Animals In The Garden
Creatures and critters of all shapes and sizes are guaranteed to get into something that you don't want them to and your garden is the perfect place to have this happen.
When creating and maintaining your garden area remember that what looks good to you is going to look absolutely yummy to a number of other creatures too. Most animals don't understand yours, mine, or boundary signs. It's in their nature to want to prepare for their future by gathering and storing food for future use just as this same principle is embedded in your thought processes.
Keep your sense of humor about you and work at humane ways to outwit or outsmart the competitors for your garden’s bounty, it's the environmentally friendly thing to do. There are some animals that you want in the garden and others that you don't. So let's take a look at some humane ways to trick those critters out of your garden or backyard space.
Do you know what to do when the local wildlife starts visiting your vegetable garden? Deer love newly grown broccoli, squirrels and chipmunks love strawberries, wild turkeys love raspberries, and gophers love the delicious pea roots that hang down into their neighborhood. If you are someone who doesn't mind sharing your bounty with an abundance of forest creatures then this shouldn't be a problem for you.
However if you are someone who wants to keep your hard earned produce for yourself and your family then you are going to have to take a few measures to humanely protect your garden from the many creatures out there who feel that it is just as rightly theirs as yours.
Gophers, moles, shrews and other underground burrowers in the garden? These underground burrowers are perhaps the easiest creatures to discourage from your garden. A Gopher is a laid back little creature that just wants to live his quiet little life, and not have a lot of noise, or excitement in it. He likes to enjoy the nice hot summer sunshine, but he also likes to burrow down under for a good long nap, and he doesn't enjoy any annoyances while he is doing it! It makes him nervous.
Gophers and other underground burrowers do not like vibration, noise or a lot of other disturbances so add these effects into your garden and he is not going to like living there. A few well placed whirly gigs throughout your garden area can create a nice series of vibrations occurring on windy days and this vibration can be just enough of an annoyance to encourage your little visitor to move on to a calmer location.
A generous sprinkling of whirly gigs across the affected area will encourage small burrowing creatures to move on their way. If the ground is shaking then these little guys get nervous. They figure something is trying to catch them so they pack up their little bags and head off to a safer local.
You can also purchase a sonic gopher pole or post which is a battery operated device that when planted in the ground emits a series of vibrations or waves every few seconds. Or you can really go environmentally friendly and purchase a windmill, this method not only eliminates your underground critter problems but also affords you a little extra wind powered electricity at the same time.
Note: If you are growing grains or grain products then no worries. Gophers cannot exist on just a grassy diet so keep your broadleaf weeds at bay and you won't have to worry about a gopher problem.
You don’t want to accidentally poison our pollinators so going natural really is important. Some creatures are a necessary element of our gardens. Pollinators are vital to the replenishment of many of our trees and crops. The berry bushes and trees need them and they in return need these flowers to survive. Nature, insects, animals, and man are reliant on each other in many ways.
Garden mishaps happen. Man and the local wildlife or insect population can run into conflicts with each other. There is nothing unnatural in the local wildlife population wanting to grab a free meal when one presents itself. They feed from the land around them.
Many animals are a lot like us in that they like to put a little food away when it is in abundant supply. Animals not only want to satisfy their immediate food needs, but they also want to prepare for their future by gathering, and storing food for future use.
If food is available to the local wildlife then they are going to help themselves to a share of it. They definitely live by the "what is yours is mine" principle and see no reason why you wouldn't be willing to share the Earth's bounty with them. Earth's bounty meaning your garden and all of its contents.
After all, we are all just trying to enjoy our lives, human and critter alike so keep your sense of humor about you and work at humane ways to outwit or outsmart those that you don't want in your garden area. Use your imagination, creativity, and supposedly superior mind power, as well as a few wildlife friendly tactics to keep the competitors for your garden’s bounty away from it.
Logically you could provide them with their own little area of the garden to help encourage them out of yours or you could try to outwit them.
If squirrels and chipmunks are in your backyard and happily munching out on your birdseed when you don't want them then check out the critter proof bird feeders on the market to outwit their devious plans. Squirrels have a difficult time finding a way to outwit these devices. Expect them to return a few times though as squirrels are quite a determined animal and they are going to want to see if they can figure a way to outsmart this interesting device.
If you enjoy a squirrels antics then the squirrel friendly Twirl-a-squirrel is a metal wheel with four appendages on which you place cobs of corn or other food matter. The entire version of the Twirl-a-squirrel attaches to a tree or pole within your yard and when the squirrel tries to acquire the corn the contraption begins to spin with or without the squirrel on it. The squirrel is rewarded for his time and effort but he also puts on quite a show in his attempts to outwit this elusive feeder.
Squirrels are highly intelligent and persistent little critters and many feeders take those factors into account. These little guys have smarts when it comes to hunting out a free meal. If you enjoy watching their antics and would like them to visit there are number of gadgets on the market to entice them to your yard.
If you don't mind sharing your bird food bounty with the little tree scurrying creatures out there then you won't have much of a conflict with squirrels but because these cute rodents tend to bury the main bulk of their stolen loot most people like to keep their feeders strictly for the birds. It turns out that flies, fleas, ants, mice, rats, and moles are not too thrilled with the scent of peppermint. This oil can be used to naturally control a few pests of these pests from specific areas of your home, garage, vehicle, or yard.
