Woman checking plants

How to Protect Your Garden from Animals and Critters

If you own a garden, protecting it from animals, both domestic and wild, should be on top of your priority list.

If you’re looking for a way to keep animals from nibbling at your prized flowers and crops, putting up metal fences and gates is one measure to protect your garden from unwelcome visitors. While some animals, like rabbits and squirrels, may be adorable when you see them hopping around your garden, they can cause heavy damage to your plants, flowers and crops.

These tips will show you how to discourage those pesky animals from invading and ruining your garden.

Determine the Culprit

Knowing what animals you need to protect your garden from will make it easier for you to decide which fence type, height and design you need. Burrowers like groundhogs and squirrels not only eat grass and plants, but they also chew on electrical wirings and leave mounds of dirt and burrowing holes. Rabbits munch on woody plants and leave pellet droppings. Deer can leave tracks on the soil, shred vegetation when they feed and damage plants and young trees with their antlers. Even birds can cause damage to your garden by pecking holes on fruits or stealing them before they ripen.

Select Your Fence Type

Men placing the fences

Once you have observed creature activities in your garden, you will be able to decide the type of material you need to use for your fence and how tall it should be.

Metal fences that are 4-feet high are recommended for keeping small animals like cats, dogs, raccoons and rabbits out of your garden. To keep groundhogs away, your fence should be a few feet tall, as they can be persistent and will try to climb or hop over the enclosure. You should also bury the fence a few inches into the soil to stop groundhogs from burrowing under the fence.

If you’re dealing with deer problems, you should consider installing taller fences. A 10-foot tall fence slanting at a 45-degree angle will deter a deer from jumping over the fence. You should also keep the bottom of the fence close to the ground as deer may try to wiggle their way into your garden by digging under the fence.

You can also opt for solid fences to obstruct the view of your garden or electric fences to discourage animals from touching the fence and scare them away. Also, make sure you don’t plant crops and flowers near your fence as doing so will only attract animals to come closer.

Choose Animal-Proof Plants

Another way to keep unwanted animals off your garden is to plant flowers and herbs that they hate. Flowers such peonies and irises and herbs such as sage and lavender are repulsive to both rabbits and deer while plants like foxglove, bleeding heart and butterfly weed are hated by groundhogs.

While there’s no guarantee that you can keep animals from permanently invading your garden, these tips will help minimize the trouble and damage that they can cause.

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