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Tips on Effective Garden Protection II

2016-11-01

Apart from raised bed, fences offer another level of garden protection. With raised beds, you can deter rabbits and gophers, but anything larger will simply lean over and chow down. Deer are a very common problem for gardeners. They will not be stopped by a raised bed, but they will come to a halt at a sturdy fence. Deer can’t climb a fence, so if you can construct something that will stay put, you can keep the deer out of your garden. Fencing will, of course, also keep out the smaller pests, like rabbits, as long as they can’t get through the openings. If your fencing material has holes large enough for a rabbit, you may want to make raised beds as well.

Another consideration of using fencing is the fact that rabbits and gophers can dig. They can go right under your fence and get to the tasty roots in your garden. When building a fence, be sure to sink it into the ground to a depth of four to six inches. It is also a good idea to bend that sunk fencing away from the garden. This provides an extra deterrent to little digging rabbit feet. And don’t forget that deer can jump. Your fence should be eight feet high to keep them out.

However, if aesthetics matter to you and you cringe at the sight of fencing and wire mesh, you can use some natural deterrents. There are several plants that you can put around the edges of your garden to keep pests at bay. Marigolds, for instance, give off a smell that rabbits can’t stand. Both rabbits and deer dislike daisies, poppies, lupine, and purple cone flower. Anything prickly or thorny will also help to keep them away, such as cardoon, sedum, echinops, or eryngium.

Plants can also be used to lure pests away from your tasty vegetables. You might try planting clover at some distance from your garden. Also, keep the area around your garden clear of shrubs and other plants that offer rabbits a place to hide. They will be reluctant to make the dangerous sprint over open ground to get at your garden.

Both rabbits and deer will go after the bark on trees. Especially in the winter, when other food is minimal, they will nibble on tree bark for nourishment. If rabbits are your concern, or even beavers, you can wrap the first couple of feet of trunk in cloth. Wrap it loosely and make the cylinder of cloth taut by attaching it to stakes driven into the ground. To deter deer, you can use the same technique, but it will have to go much higher. You can also create a cylinder out of chicken wire or other type of mesh. Just remember to consider that rabbits can get through pretty small holes.