Growing vegetables and fruits in a raised bed is a tasty, rewarding, but challenging activity. It is because your pets and outside animals are always excited to enter your garden and eat the fruits. Pets and wild animals are stubborn, so keeping them away from the raised garden bed isn’t easy. But there are some methods that you can follow to keep the animals away from your plants.
Pets like Cats, dogs, rabbits, and mice or wild animals like deer, cows, squirrels, and birds can harm your raised garden beds. You can keep your pets and animals away from your raised bed by fencing, growing repulsive plants, using animal repellents, adding scarecrows, or netting the pants.
This article discusses 12 ways to prevent animals from entering your raised garden beds. Read this article carefully for a better understanding.
What common pets and outside animals can enter your raised garden bed?
It is important first to discover what type of animal is eating the plants in your raised garden bed.
Only then can you select the right management method to keep the animals away from your raised bed.
Knowing more about the animal type will help you make strategies against them.
The animals can show the following signs:
- Dear: The dear will mostly come to your garden if you have herbaceous or tear woody plants. Another sign of a deer visit is that they leave tracts on the soil.
- Rabbits: The rabbits like feeding on young, green, tender plants, making sharp cuts on the leaves. They also leave pellet droppings.
- Birds: The birds make holes in the fruits and veggies and can steal them before they rip.
- Squirrels: The squirrels feed on seeds and nuts and make holes. They also split shells and dig up flower bulbs.
- Dog: The dogs will leave their footprints on the raised beds. They often dig in the soil and play with the plants.
- Cats: The cats can be curious about the new plants in your garden. They can defecate and urinate the soil and make the place unpleasant.
Other following pests, groundhogs, mice, raccoons, rats, moles, and skunks, are common invaders that can enter your raised beds.
Also read: 7 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Bugs Eating Garden Plants
12 ways to prevent animals from entering your raised garden beds
1. Fence the raised garden bed
You can fence your raised garden bed to prevent pests and unwanted visitors from entering your vegetable garden.
Various fencing options are available, and you can select any of them to stop the animals from jumping into your vegetable garden.
They are the most effective way to protect your raised bed from animals. However, it is costly and requires some effort for their installation.
Keep the following factors in mind while fencing your raised garden bed.
- Mostly the fence is constructed to cover the entire raised bed.
- The style and type of fence material are totally on you. You can use materials like plastic, metals, and wood to build it.
- Some fence has an electrical setting, so they can shock any animal that touches them.
2. Plant some less tasty plants
You can plant less tasty and unattractive plants around your raised garden bed to stop the animals from entering the garden.
When the animals are hungry, they will eat anything.
But certain types of plants are less appealing to them.
These plants are mostly highly aromatic, fuzzy, and prickly.
You can keep these plants to prevent the animals from entering the garden.
3. Protect the new plants
If you have bought new seeds at your home from the nursery or if your seeds have started sprouting, animals can get attracted to them.
Since the plant’s size will be small, it will be difficult for them to recover from the grazing damage.
If you have new plants and shrubs, you can protect them by installing a fence or trunk wraps.
You can put a light net cover over the planter box.
4. Keep pots on the fence of raised beds
One way to protect the garden from animals is by elevating the pots or planting in raised beds.
A raised bed of 2 feet or taller will prevent the small animals from entering, especially if they have added a short fence on the top.
Over the fence railing, you can arrange pots or try growing plants in window boxes to keep bunnies and deer away.
5. Grow plants that the animals dislike
If you are aware of which animals are sneaking into your raised garden bed, try growing plants which is repulsive to them.
The animals will be less likely to enter the garden if they dislike that specific plant.
You can grow these plants to prevent them from entering your raised garden bed:-
- Plant Marigolds, boxwood, azalea, peony, or lamb ear to keep away rabbits.
- Plant daffodils, hyssop, mullein, and blending hearts to keep away deer.
- Grow a few of the plants mentioned above in your raised bed to make it look more unappealing.
- Grow these plants on the boundaries of your raised beds so that animals don’t get a chance to enter the bed.
6. Contain the compost
The open compost piles attract almost all kinds of creatures to your raised garden bed.
You can use a self-contained compost with a lid to keep the dumpster diver away.
In this way, the predators will not come into your garden.
If you feed your pets outside your home, make sure to bring their bowls inside after they have had the meal.
If you don’t bring the bowls, many animals like skunks, opossums, and raccoons will get attracted to the dirt in the bowls and enter the garden.
If you like feeding birds, keep the seeds or other food sources inside the house and secure them in a sealed packet or chew-proof container.
7. Scare the unwanted animals
You can prevent the animals from entering your raised bed by using devices designed to scare and startle the animals sniffing your plants.
Below are some ways you follow to scare unwanted animals.
- You can equip modern metallic streamers, bird tape, or old-fashioned scarecrows. Keep changing the position of the scarecrows so that the birds or animals don’t get used to them.
- You can install motions activated sprinklers or lights to scare away mammals.
- Owing a pet dog will keep the animals away from the garden.
- You can install an ultrasonic animal repeller that makes a sound whenever it detects motion.
8. Let your cats protect your plants
If you are a cat owner, your cat can save your plants from animal grazing.
Cats like hunting, so they can play an important role in scaring off the small animals in your garden.
