keep them away from the repellents, as they are poisonous.
- Remember the old technique that the farmers used? Scarecrows! Visual effects and even sound can keep the little cutie pies away. However, in time they may be "on" to your deception.
- Live traps and fences are other ways to deter the furry creatures. However, if you do catch one in a live trap, you have to know where to relocate them, and they may catch on to the trap and never go inside. Fences are the best solution but require both money and time. And of course, electric fences are the most effective.
- Pets are also a great deterrent if you can keep them from trampling your plants. Cats especially are amazing predators when it comes to gophers. Simply put, either dogs or cats will keep animals out of your yard and garden.
- Consider an indoor garden. Herbs and small plants can be grown in pots inside your home, where critters can't get to them. Place pots on a window sill or hang them from the ceiling in your kitchen. A bonus of an indoor garden is you can grow it year-round.
The bottom line is that there is nothing better than eating food that you have grown yourself. But nevertheless, there's a pretty good chance that you will be sharing it more or less with some varmints. Still, most gardens yield more than enough for both of you!