How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden

Last week I was thrilled to discover a bunny in the backyard. The dog was LESS than thrilled but I think they are adorable! After almost a month of living with the bunny, however, I am ready for him to move on to the neighbor’s yard! He has eaten half of every snow pea he can reach, has cleared the blackberries from the lower half of the bushes and is eating my hot pepper plants. Not the peppers…the actual PLANTS! Took me a while to figure out why the darn things weren’t getting any bigger despite all the rain and sun! I love my little bunny friend, but he needs to move along so I can start eating what I planted! I decided to do a little bit of research on how to keep animals out of the garden. Some of these ideas will have to be implemented next spring when I start a new round of planting but a few will work now with things already in the ground. If you are passionate about edible gardening and want to prevent animals from eating your harvest, here are a few ideas!

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How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden

Base photo from Paul Albertella via Flickr

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How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden

Sprays: 

There are a number of sprays on the market that are designed to keep animals out of the garden. There are dozens of brands of garden sprays for animals that you can try. Most of them are based on things that smell bad….garlic and rotten eggs are popular ingredients!

Fencing:

If you want to put up fencing to keep animals out of the garden you really need to know what sort of critter you are dealing with. Deer can easily jump or reach over most fences. If you have chipmunks, those little buggers can fit right through the small holes in most ‘chain link’ style fences, not to mention they can burrow up from underground. To keep chipmunks from digging up through the ground you can remove the soil from your garden down about 1 foot. Line the ground with a fine-meshed wire and then put the dirt back in. That way, chipmunks won’t be able to eat all the roots to your plants, which is what they always do to my own garden!

 

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Raised beds:

I’m not sure how accurate this is, however my research on how to keep animals out of the garden suggest that a fairly high (12 inch or so) raised bed will keep some animals from going in your garden. According to what I read, small animals prefer not to leave ‘ground level’ and will not hop up into a raised bed garden. I have my snow peas in a raised bed and the rabbits have no problem hopping up there, although it is only about 6 inches high. Next year I will build them higher!

companion planting to keep animals out of the garden

Photo Courtesy of Morguefile

Companion Planting:

There are a number of plants that naturally repel small animals. They really dislike the smell of onions and garlic, which is convenient because I like to plant those in the garden! Chives and marigolds are also supposed to repel animals. You can use these animal-repellant crops to create a perimeter around your other veggies. This will help keep animals from entering your vegetable garden at all.

 

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Mobiles:

Most animals are rather skittish things. When they spot things waving in the air and twirling around they tend to get startled and leave. Try hanging old CD’s from strings in nearby branches. Place a few solar activated ‘dancing’ flowers along a nearby rock wall or hang a wind sock on a tree limb. Bright colors and twirling ribbons might be just enough to keep animals out of the garden!

There are a number of ways to keep animals out of the garden and you may have to try several before finding the one that works best for you. While I love the wildlife in my yard, I went through a lot of work to plant those fruits and vegetables and I would like to be able to harvest for my family eventually! Want more tips on how to keep wildlife out of the garden? Check out these easy gardening tips for repelling wildlife!

Any other tips on how to keep animals out of the garden?

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How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden

 

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