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Photo courtesy of John 'K' via Flickr.

Consider the following 7 tips to protect your garden from bunnies, birds, squirrels, and deer from University of Washington wildlife expert, John Marzluff, author of the new book, Welcome to Subirdia. 

It’s the most glorious time of year for gardeners and cooks.

Your summer vegetable garden is in full bloom along with the blackberry and blueberry bushes, peach trees, and tomato vines. While it’s great to share the fruits of your labor with the wildlife too, if you don’t protect your garden in some capacity, the bunnies, songbirds, squirrels and deer will eat more than their fair share. We’ve all worked with fencing and netting, and most likely have tried some form of scarecrow.  The good news is that there is so much more you can do.

Photo courtesy of Colin Harris  ADE via Flickr.

1. Divert the birds with their own food.

 Offering your backyard birds their favorite food, from suet to black oil sunflower seed, in a feeder will help appease and attract them away from your garden. Here are 10 tips for feeding backyard birds.2. Distract the critters, too.

The same goes for deer, squirrels and rabbits too!  Providing food critters love such as ears of corn or raw peanuts in a designated spot away from your garden will attract them there instead and help satisfy them.  This tip is only for those of who enjoy wildlife sightings in your yard and have enough space to feed them far away from your garden.

Photo courtesy of Facing North East via Flickr.

3. Movement and light keep deer away.

One of the best ways to keep wildlife like deer out besides fencing is a motion-activated water sprinkler. Also, some gardeners swear by hanging pie tins or blank CDs. The movement in the wind and the sun’s reflection are seen as threats that make unwanted animals run the other way.4. What smells?

Mince garlic and hot peppers together, let it sit in the sun and put it out in the garden. The slightly fermented smell keeps the bunnies away.

5. Some don't like it hot.

Spray your favorite blooms with cayenne or another hot pepper oil or juice, which mammals don’t like the taste of. Just steep hot peppers in water and spray the extract on the plants you don’t want eaten.  

You called?
Photo courtesy of Crazy House Capers.

6. Beware of dog.

 Let your dog do its job. If you can, keep it outside during the day to guard the garden.7. Make some noise.

A little noise goes a long way.  Don’t underestimate a loud clap and shoo when you catch them in the act, or bang together two pieces of wood.

How do you keep the wildlife out of your garden? Share your tips in the comments!

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