They may look innocent. They may even
look cute. But when bunnies, deer, raccoons, dogs, and other pests damage your plants, you
may want to wring their furry necks. Of course there is no totally foolproof way to keep
animals out of the garden. Experts recommend erecting a six-foot tall fence trimmed at the
bottom with chicken wire that's firmly planted six inches into the ground. An electric
fence is better yet. But for those who don't want to go the fencing route, there are some
natural ways to keep critters at bay.
Deer can defoliate a garden in one evening; however, deterring
their destructive visits isnt easy. One thing is sure, deer don't like walking
through thorny bushes. A hedge of Rugosa roses, holly or other prickly plants may
discourage them. Ask your Growise expert for a recommendation. You can also try using
plants that deer dislike, including buddleia, boxwood, peonies, pine and daffodils. As for
repellents, the new protein-based sprays have been quite successful. Wood ashes are
another traditional remedy.
Every year those "wascally wabbits" chomp on my rose
bushes, then stare at me defiantly as if challenging me to do something about it.
Ive tried just about everything including dried blood, human hair and bone meal
without much success. Rodales Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening recommends powdered
phosphate rock, wood ashes and moth crystals. Small cages of chicken wire around young
plants and hot pepper spray (1 tablespoon Tabasco or other hot sauce mixed with one gallon
of water) have worked well in my garden.
Raccoons love sweet corn but dont like moth crystals or
small bowls of ammonia spread between cornrows. Dogs supposedly run from a tea made with
water and cigar butts. Moles are offended by castor oil and red pepper. Cats actually may
be the best deterrent for moles. So how do you discourage kitty from your flowers? Scatter
citrus peels throughout your beds. Then cross your fingers and hope.