There’s nothing like a beautifully landscaped garden for bringing nature to your doorstep, but sometimes all that nature brings a side of nature we don’t really care for. We’re talking about pests — rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and other furry little critters that are cute until they start eating your plants.
Fortunately there are a few ways to keep these bandits away from your garden that don’t involve giving in.
Remove the temptation
Fruit trees serve double duty as decoration and source of produce, which makes them a popular choice in landscaping. But fruit that falls to the ground makes easy fodder for small animals who then move on to your smaller, more tender plants. Why not remove the temptation before they show up? As your trees begin to bear, keep the areas surrounding them clean and clear of fallen fruit.
Scented and flavored sprays may be the most effective method to keeping small critters away from your plants, in part because there are so many options to choose from. Buy one of the many commercially available rodent repellent sprays, or DIY your own version from one of the many recipes to be found online. For something a bit stronger, you can purchase wolf or coyote urine and spread around your beds. The strong scent of their natural predator will scare pests away. The catch here is that repellents wear off after a few days and will need to be reapplied frequently, especially after heavy monsoon rains. And if you’re planning to eat any of the plants, you’ll likely want to avoid any chemical sprays.
Short fences around your planting beds around certain plants may help deter rabbits from eating the most tender shoots. Opt for a mesh fence like chicken wire and bury it about six inches deep to combat digging. For more active bandits like squirrels, you’ll need a more covered approach. Wire cages around certain plants may help, but only if they include a roof.
Use a Decoy
Some gardeners have found that growing the type of plants that problem critters love most can help deter them from the rest of your plants. If you have problems with rabbits, this may mean planting a small patch of alfalfa or clover on the edge of your garden. If squirrels are the issue, create a decoy station well removed from your other plants. Include a squirrel feeder with feed corn or peanuts, a water dispenser, and a tomato plant or two.
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If you’re having trouble keeping small pests out of your plants, give ABC Scapes a call at 602-404-0568. We will assess the damage and give a free estimate for keeping your furry bandits away.