Friday, May 8, 2009

Critters Keep Away

This time of the year looks like a fantasy land in my neck of the woods. The abundant blooms on the flowering trees, the colorful spring flowers, and the eye popping green grass combine to make a gorgeous setting much like something Disney himself would paint for one of his animated movies. Add the great sunshine and blue skies today to make it an Oscar winning day!

Unfortunately there always has to be the bad guy in a movie, and the ones spoiling our setting are the deer. They love to nibble on the tulips. We put a netting over them earlier this spring to save them but removed it recently to allow the tulips to rise and open. Needless to say other varmints are in the area too such as rabbits and squirrels. They are also apt to make our garden their number one dining room this summer, so what do you do?

My husband has learned to put up a fence around our garden early in the spring, even before he plants. It is only about three feet tall, but somehow it trains the deer not to step in or bother our plants by being up early. I know it sounds crazy, but we had real good luck with this little fence last year.

Some gardeners rely on liquid sprays to keep the animals away, but the rains will wash them off. I have never used them. I wonder how effective they are and how costly.

I have heard that some folks plant a special plot for the deer, but I don't know how they would stay in that one area after tasting the goodies in the plot. Unfortunately they can't read a sign that says "Deer Only." LOL

Blood meal, urine, dirty hair clippings, marigolds around the perimeter of the garden are suggested ways of keeping away the hungry critters. Have you found anything that works?

Birds love to hit our strawberries, but we have learned to place netting over those plants, and it helps. Simply hanging aluminum throw-away pie tins also helps to keep the birds away when the plates blow around and flash in the sunshine.

So what are your stories about critters in the garden? Good luck on keeping your plants and produce for you and your family and not for the wild animals.

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