Introduction to Protecting Your Garden from Animals and Birds
Across the globe, you can see growing gardeners and every day thousands of gardens are set up. Gardening is not only growing plants but also protecting them from different animals and birds. In this article, we present you with information about protecting your garden from birds and animals.
A Step by Step Guide to Protecting Your Garden From Animals and Birds
How to Protect Your Garden from Animals
Planting and growing plants in the garden can be a rewarding and tasty hobby. Keeping animals out of the garden can be a serious challenge, as they can be persistent. In this article, we also discuss the below points;
- How to protect vegetables from birds
- Keep animals out of your garden naturally
- How to protect container garden from animals
- How to keep animals out of the garden without using a fence
Add a Fence around Your Plants Protecting From Animals
Garden fences are the best bet when it comes to protecting the garden from animals. To prevent burrowing animals, you’ll want to plant a fence into the ground as far down as 1 inch. If you have a rabbit problem, fences should be at least 3 feet high.
A good way to keep animals out of your garden is to build a fence. You can choose from a variety of fence types to place around your garden, acting as a wall between animals and your plants. Fences can work great, but they can be expensive and require some effort to install. Keep some of these basic facts about fences in mind when considering one for your garden;
- Many garden fences will require you to install fence posts before wrapping the fence itself around them.
- Most garden fences are built to surround an entire garden.
- The exact material and style of your garden fence are up to you. You could use wood, metal, or plastics such as polypropylene to create your fence for the garden.
- Some garden fences are electric and will shock any intruding animal that touches it.
- It can be a good idea to bury about 1 foot of your fence underground to block burrowing animals.
Strategies for Keeping Animals Out of Your Garden
Identify – Make sure you know precisely what creature is ransacking in your garden. Putting up a higher fence for deer will be useless if rabbits or raccoons are your problems.
Protect – Deer protection requires a fence 8 feet high, which is extremely effective, but costly. Some gardeners have had success with two shorter, simple fences spaced 2 to 3 feet apart so the deer assume they don’t have enough room to jump between the fences or over both of them.
If your problem includes digging rodents, you could have to add another layer to your fence design. You can keep voles and rabbits away by tacking chicken wire or hardware cloth to the lower edge of your fence and burying it to a depth of 3-5 inches.
Plant Barrier Plants – Plants can act as natural deterrents to certain animals. Certain plants can keep mosquitoes away, rosemary, garlic, and oregano can deter deer from entering the garden and chowing down on your plants.
Cayenne Pepper Tea – It can keep away unwanted critters such as rabbits, deer, squirrels, and maybe even bears. Hot peppers have a component called capsaicin, which essentially burns an animal when they taste it.
To make cayenne pepper tea, cut 4 cayenne peppers lengthwise and get rid of the green stems. Chop, put in a container, and then add about 1 ½ cups of hot water and ½ cup of white vinegar. Seal tightly and let it sit for 4 days. When the mixture is done settling, strain it, and then put the cayenne mixture in a funnel. And, add 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Shake the bottle, and then spray on plants, leaves, or bird feeders.
Type of Animals That Can Damage Your Garden
1. Ungulates and other large animals
The common ungulates or hoofed animals in an urban or suburban area are deer. We have pushed into their habitats by cutting down forests and building housing. In more rural areas you can also have bears or other ungulates such as elk or moose. Large wild cats such as cougars may visit your garden but generally don’t eat plants but could cause damage if chasing other smaller animals for dinner.
2. Burrowing/digging animals
Now imagine a gopher or one of the other burrowing mammals like rabbits, groundhogs, prairie dogs, ground squirrels, moles, voles, rats, mice, and several other lesser-known ones. If you all of a sudden see plants disappear with a sunken hole left, likely one of these critters burrowed underneath your garden and came up to snatch away one of your prized plants.
3. Climbing animals
These are probably the hardest to keep out of your garden and away from plants. Animals such as raccoons, possums, squirrels, chipmunks, and wild cats are climbing animals.
