Protecting Your Garden from Deer, Bunnies, and Hungry Critters

A lush, thriving garden is a testament to hard work and dedication, but it can quickly become a feast for hungry critters like deer and bunnies. If you've ever awoken to find your precious plants decimated, you know the frustration. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies to keep these creatures at bay while preserving the beauty of your garden. 

1.Fencing and Barriers: Fencing is one of the most reliable methods to deter deer, rabbits, and other wildlife from your garden. A sturdy fence should be at least 7-8 feet tall for deer and buried several inches underground to prevent digging. For rabbits, a fence about 2-3 feet high is usually sufficient. To make your garden even more critter-proof, consider adding netting or mesh over the top to discourage birds and smaller pests.

2. Repellents: There are a variety of animal repellents available on the market that can help protect your garden. These products typically use scents or tastes that animals find unappealing. Spray or scatter them around your plants, following the product's instructions carefully. Some repellents are specific to certain animals, so make sure to choose the right one for your needs. We suggest using Plant Saver or Plantskydd, which can be purchased from Arborista here.  

3. Native and Deer-Resistant Plants: Opting for native plants is a great start to making your garden less appealing to deer and other wildlife. Native plants have evolved alongside local animals, so they are often less attractive as food sources. Additionally, consider selecting plants known for their deer-resistant properties. These species may have natural characteristics that deter deer, such as thorny leaves or strong scents. By incorporating both native and deer-resistant plants into your garden, you can create an environment that is less tempting to hungry critters while still enjoying a beautiful landscape that thrives in your region's climate and soil conditions. 


8. Pets and Scents: Having a dog or cat can deter wildlife from entering your garden. Their presence, along with their scent, often keeps critters away. If you don't have a pet, consider using predator urine (commercially available) to mimic the presence of a potential threat. 

9. Reposition Bird Feeders: If you have bird feeders, ensure they are placed away from your garden. Seeds and grains from bird feeders can attract unwanted critters. Regularly clean up any spilled birdseed to avoid unintentionally luring them closer. 


In the battle to protect your garden from deer, bunnies, and other hungry critters, it's often necessary to employ a combination of these strategies. By being proactive and persistent, you can enjoy a beautiful and bountiful garden without sacrificing it to wildlife. Remember to choose methods that align with your gardening goals and the specific critters you're dealing with, and you'll be well on your way to a garden that thrives, undisturbed by hungry visitors. 

4. Scare Tactics: Scaring critters away can be an effective short-term solution. Consider installing motion-activated sprinklers, lights, or noise-making devices that startle animals when they approach. You can also try placing reflective objects, like aluminum foil strips or old CDs, around your garden to deter them. 

5. Companion Planting: Certain plants can repel or distract animals when strategically placed in your garden. For instance, marigolds and garlic are known to deter rabbits, while lavender and rosemary can discourage deer. Planting these species alongside your more vulnerable plants can help protect them. 

6. Elevated Gardens: If you're dealing with ground-dwelling critters like rabbits, consider raised or elevated garden beds. These are harder for animals to access, providing a natural barrier to protect your plants. Plus, they can make gardening easier on your back! 

7. Regular Maintenance: Don't underestimate the power of regular garden maintenance. Keep your garden clean and tidy by removing fallen fruit, trimming overgrown vegetation, and keeping weeds at bay. This reduces hiding spots for critters and makes your garden less inviting.