Photo from Alberta Home Gardening
You’re not the only one who enjoys your garden–deer, rabbits and even household pets may find your flowers or vegetables to be tasty treats. And, of course, dogs and cats may mistake your garden beds for a great place to do their business.
While organic or eco-friendly pest control is a good idea for combating any type of pest, it is especially important to use non-harmful deterrents when dealing with larger animals, particularly household pets. Fences, lighting, noisemakers and a variety of biological sprays and spreads can help make your garden less appealing and less accessible to unwanted guests.
Physical Pest Control Methods
Perhaps the easiest way to keep animals out of your garden is to fence it in. Dogs, rabbits and even deer will dig, so a good garden fence should extend at least a foot underground, and the spaces should be too small for little heads to poke through. Deer can also jump, so a good deer fence will be 8 feet high. Depending on the size of your yard or garden, a fence can quickly become an expensive means of pest control, but it can also be a beautiful landscape element itself, and well-built fencing will last many years.
If a fence is not an option, then floodlights, noisemakers or motion-activated sprinklers are also effective, but less intrusive, pest deterrents. Neither cats nor rabbits like water, and dogs’ ears are sensitive to certain pitches that can’t be heard by humans. Deer tend to shy away from brightly lit areas and may also be startled by sprinklers or noisemakers, causing them to retreat and avoid the area in the future.
Unique Pest Control Methods
If physical pest control methods don’t work or aren’t enough, there are also many natural chemical options. Diluted hot-pepper sauce sprayed over plants will make them unappetizing. A sprinkle of coyote urine, available at many hunting and outdoor supply shops, around the border of your garden will deter rabbits and deer from coming near, and may also keep dogs and cats at bay.
Biological Pest Control Methods
Of course, like people, animals like certain plants and dislike others. Rabbits, for example, prefer clover to vegetables and hate onions, so planting clover will keep them away from your vegetable garden, and planting rows of onions along the outside of your garden will deter them from going after the tastier vegetables in the middle.
Deer, too, prefer certain plants–namely, clematis, roses, tulips, lettuce, peas, broccoli, azaleas and fruit trees (among others). Avoid these plants, or locate them in a less accessible area of the yard or garden. Disguising these plants among less desirable offerings–such as mint, onions, chives, daffodils, boxwood and butterfly bush–may also protect them.
Author of this guest post is Marco who is an editor over at Luma Gardening.