4. Other animals
The animal that doesn’t conveniently fall into the above categories but that can cause damage includes skunks, beavers, porcupines, and non-mammals such as reptiles and birds.
How to Keep Animals Out Of Garden without Using Fence?
1. Sprinkle coffee grounds around your garden plants. Slugs, cats, and snails dislike coffee grounds in the garden, and as the grounds decompose, they add nitrogen to your soil. If you don’t drink a lot of coffee at home, you can pick up a free bucket of coffee grounds from a coffee shop or local cafe. Coffee grounds also can serve as a deer repellent in the garden.
2. Scare with hair – Some wild animals don’t like the smell of human hair and you can just toss the hair in the garden or bag them up in old nylon stockings to hang around your garden. Some animals like rodents, deer, and rabbits, dislike the smell of human hair. Try sprinkling some unwashed hair around to keep the garden animal-free. Human hair works as a natural mulch and then adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down. Cheesecloth bags or Tie nylon filled with unwashed hair on tree branches.
3. You can purchase a bag of dried blood meal very reasonably from the local garden shop. Scattered about on the ground in the garden, a blood meal adds nitrogen to the soil and repels many herbivores. Be careful not to allow blood meal to come in contact with stems or leaves of live plants as it can burn them as it decomposes. A by-product of meatpacking plants, blood meal is dried and flaked blood. Animals don’t like the blood smell and will avoid your garden because of it. Sprinkle blood meal, which is high in nitrogen, around the bases of your plants. Take care not to get any on the plants directly, as it can burn the leaves.
4. Strongly scented, deodorant soap is repellent to deer in the garden. You can buy cheap, strong deodorant soap and hang the bars up in net fruit and vegetable bags around the garden. The strong, unnatural scent is offensive to deer. Don’t use organic soaps or natural soaps because this attracts deer and other wildlife animals.
5. Vinegar and peppers – Another option is to use the smell of vinegar or hot pepper flakes to keep the garden animal-free. Try soaking corn cobs in vinegar for 10 minutes and placing them in the garden. Repeat the process every 2 weeks. Some gardeners have success in deterring animals by sprinkling hot pepper flakes around their plants or spraying liquid chilli spray around the garden or around the base of the individual plants you want to keep safe. This technique may work in protecting your garden from both birds and animals.
Deterring Animals from Your Garden
Apply sprays around your garden. Most animals like the smell of the vegetables and they are attracted by the free meal. Also, scents can be used to keep animals out, sending a message that a garden is not a safe place to eat or by making it smells unappealing. Different types of scent deterrents to help for your garden;
- You can buy animal repellents. These animal repellents will make your garden seem dangerous to animals. You’ll want to know which type of animal is invading your garden before buying a predator scent that scares that particular animal.
- You might try using spicy or unappealing sprays around the garden. These sprays can make animals uncomfortable and smell bad enough that they will look for food elsewhere.
- Animal repelling sprays can be bought at home or garden stores.
- Also, you can try looking up homemade animal repellent recipes and make your own.
- Many sprays will need to be applied, as rain or moisture will wash them away.
How to Protect Your Garden from Birds
It’s always nice to see birds and other wildlife out in the garden until they start destroying plants. Shortly after sowing seeds, birds can become a main problem in the garden. There are many bird scare methods and each has varying degrees of success, there is no deterrent that works in every situation. Making it difficult for them to access your garden in the first place will stop them from destroying it. This is referred to as the barrier method and includes products such as bird netting and bird spikes.
There are different ways to keep birds away from your garden. Some of the important methods are barriers, scare tactics, and chemical deterrents.
1. Bird Barriers
Bird barriers are the most effective bird deterrent. Bird netting allows rain and sun through while keeping birds away in gardens. For other plants erect a structure with bamboo, fence posts, or other stakes that the netting can hang upon, and anchor it to the ground with wires. Though, bird nets can be reused for several years if handled carefully.
- Any bird guard material can be effective like chicken wire (though smaller birds can still pass through) and window screening. If birds are nibbling freshly planted garden seeds, try covering them with a layer of landscape fabric, checking daily to see if the seeds have germinated enough to remove the fabric.
