By Ashley O'Connor
“Managing deer and other wildlife in your garden;” that was the topic of Kathy Jentz’s recent class at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. The publisher and editor of Washington Gardener told an attentive audience of 16 how to humanely handle pesky animals destroying their home gardens. Some of her tried and true tips are below.
For Managing Deer:
- Cage small saplings during the fall to protect them from antler rubbings
- The first line of defense is your dog, just make sure he/she is leashed and no closer than 15 feet from a deer
- Use mesh fencing around property perimeters, but be sure to bring the mesh to the ground (This will prevent the deer from slipping under)
- Sprinkle the border of your garden with used cat-litter; they hate it!
Moles and Voles:
- Use peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball to deter these critters
- Clean up rotting fruit on the beds of your gardens
- Scare these birds off with fake rubber snakes
- Plant chicken-wire in an L-shape facing out around your vegetable beds
- soak bird seed in a "flaming squirrel seed sauce” like Cole's brand
- Incorporate sharp gravel or Chicken grit into your garden, it won’t hurt them, but the texture will irritate their paws
Dealing with multiple creatures at once? Try an activated motion sprinkler. It’s a great way to scare off any creature, just remember to move its location every few weeks during the season.
About the Author:
Ashley O’Connor, a senior multi-platform journalist at the University of Maryland. This autumn, she is an editorial intern at Washington Gardener.