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Planting greens in hanging strips and containers around your homestead adds beauty to the surroundings. They can be vegetables, fruit plants, or other plants that add value to your yard. It is also an innovative way of utilizing the space around your compound and using it to grow your own food!
However, as you plant these crops, of course, with good intentions, remember that you have local wildlife in the neighborhood. This includes squirrels, rabbits, and moles. Unfortunately, they are also interested in your container plants.
Shielding your potted plants or perching them some feet tall from animals brings in an additional budget. But investing in it is worth it, as it helps you maintain your container garden.
It is best to find ways and means of protecting your potted plants without causing human-to-animal conflict.
Besides animals that prey on your container plants, there are also plant pests that need controlling.
Hence, before you take a trip to your local garden center to acquire seedlings, let’s consider what requirements you need to put in place for successful organic gardening.
Here we go!
Protect your garden.
Since you want to protect your container garden from different animals and pests, you should take a multi-faceted approach. Fencing alone is not sufficient to control different animals and pests. You must use several different deterrents.
For example, one way to protect your garden from hungry animals is to plant greens that have a repulsive scent around the vegetable garden. Another example, to limit rabbit damage, you need plant covers like wire mesh or synthetic fabric to be installed around the plants.
As mentioned, protecting your vulnerable plants comes with an extra budget. But this is all worth it when you see your plants thriving!
Whatever method you choose to manage your container garden, it is possible to make your potted garden critter-proof. For example, once you know the type of animal that feeds on your crops, erecting tall fences is a good option.
Now fencing alone may not suffice until you reinforce the barbed wire with an additional chain link wire mesh.
But while a chain link fence prevents animals from getting in and limits rabbit damage to your container plants, birds would still have access to them. You will need another protection for that.
Best Garden Protection from Animals
Check your plants for pest infestations before fencing the entire perimeter surrounding your container garden. You need to do this every day so you can figure out the best way to solve it.
An easy way to do this is to schedule the inspections alongside your watering routine (morning and evening.)
While inspecting your plants’ roots, stems, potting soil, and leaves, ensure you do so thoroughly. This will help you know what type of pesticides you need for spraying. Many pests like to perch underneath the leaves, another area to scrutinize thoroughly.
Some pests are beneficial because they feed on insects that would otherwise destroy your container plants. If you cannot identify the pests, best to seek advice from the local garden center.
How to Identify Intruders In Your Container Garden
Here are the most common animals that may interfere in your garden.
Nocturnal visitors like deer may leave footprints that you can identify quickly. They tend to tear off woody or strong-stemmed herbs in addition to snipping herbaceous plants (sometimes wiping them out completely).
Rabbits can target herbaceous plants as well as woody plants. You’d identify this if you found pellets dropping around the affected plant.
Squirrels love to dig out planted seeds from under the soil. So when you find your flower bulbs exposed to the potting soil, the culprit is probably a squirrel. They also split open nut husks, leaving debris around the plant.
Birds create holes in ripe fruits or may even take off with them before you realize it.
Tips to Keep Away Garden Pests and Protect Your Garden
Protect your container garden from local animals by following the tips outlined below.
1. Use fencing or chicken wire to keep out animals.
Gardeners must protect plants in their gardens, whether in the backyard or the fields. Aside from animals and pests, weather elements such as frost also interfere with the health of your growing plants. The roots of plants exposed to plenty of sunlight but lacking sufficient water would still die.
Likewise, wildlife that feeds on your new plants can wreak havoc on your container garden crops. Rabbits, for instance, enjoy nibbling on sprouting shoots in flower pots. Knowing the type of animals that prey on your crops, you need to erect a perimeter fence around your container garden.
Raise the height of your fence, keeping in mind the type of animals you want to prevent from accessing your plants. While a taller fence would suffice to keep the deer at bay, a chicken-wire fence would do the trick for most rodents like rats, squirrels, rabbits, etc. A fence at least eight feet high can deter deer from jumping over it.
