Once you set up a garden, you are going to realize that you are not the only one living in that back yard of yours. Different animals will start showing up around the clock, paying regular visits to your garden. That gets frustrating when they start chopping down your plants and poking on your fruits. Here are a few ideas on how to protect your garden from these predators and reduce their damage.
#1 Build a fence barrier against big animals
If your nuisance is deer, building a high fence is the first protection you should consider. The fence should be at least six feet high as the deer can jump over it to get to their destination.
It might not be the most cost-effective solution, but for growing your own food, it could be a good investment.
#2 Make a cage
In case you have a raised bed garden, you may opt to build a framed cage over it. They are also commercially available. This is very effective to protect your fruits from birds and squirrels.
#3 Use bug barrier
The most annoying pest in the garden are larvae such as cabbage loopers and squash vine borer. They can destroy a garden in no time.
Many gardeners use organic substances like diatomaceous earth and caterpillar killer to fight them. However, a physical barrier could be a better option. It is a kind of mesh with very small holes used to cover the crops. It prevents the flying insects from getting to the plant to lay their eggs.
#4 Create some noise
Noise scares animals away as they think it might be their predator. Hand objects that make noise around the garden to deter them. Some ideas you might try are:
- Hang a nail on a tin plate. Then hang the plate, strategically, in between your crops. Every time the wind moves the plate, the nail will bang on it. The loud banging noise will scare the birds and other animals away.
- Use sun-reflecting objects, such as CDs or aluminum plates, around the plants to deter the birds.
- Use motion-triggered sprinklers. These gadgets will shoot water every time they sense movement.
- For more pleasing noise-makers, hang wind chimes around the garden.
#5 Take advantage of the strong sense of smell of rodents
Rodents have a very sensitive nose and cannot withstand harsh smells, such as hot pepper and garlic. To protect your newly planted seedlings, sprinkle cayenne pepper powder on and around the plants. The potent smell will hurt the nosy rodents and stop them from munching on the plants.
The only downside to this trick is that the smell will dissipate in the air and eventually will lose its effect. Another reason is that rodents are intelligent, and they will keep trying until they are convinced that the area is not a food source for them.
#6 Reuse produce containers
Strawberry containers are a great helper in the garden. Use them as a shield against birds, squirrels, and mice by clipping them over the fruit.
The downside of this trick is that it may cause sunscald or burns on the fruits. The solution is as simple as putting a cloth or a towel on the exposed side of the sun.
#7 Mock the birds
This is a fun project you may make with your kids. Gather some stones that are somewhat similar in shape to the fruits you wish to protect. Paint these rocks in red, since it is the color most attractive to birds. Place the rock around the garden.
The birds will think these are ripe fruits and will try to get them. After several trials and to their disappointment they will give up and look elsewhere. This trick is very useful on strawberry patch.
#8 Place water baths around the garden
Most of the time birds are looking for water when they poke on tomatoes. Put out several bird baths around the garden for the animals to drink, and they might stay away from your garden.
#9 Plant extra
Following the previous idea, provide more food for the wildlife to steer them away from the garden. There are two ways to do so.
- When you plan your garden, try to make room for extra plants to share with the animals.
- Squirrels and birds love sunflower seeds, so grow more of them in the garden.
#9 Make peace with nature
Gardening is supposed to be a source of peace and tranquility. Work on your mindset and try to develop a sense of co-exitance with other animals. Think of it as providing food to the weak and charity for the sake of harmonious life. Once you realize that we can all live alongside each other, you will notice that there is still plenty left for you to enjoy.