Rabbits, Deer, Woodchucks: How do I keep pests out of my garden?

 

Date: March 14th, 2011

Oh, deer! Bunnies hopping off with your veggies? Woodchucks munching on your heirlooms? Not so fast! Learn how to protect your garden from these vermin.

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Bunny in Garden

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Hours of hard-work in the sun and dirt can be ruined by hungry invaders. Follow these tips to help keep these thieves out of your garden!

Bonide Repels-All Animal Repellent Spray CountryMax.com

Repellents 

Liquid or granular repellents are available that will aid in keeping wildlife out of your garden.  Many of these repellents contain predator urine which your garden raiders will not want to go near.  Products such as Bonide Repels-All Animal Repellent Spray last up to 2 months per application and are rain fast after 6 hours. Plus, it can be used around edibles.

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Barrier Fencing

Constructing a simple wire fence can prove to be a very worthwhile investment. Toiling in the soil for hours on end is not fun if you can't enjoy the delicious fruits and vegetables later!

Depending on the pests getting into your garden, different fences may need to be used. Most rabbits will not be able to jump over a 3 foot fence - but deer will. A fence that is 6 feet high should be adequate for deer. To find out what animal is munching in your garden, closely monitor the garden in the early morning and late evening - these are the times the animals are most likely to be out. 

The fence should be made of woven or welded wire with an opening of no larger than 2 inches. Bury the fence at least 6 inches in the soil to prevent the animals from digging under the fence. The submerged section should be bent outward.

Use heavy t-posts or wooden posts to attach your fence. The closer you can space these posts the more secure your garden will be. Also, make sure the fencing is securely attached to the posts.

Electric Fencing

If the pest problem is persistent, electric fencing may be a feasible option. After installing electrical fencing, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, and even deer will quickly learn that your garden is not a free buffet! In addition to being very effective, electrical fencing is versatile and portable. When the growing season ends, you can easily remove the entire system. Depending on the pest, 6-12 electrical wires that are spaced about 3-4 inches apart should deter most animals. 

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Tree Guards

Easy Gardener Tree Guards protect trees and shrubs from nibbling pests! In some instances, it may be easier to protect individual plants rather than an entire garden. Tree trunks and young shrubs can be protected from animals with poultry netting or welded wire. Bury the bottom of the wire 2-3 inches deep and place the wire 2 inches away from the trunk. 

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Trapping

Woodchuck

Trapping can also be utilized to stop foliage destruction. Place the trap where you have observed the animals feeding and bait it with apples and carrots (whatever they have been eating has obviously been working so put that in there too!) Make sure to put the bait in the back of the trap.

Once you have captured the critter, release the animal several miles away. Make sure the area that you release the animal is suitable for his adaptation. 

Always check to see if local regulations permit the capture and release of animals. 

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Scare Tactics

Electronic Garden Defense Owl

Scare tactics and trickery are also an effective means of protection. You don't have to hideout in the garden and yell, "BOO" at every passing squirrel - Garden Defense Owls will do the job for you!

Owls are natural predators of small animals and birds. By placing a Garden Defense Owl in your garden, most animals and birds will be scared off (and you won't have to clean up owl pellets!). Place the owl in the center of the garden, or for maximum protection, put one in each corner.

The Electronic Garden Defense Owl (pictured to the left) senses critters and then turns its head in the direction of the animal and hoots the pests away!

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Follow these tips and foil your garden foes! For more information, email AskMax@CountryMax.com!



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