Whether your garden is on the ground or on top of a building, chances are that you're going to be sharing space with some form of wildlife. I love the starlings that nest in the eaves of my building. Unfortunately, when they clipped and killed my favorite tomato for use in their nest, that love soured temporarily. The following suggestions will help you keep the wild ones off your goods, yet still make them welcome in your safely and humanely run garden. Everyone gets out alive!
- Scare birds off plants by stringing pie tins, broken CDs, and cans together to make obnoxious wind chimes.
- Keep cats off freshly dug soil, even their favorite spot, by covering the area in fresh citrus peels.
- Protect young seedlings from digging squirrels on a nut hunt by surrounding them with a collar made by cutting the top and bottom off plastic bottles found in the recycling bin.
- Craft chicken wire into protective plant cages, lay it across the soil like scratchproof mulch, wrap it around the lower half of pots, or simply cover entire plants to keep persistent raccoons off (shown above).
- Leave a handful of used kitty litter in all entrances to a groundhog burrow. The stink can sometimes ward off these otherwise determined critters. You'll have to match their persistence play-for-play if you really want to drive them out.
Excerpted from Grow Great Grub by Gayla Trail Copyright © 2010 by Gayla Trail. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.