William Moss: Everyone loves Bambi and Thumper, and everyone ruse for Jerry to out with Tom until you have a garden. Hi! I am William Moss; Master Gardener with the National Gardening Association. Today, we're at the Historic Oatlands in Leesburg, Virginia and we're going to talk about ways to keep critters out of the garden. First, let's talk about repellents. Repellents are available commercially and you can also make them at home. Either way, you're probably going to have some blend of pepper spray, and garlic oil. Follow the directions closely when you're mixing them, and also when you're applying them, and remember, if it rains, it may wash it off, you may have to go back out and reapply. Also, use a variety of repellents, so switch them up from time to time so the pest don't get used to that one. You want to make sure it still smell sticky to them and forces them away.
Secondly, we have fencing and raised beds or some other type of barrier. If you want to use fencing, make sure it's at least a half-inch mesh. That way, the rabbits can't squeeze through. So make sure it's that smaller mesh. If you want to use a raised bed, it needs to be at least 18 inches high to keep them from seeing over the top and potentially hopping into it. Finally, we have plant selection. Most animals don't like herbs or onions. So use a lot of them in your vegetable garden. So just select a variety of basils, thymes, oreganos all that stuff, put them near your beans and other susceptible plants. Same thing with the onion family members; so chives and any of the other type of onions that you have throughout the summer, put those guys near your more susceptible plants and they'll help keep some of the critters away. So by using repellents, barriers, and also plant selection, you'll be able to keep critters out of your garden and enjoy more yourself. Get Out and Grow!