How to Keep Animals out of the Garden

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Gardens can be a great hobby and a great alternative to purchasing produce at the grocery, however, when pests like raccoons, deer, or possums begin to eat more of your produce than you, it can make for a stressful situation. Here are some easy and animal-friendly tips for you to try to help deter animals from having a dinner party in your garden every night!

Things You'll Need

  • Tobassco/Hot Sauce/Cayenne Pepper
  • Water and Sprayer (either bottle or larger pump sprayer)
  • Fishing Line and stakes
  • Aluminum cans or pie plates
  • Very light mesh cloth
  • Raccoons and deer will likely be the most frequent visitors to your garden, especially if you live in a fairly rural setting. They enjoy feasting primarily on your corn and will start doing so habitually as soon as your corn begins to form ears and kernels. When the corn has developed to this point is when you should begin to take preventative measures. First, take a spraying device, either a simple spray bottle (rinsed of any former residue) or a pump-type garden sprayer (also rinsed). Fill the sprayer with water. Next, add to the water an appropriate amount of cayenne pepper/tobassco sauce/hot sauce etc. The amount you will need to fullfill the purpose depends on the amount of water you use. If in doubt, simply taste the concoction yourself and make sure it has enough heat to deter. Now, simply spray ears and stalks with the mixture. After the coons get the first taste of the "hot" corn, they will likely lose interest. The process will have to be repeated as needed.

  • Another option to keep pests from your plants is to cover them with a simple, light, wider mesh. This will allow the plants to gather the sunlight and water they need but will form a barrier that animals will not want to chew. Make sure you keep the mesh fairly secure at the ground to keep coons from simply going underneath.

  • Make your garden noisy! Tie strings to aluminum cans or pie plates and hang them around the perimeter and center of your garden area. The noise and shining reflections should help to keep animals away.

  • For deer, simply use fishing line and surround the perimeter of your garden. Using stakes, just take the line from one post to the next, keeping the line tight. Run the line at two or three different heighths of the stakes to keep deer out of the garden space. They will not like the feel of the line on them as they try to enter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Please, understand that although wildlife can be a nuisance, it is NEVER necessary to use poison or other dangerous methods to keep animals out of your space.

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