As spring approaches families are preparing to plant, grow, and harvest their own backyard fruit and vegetable gardens. To ensure a large harvest here are some important tips to help deter both birds and critters away from backyard gardens.
Although the presence of some animals may be good for backyard gardens there are a lot of critters that farmers will need to keep a close eye on. These critters include birds such as crows and sparrows as well as land critters ranging from squirrels to raccoons all the way down to even frogs. If farmers are not careful or consistent than their crops could be completely ravaged through in just a matter of a few days. To prevent this possibility from happening specific methods should be taken in order to help deter birds and critters that prey upon crops.
The first method to deter both birds and critters is to establish one or more physical barriers. Chain linked fences, barbed wire fences, and fences made of wood will help keep the majority of animals from entering into the perimeter of the garden. Overhead nets that can be suspended above the garden will also prevent birds from flying in and out and still allow the plants to bask in the same amount of sunlight.
Flood lights and other motion sensor lights that are installed strategically around the garden will help deter animals such as raccoons and deer from rummaging through crops during the night. As for during the day objects such as scarecrows will help ward away birds that feed off of crops within the garden. Shiny objects such as tinfoil and mylar will help to confuse birds by reflecting sunlight thus creating a distraction that will prevent the birds from feasting upon the fruits and vegetables.
Taste and Odor Aversions
Animals such as squirrels and moles can be easily deterred from gardens by simply spraying a red pepper solution around the crops. This is a popular organic solution that does not harm any fruits or vegetables once used. Another popular organic method that is commonly used by farmers is to spray predator urine around the outside of the garden. Predator urine, such as fox urine, is especially useful for preventing deer from entering the garden and rummaging through food at all hours of the day. Predator urine is also available in powder form so that it won’t wash away or evaporate as easily.
“Warding Off Destructive Animals from the Garden.” By Brandy Brabham. West Virginia University Extension Service Roane County Agriculture Agent.