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Non-toxic tips to keep animals from eating your garden

Posted

August 13, 2017 08:00:00


Photo:

Keeping hungry possums out of your garden is no easy feat. (ABC Open contributor wildheartadventuresaustralia)

As winter slowly comes to a close and your garden comes back to life, the battle between green thumbs and hungry animals begins anew.

“They’re a massive problem,” Greg Kerin, owner of a plant nursery, told Nick Bosly-Pask on ABC Radio Hobart.


Photo:

The best way to keep birds and animals out of the garden is with physical barriers. (Flickr: Doug Beckers)

“We start seeing these sorts of problems at this time of year, particularly with birds and mice, because it’s early spring and they start shredding vegetables, kale, herbs, that sort of thing.”

Mr Kerin said not a day goes by without someone coming to his nursery, complaining of animals eating their plants and looking for ways to stop them.

Over the years he has heard and tried a number of deterrents.

And while you may never stop them all, these are some tried and true things you can do to stem the tide of ravenous critters in your garden.

Stink it up

If you and your neighbours can handle it, making the area smell really bad keeps nibblers away.


Photo:

Rotting blood and bone will keep native wildlife away — and maybe everyone else too. (ABC Radio Hobart: Carol Rääbus)

“The best thing to use is blood and bone,” Mr Kerin said.

“If you get a stocking and fill the bottom of the stocking with blood and bone and hang it in a tree … it will go a bit rank — but it will deter some of the native wildlife.”

Liquid seaweed fertilisers also produce a smell herbivores do not like, but liquids will need to be repeatedly added as they wash off in the rain.

Fence it off

Physically preventing the animals from getting to the plants can be more nose-friendly.

“A lot of people build cages for their fruit and vegetables,” Mr Kerin said.

To stop possums, a loose, wobbly fence is a good idea.

“They like climbing on quite rigid structures, so if it does wobble they’ll fall off,” he said.


Photo:

Wire cages over your plants will keep big nibblers away, but not the tiny ones. (Flickr: Michelle)

Bird netting can deter possums too as they cannot climb it, but be aware netting is easy for them to break through.

To stop digging animals, wire should be planted about 30 centimetres into the ground.

And special small mesh wire can be bought that will stop mice getting through.

Grow a barrier of plants


Photo:

Growing plants animals don’t like to eat near the ones they do will deter them somewhat. (666 ABC Canberra: Louise Maher)

There are some plants the native wildlife, in particular, do not like to eat and these can be used as a natural deterrent.

Natural possum deterrents

Keep possums out of your garden environmentally.

Planting agapanthus, citronella varieties, lavender and rosemary bushes around your veggie patch may help keep the wallabies away.

“Does it deter them? Yes, it will to a certain extent, but not completely,” Mr Kerin said.

And while it can be heartbreaking to see the local possum has feasted on your hard labours before you got a look in, dealing with wildlife is just a part of gardening.

“You’ve really got to live with them,” Mr Kerin said.

“Plan around them and just deal with it.”

Topics:

gardening,

animals,

hobart-7000



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stories from Tasmania

Article source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-13/tips-to-keep-animals-from-eating-your-garden/8788746