Fencing materials vary in size and quality. However, whichever type you pick for your fencing, ensure you plant it in a rut below ground level. Doing so will deter animals from digging into the garden, thereby keeping hungry critters away.
Chicken wire, often used as a garden fabric, is less pricey and works best for little rodents and birds.
2. Grow less tasty plants.
When animals experience drought or famine and are hungry most of the time, they chew any plant. However, planting certain plants whose scent or taste is repulsive to animals would help deter them from going closer to your garden plants.
These plants have prickles, are fuzzy, or have a strong scent. You’ll always find them growing in the wild around your neighborhood.
3. Plant thorny plants around the edges of your garden.
Planting thorny shrubs around the perimeter fence is an effective way to protect your container garden from intruding animals. Excellent examples include holly, blackberries, and roses.
Most animals will not penetrate their thorns when these plants are densely knit together. Hence, thorny plants are an effective barrier to large and small animals.
Aside from that, they add different aesthetics to your garden when they’re well-cured.
4. Grow plants in raised beds.
Indeed, you will need finances to implement the animal-deterrent measures outlined above. However, you still have other options to protect your plants in flower pots from the ravages of your predatory wildlife, like growing plants in raised beds.
Growing new plants in elevated beds or pots means no more nibbling of your veggies by rodents and other animals.
Raising the potted plants above three feet tall will protect them from rabbit damage. You can also wrap a piece of garden fabric around the brim of the container.
Place your pots on high railings, while window boxes are also an excellent place to plant your seedlings. This technique ensures your plants are out of reach of most animals.
5. Install proximity-sensor detectors.
Small edible bushes dotting your homestead area are the best way to liven up your compound. They do attract hungry animals, nonetheless.
To keep your container garden plants growing to their full potential, you need failsafe fencing features. Installing proximity motion sensors is also effective in scaring animals away.
Proximity sensors trigger a flashing light burst whenever an object goes near the sensing circuitry. During the night, when nocturnal predators come hunting for your potted plants, this scares them off, never to return!
Of course, proximity detectors also help deter would-be burglars, thus making your homestead a safe place to dwell in. Electric proximity sensors can be either battery-driven or by the electrical power supply.
6. Scare away unwanted animals.
Keep intruder animals away from your container gardening to maintain it as a peaceful place for your family by introducing objects to scare them away. This would keep animals from invading your herbaceous and woody plants.
For example, electric-operated scarecrows are available these days. Any animal coming closer to them triggers an instant water spray on the intruder, thanks to proximity sensors.
Also, keeping pets outdoors, such as cats or dogs like the German shepherd breed, would help scare wild animals away.
Additionally, spraying some repellant around the perimeter fence, such as predator urine, hot paper, and chili powder, would scare off animals from your beautiful container garden.
These days, innovative electronic repellents with motion or proximity sensors let out loud, frightening shrieks to scare off animals.
7. Get rid of snails and slugs.
The most typical garden pests are snails and slugs. These tiny animals may be slow-moving, but they can wreak havoc on your container plants.
Many times, they consume their weight in foliage per night. The best remedy would be to apply some powder containing sharp, tiny granules that hurt slugs and snails. However, these tiny animals can still find their way into raised beds despite these measures.
Now here’s a more innovative measure. In a shallow can, pour a small amount of beer. Put the container’s brim at the same level as the soil and bury it in the soil. The smell of beer attracts snails and slugs, and in the process, they get drowned in the beer can trap. Refresh the beer daily.
Yes, you can protect your container garden from animals!
Container gardening is the best and most innovative way to begin organic gardening. Implementing container gardening is straightforward and requires few resources. You can plant greens in flower pots around your homestead and patio.
Now while it might feel like it will take a lot of work, protecting your plants from animals is a must if you want your container garden to thrive. But with the tips we have outlined here, we’re confident you’ll be able to do that for your garden!
Need more tips on container gardening? Check these out!
- 10 Practical Container Gardening Tips for Beginners
- Herbs for Container Garden – All You Should Know
- 20 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles for Gardening