5 Steps To Keep Plant-Eating Animals Out Of Your Garden

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Keep deer out of your garden with deer fencing

Maintaining a garden is one of the most soul-satisfying things a person can do. 

It connects us with nature. It surrounds us with negative ions that can help relieve our stress

Gardening can give us a sense of accomplishment knowing that we're feeding our family with organic, home-grown goodness.

But some four-legged friends would sometimes visit and harvest what we've planted.

How do you keep these plant-eating animals out of your garden without harming them? Here are 5 easy steps:

1. Use vinegar in your garden.

Does vinegar keep animals away?

Vinegar is one versatile product you should always keep in your home.

Because of its strong smell, vinegar is repulsive to plant-eating animals and keeps them out.

Soak old clothes with vinegar and put them around your garden.

Vinegar can also help repel caterpillars, bugs, and aphids.

Another bonus of using vinegar in the garden is that it increases soil acidity. The acetic acid in the vinegar helps fight lime and kills weeds.

Keep Plant-Eating Animals Out Of Your Garden with vinegar

2. The scare tactic

Scare the critters off by using the old but gold scarecrow. Move the scarecrow every couple of days or so.

Some gardeners would turn on the sprinkler when the plant-eating animals come. The sudden sound of the water will surprise them and make them run away.

You can also train your dog to bark and scare off your unwanted garden guests. 

Keep Plant-Eating Animals Out Of Your Garden by scaring them off

3. Surround your garden with their least favorite.

Grow these in your garden. These are plants that can help keep plant-eating animals away:

  • lavender
  • mint
  • rosemary
  • chives
  • oregano
  • dill
  • catnip
  • garlic 
  • thyme
  • onion
  • sage
Keep Plant-Eating Animals Out Of Your Garden with herbs

4. Use covered bins to keep plant-eating animals out of your garden.

Put a lid securely on your compost bin and trash cans so that you don't attract raccoons, deer, foxes, and opossums. 

The smell of your trash may have led them to your garden in the first place. 

Keep Plant-Eating Animals Out Of Your Garden by covering bins

5. Deer Fence: The Best Defense 

When deer and other wildlife cannot access your garden, they will go searching for food in fields, meadows, and high grasses. 

Installing a deer fence is a surefire way to keep out animals that don’t belong in your garden. 

Durable, and environmentally safe, the right deer fencing will keep out animals that wish to create mischief, by consuming your plants and seedlings. 

Deer fencing won’t cause woodland creatures any harm but instead will divert them elsewhere.

Choose a six-foot, or even an eight-foot-high fence, or pairs of low parallel fences. 

This will cause the deer to think twice about scaling them, even if they are being chased, or threatened.

The Worst Garden Offenders

You may be wondering, "What animal is eating my plants"? 

Here are 7 common animals that may be destroying your garden:

  1. Deer - You may find deer grazing in your garden at dusk and at dawn. Because winters are hard on them, they seek out and focus only on the most nutritious garden plants. They're hard to catch as they are nearly inaudible except for occasional grunts and mews. If you don't catch them, be on the lookout for deer droppings, and cloven-shaped hoof prints.

  2. Rabbits - Adorable rabbits can wreak havoc in your garden. They will eat almost anything and can cause extensive damage if security is not in place.

    garden offenders: rabbits

  3. Raccoons and Skunks - Although sometimes happily satiated by feasting on garbage cans, raccoons and skunks will also dig through your garden, looking for insects, and grubs. They will also dig holes to make their dens.

  4. Squirrels - Both ground and tree squirrels pose a threat to your garden. Their typical MO is to create holes that are used either for their burrows or to store and bury nuts for winter.

  5. Prairie Dogs - While indeed prairie dogs are capable of inflicting great damage to crops in a garden, they are helpful to the ecosystem. Their method of burrowing helps till the soil, thereby adding nutrients. If possible, finding a professional to trap, and relocate these critters, is the most environmentally beneficial and kinder way of managing them.

  6. Chipmunks - The famous of them all, chipmunks feed mainly on insects, seeds, grains, and nuts, but have no problem-consuming seedlings and flower bulbs.

  7. Field Mice - Ingenious little creatures, field mice will do just about anything to get to a tasty morsel of food. They will disrupt plant roots, and snack on leaves, pull up roots, and gnaw at them from underneath the soil.

We must not hurt or harm the animals who only act by instinct and for survival.

But, that doesn’t mean that we have to share all our harvest with these plant-eating creatures.

With the right tools, planning, and defenses, such as deer fencing, we can happily enjoy the bounty of our gardens by keeping our plant-eating animal friends out without harming them.

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  1. This reminds me to install fence around my garden after the goat kids found their way to my row of purple sweet corns. They ate up all the leaves, but luckily did not uproot any of them. Hoping that the leaves will re-grow.