Gardening is a rewarding experience and seeing those beautiful green veggies in your backyard is a sheer treat to the eyes. Some animals are surely cute enough to melt our hearts. However, sometimes their presence in our garden is nothing but a sheer nuisance. It's important that the animals are kept away from the garden to ensure that the plants can grow freely without any hindrance.
Well, it may not be possible to completely animal-proof the garden. However, we have come up with some effective ways to keep the garden critter-free and minimize their presence. So, keep reading through the article to find out how to keep animals out of the garden.
How to Keep Animals out of Garden?
Identify the Animals
Before you decide on the possible courses of action, you need to identify the culprits first. To figure out the size of the fence, you need to find out who is eating the veggies so that you can take the necessary measurements.
Look for any sign left by the animal that will help you track it. Deer tends to leave tracks on the soil and they are usually found near the herbaceous plants. On the other hand, rabbits tend to leave sharp cuts on woody plants and leave pellets behind. Birds usually peck holes on fruits so you need to extra cautious if you have fruit plant in the garden.
These are some of the most common animals that visit the garden and identifying the right visitors will help you take the correct precautionary measure.
Put up a Fence
Fencing the garden is one of the most effective ways to keep unwanted visitors at bay. Try to put up the fence right from the beginning so that animals are away from the start. A tall fence will work well to keep away the rabbits. However, some of them are too persistent and they may burrow underneath to reach the garden.
Also, deer fences ranging from 6-8 feet tall will do the job. Make sure that you cover up the fruit trees or bushes before they ripen to keep the birds away.
Plant on Raised Beds
Planting on raised beds will help to reduce the growth of unwanted weeds that usually attract the animals the most. A raised garden is easy to build and incorporate a simple design. These beds can be made with wood, stone, and even bricks.
Make sure that the bed is at least 2-inches above the ground. This height is effective enough in keeping away the rabbits. You can put up a mesh to prevent burrowing animals out. Also, a small cover net will help to keep out the birds and other kinds of animals.
Plant Unappealing Trees
When you're hungry, everything tastes better. This is also similar to animals. As they have a high competition and their resource is also limited, they often gobble down whatever comes their way.
The trick to avoiding such a scenario is to plant trees that are less appealing to the animals. Do some research and talk to the local nurseries to find out what sort of plants attract the animals less. Usually, they tend to avoid aromatic and prickly plants. Also, plants like fritillaria and castor bean are despised by rodents. While enhancing the looks of the garden, these plants will also help to keep the unwanted guests away.
Using repellents like garlic clips or castor oil is a temporary solution to prevent animals. Also, you can use synthetic products made with pepper to keep the nibbling animals away. If you're using a chemical-based repellent, make sure that it's not toxic enough to harm the children or pets. Always read the label properly to ensure that they don't contain any harmful substances.
Along with scent repellents, you can also opt for visual or auditory repellents. Ultrasonic repellents and motion-activated water sprayer is also a great source to keep away the animals from the garden.
However, the effectiveness of these repellents may go down over time as the animals tend to get adapted to them. You need to surprise them with different strategies to keep them away for a long time to ensure the healthy growth of the plants.
Scare Away the Animals
The garden is your safe haven and you surely want it to remain a peaceful place. Well, it’s not usually possible among the presence of those disturbing animals. If the animals that come inside the garden sense threats, then they will automatically refuse the idea of coming to the garden a second time.
You can add a device in the garden that will startle the animals that are feeding on the vegetables or plants. You can even now find scarecrows that have a built-in motion sensor. The sensor detects any unwanted motion and sprays water on the invading animal.
Also, there are reflective materials that help to frighten the birds and move them away. There are electric repellents available in the market that make scary noise or sound an alarm if the animals or birds nibble on the veggies or fruits.
Take Help from the Cat
Cats are born to hunt and they’re natural hunters. If you can train the cat properly then it will come in super handy for keeping away the small animals. Also, the smell of the cat will prevent the presence of future animals and pests as well.
However, make sure that the cat is healthy enough to be outdoors. Also, make sure that the cat is fed well and vaccinated to prevent diseases.
Sacrificial Plants outside the Garden
Planting trees that usually lure the animals outside the garden will keep them away from entering the actual garden. This may seem like a reverse idea, but it has proven it be quite effective. Try to include both fruits and veggies as sacrificial plants so that they will not barge in on the garden.
This way, the animals will also be able o reduce their hunger and you will be able to protect the garden. However, the design of the garden may hamper a bit due to the setup of the plants outside the garden.
Wrap Aluminum Foil around the Plants
Animals are not fond of the noise that aluminum foil makes when you try to remove them. Whenever the animal will try to crinkle through the foil, it will make a noise. This method will help to keep the animals away even when the garden kept unsupervised.
Get Rid of Unnecessary Attractions
Animals are often not attracted to the vegetation, some of them attracted to the dog or cat food that is left outside. Sometime birds will by near these foods and nibble on the fruits or vegetables later.
The best way to prevent these incidents is to place the food bowl away from the vegetation. You can keep the food bowl near the house so that you can keep it supervised and the pets will also be able to reach it whenever they want.
Prevention for Specific Animals
Raccoons are one of the most common garden invaders. The worst part is, they're resilient to many common repellents so, it's hard to keep them away.
- Ammonia has proven to be one of the most effective solutions to keep away raccoons. An ammonia station near the garden will help to keep the raccoons away. However, make sure that they're away from the reach of children and pets.
- Peppermint oil and water mixture is also a great source to keep the raccoons away. Spray the mixture in the areas where you suspect raccoons visit the most.
Deer and Rabbits
Deer and rabbit both are herbivorous, and both are a common visitor in the garden. The best way to keep them away from the garden is to put the plants that they find less appealing. Many flowering plants will enhance the look of the garden but keep them away from these unwanted visitors.
Japanese fern trees are very beautiful to look at. However, deer tend to avoid these beauties. These ferns will make the garden more beautiful while effectively repelling the deer. Sea Holly resists both the rabbit and deer. Also, these plants are super low maintenance and you don't even need to water them much frequently.
Animals tend to barge in the garden when they don’t have enough resources to feed themselves. Their presence is quite a common scenario in the gardens. Gardening requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Seeing the bird or animals nibble on your hard work can be quite heart wrenching.
All the methods that we listed have proven to be effective in keeping away the animals. These methods are easy to apply, and they will not hamper the lifestyle of the other members or pets in the house.
Try to avoid chemical substances and poisons as they have long term effects. Also, the chemicals can be consumed by children or house pets. So, try these methods and don’t forget to share your experience with us.