A garden is a labor of love. You weed, dig, plant, and water. You put forth time and energy to nurture your plants. No wonder it’s disappointing when an animal comes in and steals your hard work. How do you keep pests out of your garden? In this blog, we provide a few tips to help.
First, it’s important to determine which animals you need to repel. Knowing the type of animals you’re dealing with can help you select the best deterrent. Pest deterrents fall into a few distinct categories:
The type of fence you need has a lot to do with the pests want to keep out. If you’re dealing with rabbits, consider chicken wire with a mesh of one inch or finer and a height of 40 to 48 inches. Use six posts, and set them no farther than six feet apart. Then, drive them at least 18 inches into the ground. The bottom of the chicken wire should be buried to prevent the rabbits (or other animals) from digging under the fence. Build a trench about four to five inches deep, sloping outwards away from the posts. Put the chicken wire in this trench and pull it out so the end is around one foot away from the fence. Fill the trench with soil to cover the wire.
If you’re dealing with deer, you can try a conventional wire-mesh fence, but it needs to be 8 feet high for the best protection. A second, inner fence about 3 feet high will increase effectiveness because double obstacles confuse deer. You could also try a slanted fence constructed with electrified wire or a high solid fence made of stone or wood. If you have a smaller garden (up to 40 feet by 60 feet), a shorter enclosure of snow fencing or woven-wire fencing may be effective (deer don’t like jumping in confined spaces).
Repellents and deterrents
Repellents are another effective way to keep animals out, especially when you know what you’re trying to repel. For instance, if you want to repel deer, you might hang fragrant soap from strings or human hair in a mesh bag. You could also try Deer Repel Pouches (which are designed to work on rabbits too). Sometimes an egg-water mixture works. (Mix five eggs with five quarts of water for enough solution to treat 1/4 acre and spray your plants thoroughly. Don’t forget to reapply after a rain storm).
Predator Guard Solar LED Detterant Lights are a great way to repel deer, as well as raccoons. These flashing lights mimic the presence of a predator’s eyes in the darkness. Predator Guard Scare Tape is another great option as it creates a visual and noise deterrent that scares some animals away.
If you’re trying to keep rabbits out, sprinkle blood meal fertilizer on the surface of your soil. Decoy owls and ultrasonic repellent devices are two other options. You might also want to consider taste repellents like cayenne pepper flakes. If you have a large garden, research plants that repel animals. For example, flowers and herbs like marigolds, lavender, and mint keep certain animals away.
One other option you may want to consider is having other food sources available to distract pests from your garden. For example, a bird feeder, dried corn, or nuts in the shell.
We hope you find these tips helpful. At first, it may take some trial and error. Try several things out to ensure a more successful outcome. Good luck!