How to Repel Furry Friends from Your Garden

How to Repel Furry Friends from Your Garden

Step 1: Identify your uninvited guests. Stake out your garden by sitting very still within eyeshot (camouflage not necessary but totally fun and fashionable) or farther away with a pair of binoculars. Then, check again at night, using the beam of a flashlight to illuminate your patch. If you catch rabbits, squirrels, or deer using your garden as a buffet table, proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Repel the critters. Make your veggies less tasty (for them, not for you) with a hot pepper spray, which is often too fiery for animal (and insect) palates. Buy some or make your own by tossing a few hot chili peppers into your blender with 2 cups water. Blend on high for 2 minutes. Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth into to a spray bottle and top off with water. Shake, and spray on your veggies once a week. (Skip your fruit, as it may leave a slightly peppery flavor.) Another option: Sprinkle mothballs around the perimeter of your garden. See which one works better, or alternate between the two.

Step 3: Distract those furballs. Set up a feeding station, like a bird feeder, far away from your garden to steer their attention away from your crops.

Step 4: Set up a barrier. Try a two-foot-high fence around your garden, or individual mesh cages around each plant. If you’ve just planted, you can even lay chicken wire directly over the ground.

More tips:

  • Make your yard less appealing to hungry critters by putting lids on your garbage cans and keeping the area clear of debris.
  • No hot peppers handy? Try blending a clove of garlic, a small onion, and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper with water; strain, add water, and spray.
  • If you’ve got burrowing guests, like woodchucks, you may have to bury the bottom of your fences a foot deep. Eventually, they’ll give up and go away.

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