Even if your cats aren’t hunting, their body odor and presence will scare off the animals.
If you have a cat, introduce her to the raised garden bed. However, take care of the following two things:
- Ensure your cat is vaccinated since it can get diseases from wild animals.
- Ensure that your cat is healthy before it goes to your garden.
9. Change the landscaping to make animals uncomfortable
A certain landscape will make animals feel more or less comfortable.
The frequency of animals entering your garden will depend on how much you have landscaped your garden.
You can rearrange your landscaping to discomfort the animals.
You can follow some tips while landscaping the raised bed to scare off the animals.
- Remove the excess weeds from time to time, as animals like to hide under them.
- Remove the woodpiles from your raised bed.
- Remove the bushes or shrubs that surround your garden.
10. Use repellents
Most animals sneak into the garden after they smell the vegetables and fruits.
You can use various repellents to keep the animals away from your area.
The scent of the repellents indicates that your garden is not a safe place to eat by the animals.
These repellents have a bad odor which the animals don’t like.
You can also buy taste repellents and spray them on vulnerable plants to keep the animals away.
If the animals ingest the leaves, they will feel seek.
However, the repellents’ consumption will not cause long-term damage.
However, if you are a pet owner, you will require to train the pets to stay away from the specific area.
Repellents are to be used all year round and can be reapplied after rain.
They won’t cause any damage to your plants, and it’s an effective way to keep animals away.
- You can use animal repellents that smell like their enemy’s urine. This repellent will make your raised bed dangerous to the animals. But before buying any repellent, you will need to decide which animal is trying to sneak into the garden so that you buy a predator scent that scares that specific animal.
- You can prepare your homemade spray using spices. This spicy spray will make the animals uncomfortable and make your garden smell bad, so the animals will look for food elsewhere.
- You can buy the animal repellent spray from the store or prepare one at home. Sometimes you will need to apply the repellents more than once if rain or moisture washes them.
11. Put covers on your plants
If you have some specific plants in your garden, you can add covers over them.
This cover will keep the animals away from the plant.
You can buy these plant covers from garden shops.
You can cover your plants with garden fabric or hardware cloth to protect them from animal eating.
You can put plastic bird netting on the fruits and vegetable plants to stop the birds.
12. Do a reality check
Various factors affect how much damage is caused by the animals to your raised garden beds.
There are some good and bad years for your raised garden bed.
You must realize that whatever you do in your garden will affect the wildlife too.
If your crops are damaged in one season due to animal consumption, do not worry, as there is always a new season.
How to prevent rabbits from entering the raised garden bed?
Rabbits are one of the most common invaders that can enter your raised garden bed.
Below are some tips that you can follow to keep rabbits away:
- The fence should be 2- 3 inches tall.
- Put repulsive plants such as boxwood or azalea to prevent rabbits from entering the garden.
- Bury the fence 1 inch deep to stop the rabbits from burrowing under.
- Clean up rabbits’ hiding places, like logs, rocks, or brush piles.
- If your rabbit problems persist, take help from the local authorities on trapping regulations.
How to keep deer away from the raised garden bed?
The deer is one invader that can be serious trouble for the plants in your raised beds.
To keep the deer away, you will make the place uncomfortable for them.
Below are some tips that you can follow to prevent deer from entering your raised bed.
- A fence for deer should be at least 8 inches tall.
- The deer will only leap over the fence or barrier if it gets a safe place to land. You can add a fence post to restrict it from jumping over.
- You can scare the deer by sprinkling their enemy urine over the garden.
- You can put movement detector devices to scare away the deer.
- You can grow plants that deer find repulsive such as rosemary, oregano, and garlic.
How to stop birds from eating your garden plants?
Birds are one of the most annoying pests in raised beds, and they can eat all your fruits and veggies.
You can follow various methods to keep birds away from your plants in your raised garden bed.
- Dangle shiny balloons around your raised garden bed. Birds are afraid of shiny objects and will not come to the garden after seeing them.
- You can build a chicken wire barrier around the raised bed to protect them from birds.
- You can build a fence post, tall stokes, and bamboo poles to keep birds away. Cover the framework with a net and tie it to a wire to prevent it from blowing.
- You can cover your raised bed with a fishing cord, as birds are scared of the wire and will not go there.
- You can install ultra-sonic sound devices which can produce animal sounds to frighten the birds.
How to keep mice, groundhogs, and voles away?
Mice, groundhogs, and voles are similar in appearance, and they greatly damage your vegetable garden quickly.
These pests are present in gardens throughout the year, and they eat almost all types of plants.
You can follow the following methods to clear your raised bed from mice, groundhogs, and voles.
- Add slate particles to the soil around your plants. These creatures dislike the odor of slate, and they will stay away.
- To trap the mice, you can place some snap traps baited with peanut butter or oats.
- Clear your raised bed by removing straw, fluffy, or plant cover to make it a less comfortable area for the creatures.
- You can buy an ammonium-containing rodent repellent from any local nursery store to repel the rodents.
- You can cover your young plants with fabrics or plastic covers to prevent these rodents from munching your plants.
Reference: ScienceDirect, American Society of Agronomy, Noble Research Institute, Soil for Raised Beds, Raised Bed Gardening.