While deer, squirrels and rabbits might look cute in your backyard, they definitely aren’t doing you or your plants any favors. All of your hard work and time can feel wasted when hungry critters decide to snack on your plants.
Here are seven ways you can keep the animals — and their appetites — at bay.
7 Ways to Keep Animals Out of the Garden
1. Grow in Raised Beds.
Raised beds aren’t just great for plants and your back, they also work to keep critters out. Build your own or purchase a raised bed garden kit. If deer are a problem, protect your raised bed with a small wire fence around the top, too.
2. Use Repellents.
Liquid repellents work by keeping animals away with a bad smell or taste. Be sure to reapply after a rain.
3. Scare Them Away.
There’s a reason they call it a scarecrow. Garden ornaments or scarecrows can be helpful in deterring animals, but they must be moved frequently for continued success. Motion sensor lights or sprinklers, like the motion activated sprinkler shown above, may also work as scare tactics.
4. Contain Compost.
Your plants aren’t the only ones who love healthy, nutritious compost; it smells like a buffet to critters. Keep compost in a closed container with a lid to prevent animals from sniffing it out and enjoying the benefits of your garden.
5. Be Messy.
Keeping the edges of your garden clean and tidy is an open invitation to unwanted critters. Instead, let grasses and shrubs grow around the borders of your garden as a natural fence. The animals will, hopefully, chomp on those and fill up before they reach your plants.
6. Pick Proper Plants.
Just like humans, animals have food preferences. While they might not be as picky, especially when they’re hungry, there are certain plants animals tend to stay away from. Choose especially fragrant or prickly plants to keep them away. Try lavender, sage and peonies.
7. Construct a Fence.
Critters can’t eat your plants if they can’t get to them. Build a fence to ensure animals stay out of your garden. The height depends on what kind of animal you need to keep out. But be sure the fence goes at least 1-foot deep to prevent animals from digging underneath. Use wire fencing around your garden or fence in your entire yard with wood panels, bamboo or vinyl.
Tip: A territorial pet can be your biggest helper. Enlist your dog to scare off unwanted animals in the garden.