- Plastic strawberry baskets can protect seedlings, and paper bags can be located around individual vegetables or fruits likely to be under bird attack.
- Attach bird spikes to buildings where pigeons and other types of birds congregate.
- Distract birds from the garden by keeping bird feeders a safe distance away.
Garden netting is the most effective way to deter birds from destroying your garden. Butterfly netting protects plants from birds in the garden while allowing smaller beneficial insect access to plants for pollination purposes. It is important to invest in high-quality, UV-resistant netting materials. The materials can be costly, but higher quality netting will last a lifetime, and cheaper netting becomes a potential hazard for birds and other small wildlife, once it starts to fray and deteriorates.
2. Bird Scare Tactics
Loud noises or decoys that resemble predators are among the sensory bird scare tactics you can use in the home gardens. You can purchase bird deterrents that use laser beams, water spray, movements, and sounds. Homemade bird repellers like aluminium pie tins on strings, cassette tape or iridescent strips of tape, and ribbon that wave in the wind; scarecrows; or tape-recorded predator sounds.
Bird Scare Lines – Bird Scare lines are easy to use bird repellent, they are harmless to birds, plants, and animals and are inaudible to the human ear. It is an effective bird deterrent made of polypropylene tape, which keeps birds off plants, fruits, and vegetables. It does by emitting an ever-varying sound and vibration that birds won’t go near in gardens. The sound it makes changes constantly so that birds and wildlife cannot get used to it. This process is safe, simple, durable, and easy to use. It is close to plants and it will start to emit the vibration as the wind hits it. It also deters rabbits and other pests.
This technique may work in protecting your garden from both birds and animals.
How to Scare Away Birds in Crops
- Turn on a portable radio and then place it near the plants in your garden. The noise from the radio will make the birds away from the plants. Also, play a recording of bird distress calls, which tell oncoming birds in the garden that they’re nearing danger.
- Hang scary balloons around the garden plants that might fall victim to birds. Buy these balloons, which have a scary face painted on them, at a local garden center or metallic balloons and hanging them up around crops.
- Position a scarecrow between targeted garden plants or use a decoy of a hawk or owl to scare away birds.
3. Repellents and Deterrents
You can purchase chemical controls but be wary about using any spray that can be harmful to inhale or ingest. Garlic oil is an effective chemical bird repellent but it should be reapplied frequently due to weather.
There are few birds repelling devices available, these can be placed anywhere in the garden and can cover substantial areas. The best electronic devices are the solar-powered variety that emits ultrasonic signals that are uncomfortable to birds. There are electronic repellents that loudly emit the sounds of hawks and eagles but these can extremely annoying if required anywhere close to the garden. Various nutrients based deterrent sprays and solutions are also available. This technique may work in protecting your garden from both birds and animals.
4. Bird Netting
Bird netting is probably an effective form of barrier protection for plants. It is a garden mesh protection net that offers excellent butterfly and bird control for the garden. Also, it can be used to protect garden ponds from birds and leaves. Making it difficult for birds to access your garden will stop them from destroying it, some netting placed across freshly planted seeds or seedlings will keep them away and give your garden a chance.
Scarecrows work well as bird deterrents in gardens. If you are making your scarecrow, be sure to make it lightweight and easy to move, so that you can simply relocate it weekly to keep the birds on their toes. Also, changing the scarecrow’s outfit or accessories from time to time will help as well.
Scarecrows are a tried-and-true process for scaring birds away from crops, which is usually the best way to keep birds out of your garden. Aside from being an effective way of keeping crows away from your crops, you can also have a lot of fun with this one and can even get the kids involved.
6. Terror eyes balloon
The most widely-used bird deterrent method is the terror eyes balloon. The large and yellow ball moves easily in a light breeze. The big eyes that are printed on the ball can scare birds in the garden. Purchase terror eye balloons at a gardening center or make your own.
That’s all folks about protecting your garden from animals and birds. In case, if you are interested in this: Growing Indoor Plants In Winter.