Protect Your Plants (and Animals, Too!)

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There’s no worse feeling than going out to water your garden only to see that it has been chomped away by pesky backyard creatures! Though this may be frustrating and annoying, we have to remember that these are just animals doing what animals do —looking for food. Is there a way to protect your precious plants without hurting any backyard critters in the process? Thankfully, there is! Keep reading for a few ways that you can protect your garden without harming your yard’s ecosystem.

1. Mint

Mint is not only a great way to protect your garden, but it’s a wonderful herb to have on hand too! Many insects and animals that may be originally attracted to the plants in your garden will find the taste or smell of mint to be unpleasant. If you don’t want to grow natural mint, spraying peppermint essential oil or hiding mint tea bags in your garden will work too!

2. Castor Oil

Combine one-part dish soap with three-parts oil. Mix these ingredients until foamy and add two tablespoons of solution to a gallon of water, then spray the diluted mixture on your yard. Consider making a larger batch of the castor oil and dish soap mix to last you throughout the season so you do not have to keep remixing, and can simply add to water. Castor oil is a powerful natural deterrent against burrowing animals like ground squirrels, skunks and gophers. Spray this solution wherever you have seen animals disrupting your yard, and you will notice that they are gone in no time at all. Use weekly for best results. 

3. Cayenne Pepper

Animals really don’t like hot food. Whether you’re struggling with raccoons, squirrels or rabbits, they’re sure to leave your plants alone once they realize they’re spicy. Grind the seeds of a cayenne pepper with some black pepper and sprinkle onto your plants to stop any animals from nibbling. Be cautious, if you’re a pet owner and your furry friend likes to sniff around in your plants, this could cause irritation for them too! 

4. Bar Soap

Small animals really seem to hate the smell of bar soap, especially Irish Spring! Rodents like mice, rabbits and chipmunks find the soap so off-putting that they will generally try to maintain distance from it. Hang bars of soap in pouches in and around your garden to keep these critters at a distance. It might seem silly, but people will be begging to know your secret to keeping the pests away!

You’ll notice that not only are these tips environmentally safe, but they’re also relatively low in price! It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to protect the garden you’ve been working so hard on, and if you go with a nature-friendly option, you’ll be able to enjoy it for many more years to come.


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