Have you ever gone outside to work on the garden, only to find that an animal has eaten your plants?
Though it is frustrating, this is a very common experience amongst gardeners. Skunks, raccoons, squirrels, insects, and other animals are drawn to the foods we grow in the yard. Protecting your plants from them is a challenge.
The following article lists some easy things you can do to stop pests from damaging your garden.
Table of contents
- Here is The List of 8 Tips on How to Keep Pests and Wildlife Out of the Garden
Here is The List of 8 Tips on How to Keep Pests and Wildlife Out of the Garden
1. Cover your plants
Covering your plants with an ultrafine mesh or netting will physically prevent wildlife from getting into the garden.
However, they will continue to let water, air, and sunlight through. A variety of covers are available online as well as in hardware stores and garden centres. The sturdier the mesh, the more your plants will be protected from rodents and larger animals.
You can also build a raised garden bed to protect your plants even further. The higher you build the bed, the better. Skunks will have trouble climbing the smooth walls of the garden and burrowing animals can be kept out by surrounding the bed in mesh.
You can also cap the bed with a lid of metal mesh. A raised bed will protect the roots of your trees, extend the growing season, and make gardening more comfortable.
2. Build a Fence around the garden
Building a fence is as straightforward as it seems. Dedicate a part of the yard to your garden and build a fence around it. A permanent fence can be reinforced with metal mesh along the bottom.
Alternatively, you can set up a temporary fence and remove it when the growing season is over. This will help keep raccoons, squirrels, and other non-burrowing animals from reaching your plants.
3. Remove other food sources
Animals are attracted to yards where they can find food. While you cannot get rid of your garden, you can get rid of the other sources of food around it.
Store all your seeds, fertilizers, and gardening materials in a shed. Get rid of the bird feeder or switch to one that hangs high above the ground and out of reach for squirrels. Watch for seeds falling to the ground.
Keep your garbage cans covered at all times and store them in a shed or garage until collection day. Clean the cans every few weeks with vinegar or soap and water to reduce odours. Avoid spilling any food on the ground when you eat outside.
Sweep the deck floor on a regular basis and clean the barbecue after each use. Do not leave any pet food outside.
4. Maintain the yard
Keeping the yard tidy will reduce the number of hiding spots for insects, mice, and other pests that will come into the garden to feed. Mow the lawn on a regular basis and rake the leaves in the fall. Pull weeds and trim shrubs in the summertime.
Cut tree branches so they are a few feet away from the roof and clean out the gutters in the spring and fall. You should also move firewood and debris away from the sides of the home.
5. Block out the deck and shed
The undersides of the deck and shed are common hiding place for skunks, raccoons, and other wild animals. Making this inaccessible will reduce the likelihood that an animal makes it itself at home in your yard and raids the garden.
Fix any holes you find in them. Then, dig a trench around both the deck and shed, about a foot deep, then screw a thick mesh into the sides of the structures. A quarter inch, 16-gauge, galvanized steel mesh will keep rats and mice out. Once you are done installing the mesh, bury it in the soil.
6. Use a homemade spray
In a spray bottle, mix one part apple cider vinegar with 3 parts waters. Spray this around the edges of your garden to keep pests out.
Many animals dislike the smell of apple cider vinegar because it reminds them of predator urine. It also helps to get rid of ants. Dilute the mixture further and spray this directly onto your plants to scare away ants and other insects. Check out Do it Yourself Pest Control for other homemade repellents.
Alternatively, mix a tablespoon of hot sauce with a gallon of water and a drop of dish soap and spray the solution around the garden. The heat of the spicy mixture will deter pests from eating your plants. You can also sprinkle cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes onto the soil of the garden to keep pests out.
7. Install electronic deterrents
There are several motion-activated deterrents available on the market today. Ultrasonic deterrents, for example, emit a high-pitched sound that irritates wildlife and drives them away.
There are some that spray water when an animal comes near, and others that flash lights and scare away nocturnal creatures. Check out your local hardware store or look online for a deterrent that works for you. Install one or two of them near the garden to keep pests away from your plants.
8. Hire a pest removal company for help
If you suspect that a pest is eating your plants, or that an animal is living on your property, call a professional for help. Pest removal technicians and wildlife removal professionals are skilled and experienced in getting rid of pests.
They can get rid of them safely and prevent their reoccurrence by pest-proofing the yard for you. Professionals can, for example, seal out the edges of your deck and shed to stop any animals from burrowing there and getting into the garden. They can also put mesh into the sides of your garden and fence.
In conclusion, do all of the above
Having a garden that does not attract wildlife is nearly impossible, but doing a combination of the tips above will keep your plants safe. The key is to restrict their access to food, get rid of hiding spots, and make it harder for the animals to reach your plants. If you are unsure of what you’re dealing with, call a professional for help.