A mixture of peppermint oil, dish liquid, and water can also help to naturally control wasps. Just insure that it is wasps that you are killing and not bees. Our pollinators are having a pretty rough time out there and it is up to us to do everything we can to help them out. A quick tip to identify the difference between bees and wasps is their furriness. Bees are furry and wasps are not.
Do you know how to stop deer from going into your garden? Where deer are concerned a high mesh metal fence or a barking dog will generally keep them out of your yard area but if you want an open garden area then you might want to offend their sensitive little noses instead.
It is a fact that deer do not like human hair and it can provide a barrier that they will not cross. So you might want to visit your local barber to see if you can regularly pick up some of his local trimmings. Most barbers are only too willing to share this amusing and effective deer deterrent with those who need it. An egg sized ball of hair can then be placed in mesh bags and these set around the perimeters of your garden to effectively keep deer out.
There are a number of commercially produced deer repellents that work on this same principle and these can be used safely and humanely. Note that if are using hair that it does need to be replaced about every four to six weeks to remain effective. Hair, as well as purchased scent powders or sprays that are used for creating this invisible deer border around your garden area must be reapplied on a regular basis or after each rain. Manufactured scents are available at most garden centers.
Have you got crows, wild turkeys, or other flying, hopping, scooting winged critters in the garden? Many birds are beneficial to a yard and garden space as they have a tendency to chow down on destructive pests so generally they are not a problem to concern yourself with. Birds can eat their weight in insects and bugs so generally they trade off what they take in other staples with the natural pest control benefit they provide.
If you feel that you are being taken advantage of then there are humane ways for you to keep the local birds at bay. Although appropriate fencing or a barking dog will work to keep most wilderness creatures out of your garden area, flying creatures can be a different matter altogether. Flying pests will simply hop onto a perch and wait for a safe time to drop by for dinner. It is for this reason that they can definitely take a little more maneuvering to out smart.
For crows, wild turkeys, squirrels, cats, dogs, rabbits and other hopping, running or flying critters one of the greatest new inventions is that of the Garden scarecrow. This wonderful little device is motion activated and shoots a very powerful burst of water at whatever creature wanders or flutters within it's range. Humane, and an excellent deterrent for a wide variety of creatures, it is well worth the small one time purchase price for this very handy and amusing form of pest control.
Creatures get the message quickly and it doesn't take them long to figure out that this enemy is always on guard. They quickly move on to easier hunting grounds.
Owls in the wild consume a number of creatures in its diet and the animals it preys on know it so a decorative owl ornamental is a humane way to chase away unwanted wilderness creatures like crows, rodents, chipmunks, and squirrels. Scarecrows come in a variety of sizes, shapes and forms, and there are Garden Owls that hoot, or turn and wobble their heads in the wind. Having a motion sensor owl sitting in your garden can give the wise old crow a little something to think about the next time he considers dropping by for lunch at your place. It's the humane way to chase crows away.
There are also solar powered Garden Owls to scare the daylights out of unwanted visitors. These Owls in addition to keeping your garden produce safe from wandering creatures also really adds an interesting, and decorative touch to the garden, flowerbed, or shrubbery area of yards.
Be humane to the other creatures who share our planet with us. Sometimes we may feel a little arrogant and believe that we are the sole owners of this great planet that we live on but the truth is that there are a number of other beings that exist here along side us. They have just as much right to this old land as we do. Sometimes it would even seem that they have more respect for it than we do so play nice out there and share.
If you enjoy the company of the local creatures and critters then you might actually want to encourage them to your yard. In which case you might want to implant a few devices for their amusement as well as for your own.
Birds, raccoons, deer, chipmunks, squirrels and many other creatures can be attracted to your outdoor space to provide an atmosphere that is at once entertaining, and relaxing. These wilderness pets are great for hundreds of hours of entertainment, and there are some pretty wacky products out there, that are designed with the sole intent of encouraging these wild pets to frequent your yard on a regular basis.
Birdhouses, birdbaths and bird feeders come in virtually any size, shape, or theme that you can imagine, and these items can be easily used to create a wonderfully magical atmosphere within your outdoor area. You can find Birdhouses designed as castles, country cabins, churches, barns, and gazebos, let your imagination go wild.
Simply choose your theme, and then add bird houses, birdbaths and bird feeders to match the atmosphere that you have decided to create. Try to avoid plastics whenever possible. They are not good for the environment or the little creatures who might accidentally ingest them. Whenever possible stick to wood, glass, pottery, or metal items to decorate your yard.
Fountains and natural backyard pools? Flowers and fountains are always great for creating a magical little land within your outdoor space. The new solar power fountains and lighting options are fabulous and eco-friendly as well. It's now easy and economical to go green.
If you want to get the neighbors talking add a special magical touch to your flowerbeds and design a miniature wonderland for creatures that normally would not otherwise visit. You could design a fairy wonderland complete with colorful butterfly accessories, water pools, and dancing fairies statuettes. Or perhaps a land of leprechauns with tiny pathways leading to tiny little mushroom houses, and a black kettle or pot filled with golden rocks to complete the image of the pot of gold.
Rainbows can be painted onto backdrops or put in place through the strategic planting of flowers. These can also be created by using crystals to reflect light into the water of a fountain. It's your wacky little world, so you decide on the theme that you want to create there, and then go wild.
When creating, and maintaining your garden area, just know that what looks good to you is going to look absolutely yummy to a number of other creatures too. Be kind to the little creatures and critters who trot, hop, flutter, slither, and scamper through your neck of the woods.