Having your beloved garden turned into a salad bar by local wildlife, while very frustrating, doesn’t have to be hopeless! Here are some tried and true methods for dealing with critters dining, uninvited, on your landscape.
Repellants: Dried blood or urine (yes, you really can buy this) and purchased or homemade sprays combining garlic, soap, pepper, etc. can be helpful if reapplied regularly.
Barriers: Fencing for deer is most often electric or high enough to prevent jumping over. Double fences 4-5 feet tall, with a 4-5 foot gap between, or walls of wide shrubs, also deter leaping deer. For rabbits, fencing should not have any openings bigger than two inches and should be sunk into the ground several inches, or firmly stapled to the bottom of raised bed walls. Tree wraps can provide protection from chewing to the tasty and tender trunks of young trees.
Scare Tactics: Water, light or sounds triggered by motion detectors can be used to spook furry visitors away from precious plantings.
Variety Selection: There are many plants possessing a taste or smell that is offensive to four-legged nibblers. While no plant is one hundred percent safe during times of extreme drought or hunger, choosing less palatable varieties will help to keep your landscape lush more often than not.
For more detailed information on the identification and control of animals foraging your landscape and for products and plants to help in the battle to repel them, visit:
British Forestry Commission (details for I.D. of what mammals are damaging your trees)
Deer Resistant Plants Landscape Nursery (plants, fencing, repellants, books)