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Protecting Your Garden From Curious Pets and Other Critters

Protecting your garden from pets & critters which wander in might seem impossible. These simple tips will help you do so using natural, safe & cruelty free methods to keep them out of your growing areas.

A gray tabby cat hides amongst ground cover in the garden below him a text reads: Protecting Your Garden From Curious Pets and Other Critters

Written By: Gwen Lewis

For those of us who enjoy gardening, we may also love animals and our pets and sometimes combine these can be complicated. The term “curiosity killed the cat” may come to mind when thinking about the inquisitive nature of felines, but cats, dogs and other forms of outdoor wildlife can wreak havoc in our gardens.

Size Doesn’t Matter

When it comes to destructive behavior from dogs, many people may imagine larger canines causing the most damage. But many smaller canines can be just as brutal to our outdoor spaces, especially our gardens and flowerbeds. For example, many smaller breeds of dogs are very accomplished diggers who like to root around and are inherently curious by nature.

a large dog hunched down digging a big hole in the garden

Aside from some obvious solutions like fencing, keeping our pets indoors, always leashed or tied up whenever they’re outside, but here are some other ways to keep our plants and gardens safe from these unwanted behaviors and curious creatures:

Training and Deterrents

In the best case scenario, you could train your pet to stay out of your gardening space, but this doesn’t guarantee 100% protection and doesn’t take into consideration other animals.
Thankfully, there are some safe deterrents you can use to keep our pets (and other critters) away from this growing area:

Carefully placed sticks, rocks, and stones:

Many animals enjoy laying on the smooth, cool surfaces that many gardens provide and damaging plants in the process. Depending on the size of the critters you’re discouraging from lounging here, some scattered stones and well-placed sticks will have them seeking another snooze area someplace else.

Motion activated sprinklers:

Just like porch lights that activate when someone (or something) walks nearby, this same technology can be installed in conjunction with a sprinkler system. These curious critters will soon learn they’re not welcome here without either harming them or damaging your plants.

Add some aroma and spice:

There are many odors that animals aren’t particularly fond of and we can use these to our advantage around our plants. Many pets don’t like the smell of things like coffee grounds (an excellent, natural fertilizer), powdered mustard or crushed peppers that can be used as a line of defense around our plants or flower beds.

Modern-day scarecrows:

Obviously, scarecrows were made to ward off birds, and not very effectively at that and seldom seen or even used nowadays. If there is something visual that your pet isn’t particularly fond of, in some cases it could be something as simple as a balloon, you can use these around your garden. Try out some “trial and error” methods by inserting new items in and around your growing regions to ward off pets, wildlife, and other pests.

a big black dog laying next to raised vegetable beds in the garden

Newer items available on the marketplace will deter animals from invading certain spaces. Things like reflective tape and large, brightly colored orbs have been successfully utilized as a way to ward off predatory birds and may also work on other critters. Lifelike recreations of animals like coyotes, owls and other forms of wildlife can also be very effective in some cases.

Keeping animals outside of our gardening area not only protects our harvest, it also helps to keep them safe at the same time. Certain pesticides, fertilizers and even different types of plants (and their parts) can be hazardous to pets and wildlife. Using natural methods to deter animals away from our garden is what’s best for everyone (and everything) involved.

About Gwen Lewis

Gwen Lewis is a writer who lives in California. She has been in the health and lifestyle industry for years and loves writing on this topic to give tips from experience. In her free time, she loves to stay active and has just taken on learning how to surf.

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