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Humane Ways to Keep Your Garden Safe from Hungry Wildlife

Have you ever passed by a roadside vegetable stand, only to circle back?  The sight of those stacks of fresh-from-the-ground or vine-ripened vegetables is wondrous. Tomatoes, zucchinis, squash, and numerous other offerings, are glistening in sunlight, and the vibrant, hunger inducing, colors tempt your taste buds. You find them piled high, shining, and ready to be consumed. Your senses are overwhelmed! Who can resist?

Furry critters around your home feel exactly the same way about your garden. That is why it is vitally important to take steps to keep your garden strong, as in: “free of critters,” if you have any intentions at all, of harvesting a healthy crop.

There are a number of ways to protect your garden including traps and pesticides, but many people want to take a more humane approach. The act of gardening, after all, is an expression of the love of nature, which many would like to extend to all the inhabitants of the grounds around them.

Attacks from Above – Keeping Birds Away

Birds can cause considerable damage to any garden. While they dig for worms, they can disturb already planted seeds, making it difficult, if not impossible, for seeds to sprout. Birds may also eat the seeds you have painstakingly planted.

Luckily, despite being able to fly, birds are always on their “toes.” Survival in the bird world means, being ever vigilant of predators. They tend to not take any unnecessary chances, as one simple mistake on their part, could cost them their lives. This is why birds are easily scared away by various auditory and visual devices, many of which may be lying around your house, waiting to be put to use.

       Place plastic or other fake owl decoys around the perimeter of your garden

       Scarecrows can be fashioned out of old linens, sparkly spoons, and movable pinwheel parts. Their movement and noise will scare the birds, as they flutter and flap in the wind

       Shiny objects like reflective tape, and old CDs, will shock birds with their intermittent flashing

       An ultrasonic bird deterrent, preferably one with a changeable dial, which the birds will not become accustomed to, will keep birds at more than “arms” length

They Eat More than Just Carrots! Strategies to Keep Rabbits Away

Rabbits are not terribly discerning with what they will attack in a garden. They love eating vegetables and flowers and will devour woody plants, in the cooler months. What rabbits like to eat, and the damage they cause varies by region.

       Cotton balls soaked with fox urine, and placed strategically around the garden, will scare rabbits away

       Corn cobs soaked in white vinegar is an off-putting scent

       Human hair shavings around the perimeter

       Scattering chili powder or red pepper flakes on and around the crops

       A row of clover along the outside of the garden should keep bunnies happy enough to stay away from the real goodies.

A Doe, A Deer, A Family of Deer – Humane Techniques to Keep These Elegant Beauties Out

Due to their size, deer have the ability to trample and virtually destroy any garden. They can scale six-foot-high fences in a moment’s notice, and they instinctively know where all of the tasty plants are growing.

       Installing a deer fence will significantly deter or even eliminate deer from entering the garden area. All in all, it is the most effective and humane option, and trusted retailers such as deerfencing.com have a variety of options to ensure you get exactly what you need at affordable prices.

       Deer dislike anything with a heavy aroma. Planting herbs around the perimeter of the garden, such as lavender, chives, garlic, and mint, will create enough of a “stink” barrier for them to keep away.

       Plant pointy, thorny, prickly plants around the plants you are looking to protect. Deer do not like to graze in areas where these plants grow.

Nature’s Acrobats! Outwitting the Basic Squirrel

As any owner of a garden or bird feeder knows, squirrels will do just about anything to obtain food. While squirrels might be the star of caught-in-the-act videos, all over the world, it is not so funny, when they are ravaging the fruits of your own labor, especially right in front of you.

       Because squirrels use their sense of smell to guide them to food, you can throw them off the scent by sprinkling chili powder,  or spraying hot sauce along the ground in your garden.

       If you have a soft spot for these little critters, you can always provide a designated area for them that offers up peanut butter, birdseed, corn, etc.

Whether you are trying to keep out mice, raccoons, deer, voles or any other four-footed, furry creatures, the best place to start is with a bit of knowledge about the animals.  Learn what repels or scares them, safely and humanely, and then take it from there.

While growing a garden can make us feel more connected with Mother Earth, and all her creatures; it is especially fruitful when you can reap a healthy harvest, rather than a mangled one!