Picture a blueberry bush in early June, each branch full of round berries that are varying shades of green. One or two of them have a slight tinge of purple, but in a few days they will be a rich range of blues and purples. Unless the birds and squirrels get them first. How do you keep the wildlife from chowing down on your garden? Especially now, as we move into fall and food becomes scarce, read on for gardening tips to protect your plants.
Cover or Fence Your Plants
Consider adding fencing around your garden and placing netting over your bushes to repel the hungry critters. This is where it is helpful to know what species your visitor is, so take some time to try and determine that. Deer will require a tall fence that keeps them from jumping into your garden. Most deer will be deterred by a 4 foot fence, but if you have many living in your area and competing for food, you may need to go as tall as 8 feet. Groundhogs, however, can burrow, so you have to sink the fencing at least 10 inches deep in the soil to keep them out. For your berries, plastic bird netting is your best bet. Cover the bushes about a week before the berries ripen so that the fruit is still there when it is ready. Finally, when possible, plant in containers that you can move indoors, keeping them safe.
Repel Them When Possible
The ideal scenario is to keep critters out of your garden from the very beginning so they never find out that you are a food source. However, it’s August now, so it’s a little late. The best you can do is to make your garden less enticing to them. Consider planting things that are less appealing to your critters, like fuzzy or prickly plants or plants that have a really strong smell. Look around your neighborhood to see what they have left alone and bring some of that into your landscaping. Alternatively, you can try to scare the critters away with metallic streamers or even a scarecrow. Once the animals get used to it, it wont work anymore, so you have to consistently move things around. Finally, consider chemical repellants, usually odor or taste based. They are designed to make the animal not want to eat the plant again, not to hurt them, but they tend to be pretty hit or miss.
CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS FOR YOUR LANDSCAPING NEEDS
Evergreen Gene’s offers professional landscaping and maintenance services through the state of Maryland. We are here to make sure your gardens and grounds look as beautiful as possible year-round. Interested in how we can help your garden look its best? Give us a call at (410) 766-6877 or visit us online. To see examples of our work and get more helpful gardening tips, follow us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Houzz, and Twitter.