You don't have to turn to harsh chemicals or man-made deterrents.
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Garden Eating Flowers in a Garden
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Nothing is more rewarding than watching your hard work pay off in the garden come summertime when you're busy creating beautiful arrangements for your interiors or harvesting fresh vegetables for the kitchen. But just planting your garden isn't enough-you'll need to do more than water your plants and flowers throughout the growing season to have flowers, fruit, or vegetables to harvest in the months to come. The key to growing a successful garden is to repel pests and prevent small critters and animals from chewing up your hard work. Gardens play an important role in your local ecosystem, however, which means using chemicals to deter animals from your garden could lead to negative ripple effects elsewhere.

According to Lauri Kranz, author of the upcoming book A Garden Can Be Anywhere and one of the creative minds behind the Edible LA gardens, there are a few ways you can keep animals from eating and tromping on your plants and flowers without resorting to potentially toxic chemicals. To get rid of vegetable-ravaging critters, art by attra ing their predators: "Owls, for example, eat mice, so having them near means fewer rodents over time," she says. Kranz shares that there are nonprofit organizations-such as the Hungry Owl Project-that can help you install nesting boxes for garden-friendly animals. You'll keep your garden safe and also provide a natural habitat for another animal in need.

Protect the Goods

Drape bird netting over plants, propping it up on strategically placed trellises or bamboo poles. This material (such as Heqishun's Anti-Bird Netting) is designed to keep birds away from younger crops and fledgling fruit-bearing trees-but if its mesh is small enough, it also can be used to prevent certain bugs from eating leaves, too.

Turn Them Off

Did you know that pungent herbs and fresh garlic can actually deter small animals and even deer from entering your garden? Kranz says you should plant herbs like oregano around your garden's perimeter to keep animals out-and also add to the beauty of your garden.

Block Their Way

Lastly, you can build a fence around your most vulnerable crops and plantings. Build a fence, burying its wire-mesh base several inches deep and bending it outward to create an apron, which deters digging.


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