8 Natural Ways to Keep Animals Out of the Garden

Vego Garden
Vego Garden

It is the ire of every gardener to come across unwelcome visitors treading on their home turf. If you constantly stumble across nibbled, damaged or overturned plants, then it is time to figure out ways to keep animals out of the yard. When pursuing a solution, keep in mind that it should be eco-friendly. Even if you aren’t fond of critters, it is better to use humane methods without harsh chemicals to prevent adverse effects to environmental systems. Instead of resorting to chemicals or calling a pest-control center, try these alternative methods listed below, which will ward off unwanted nuisances from the garden without harming beneficial wildlife. 

8 Natural Ways to Keep Animals Out of the Garden | Vego Garden

Identify the Pest 

It is a good idea to identify the culprit first, which allows for a more salient and precise method of control. Some you may catch them encroaching upon your garden and identify them based on physical description. Others, such as moles and voles, are more clandestine in operation, tunneling under the earth to create mounds and burrows. 

Although cats are sometimes used to control invading nuisances, especially rats, they should be used with caution, as they are responsible for songbird decline. An estimate places them responsible for 2.4 billion songbird deaths. Refrain from this tactic if there are bird feeders nearby or you live in an area with a large presence of songbirds. 

General identification tips:

  • Birds: Birds are usually thought of as friendly, but can become pests when they start pecking at fruits and vegetables in the garden. If you notice property damage, large congregations, or raucous noises, then there is a chance that you are experiencing predation by birds. An efficient way of keeping them away is by placing bird netting over crops. 
  • Moles and voles: While many think that moles target plants, they are in fact voracious carnivores whose diet mainly consists of insects, worms, and grubs. Look out for unsightly tunnels or mounds of dirt in your yard.
  • Other pests: Gophers, rabbits, and squirrels will all eat your plants. Get rid of gophers using castor oil, and scent-based repellents such as cayenne for squirrels. Fences, netting, and pest repellent plants are good alternatives in pest deterrence. 
    1. Use Raised Garden Beds  

    Not only do garden beds keep out ground-dwelling pests and burrowers, they reduce the strain on the back significantly. For no pressure stand-up gardening, check out Vego 32 Tall Gardening Beds on sale. The elevated sides of the bed are tall enough that you do not need to bend down when tending to your crops. 

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    1. Use Garden Coverings or Netting 

    While a full-length fence surrounding your yard may not be a feasible solution for those that are budget conscious or time-constrained, garden coverings and nettings can be effective solutions in blocking critters from accessing your garden beds. Vego Garden has a modularly designed cover system and stainless steel gopher net that are designed with functionality and quality at the forefront. Scent repellents are only temporary solutions; structural barriers like gardening netting are more permanent in scope. 

    Free from harmful toxins and chemicals, Vego Garden’s gopher net is a safe, cruelty-free way to prevent gophers and other burrowing visitors from entering your garden beds. Made from extra thick 304 grade stainless steel, the screen and staples are designed to be durable and last for decades under the soil, and are tailor-made to fit each of our popular configurations.

    1. Clean Up the Surrounding Area         

    Dissuade thieves from entering your yard by eliminating the surrounding garden of accumulated detritus such as leaf litter and hiding spots. Any compost should be contained to prevent the smells from attracting wildlife. Bird feeders can also result in litter – get rid of your bird feeder if you suspect it’s been attracting pests. 

    For a secure composting method that is inaccessible to animals, try Vego Garden’s in-ground worm composter. This worm composter eliminates the hassle and smell of traditional compost systems, making sustainable gardening easy and efficient. Turn your organic waste into rich, nutrient-dense garden bed material by adding in food scraps from your kitchen. Simply dig a hole in the ground of your raised garden bed, bury the worm composting bin, fill with organic waste and worms, and let nature do the work. 

    1. Plant Pest Repellent Plants        

    Strongly-scented aromatic plants can create a barrier around your garden and keep out pests, particularly insects, mice, rats, and deer. The pungent scent of marigolds, nasturtiums, and garlic are considered unappealing to deer and rabbits, and will repel a host of insect pests. Prickly or fuzzy plants like lavender and sage can also be implemented to create a natural barrier. Plants with bristly leaves, milky sap, or thorns are viable candidates that can create an unpleasant experience for interlopers in the garden.

    1. Use Cayenne Pepper 

    Even if you aren’t sure which animals are assailing your plants, try using cayenne pepper to repel them. Cayenne pepper, which contains capsaicin, a potent compound with a strong odor, is an all-purpose repellent that will keep many small animals away. Sprinkle cayenne pepper flakes throughout the garden and around the perimeter, or utilize it in a spray. Regular applications are necessary, especially after the advent of rain or snow. 

    8 Natural Ways to Keep Animals Out of the Garden | Vego Garden

    1. Scare Them Away

    Using a scarecrow to scare away animals can seem old-fashioned, there are more advanced ways involving visual or auditory tactics that can scare animals off your lawn. These can range from simple devices such as wind chimes to more advanced ones that incorporate motion sensors or sprinklers. However, the surprise factor usually diminishes over time, and they can be costly, so it is recommended that you invest in more long-lasting methods such as raised garden beds or pest-proof covers. 

    1. Use Soap        

    Although it may sound strange, soap can help deter some animals – particularly the Irish Spring brand. The next time you’re at the supermarket or grocery store, look out for this inexpensive brand of soap. To keep away pests like deer and mice, cut the Irish Spring soap into cubes and place two pieces into a drawstring pouch. Staple or tie the pouch to a stake and drive it to the ground, concentrating it in areas with heavy vegetation or heavy damage. Alternatively, you can sprinkle a barrier around your plants. 

    1. Use Natural Repellents       

    There are many DIY homemade repellents you can utilize to reduce the foot traffic in your garden. Nasturtiums, citrus, and coffee grounds can discourage animals from digging around. Aromatic scents that animals may find unpalatable include herbs like lavender, geranium, and mint. Try experimenting to see what works best. Sprays made with garlic or pepper are an effective organic method to repel a variety of pests. 

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