Living on a property frequented by wildlife is a unique opportunity to have an up-close view of nature. It's all fun and games, though, until your beautiful landscape is destroyed as a result!
Determining which animal is visiting your property is essential in order to know how to keep it out. So how do you know that elk and/or deer have been in your garden? If you have never seen them, there are a few tell-tale signs that they have visited. Unlike small pests, deer will tear off whole leaves or large amounts of foliage, leaving stems and leaves with jagged edges. Elk eat an enormous amount of foliage, and also like to rub their antlers against tree trunks. This damage shows when trees die from scuffed up or torn trunks where bark has been ripped away. Also, consider the height of the bite marks, foot (or hoof) prints, and droppings to help determine the critter.
Keeping elk out of your property is best accomplished using physical barriers. If fencing around your property, use fencing that is at least 6ft tall with barbed wire at the top. Tall netting around certain trees or garden spaces is also usually quite effective. Most of the time, the goal is to block the elk from reaching the trunk or foliage of the greenery. Tree shelters are cylinders that wrap around the trunks and are great for protecting seedlings. Store-bought odor repellents or hot sauce may be effective, too. Be sure to test different options to see what works best for your property and unwanted visitors.
There are many ways to prevent deer from snacking in your garden. The simplest way is to grow plants they don't like. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially if you enjoy having lettuce, fruit, and seasonal flowers in your landscape, which are deer's favorite snacks! To keep deer away, remember that they are easily spooked. Hang noisemakers and reflective surfaces like wind chimes, aluminum plates, or streamers nearby. There are also particular odors that deer despise, including mothballs, detergent, and garlic. Physical barriers can sometimes work as well, depending on the property. Deer can sometimes jump up to eight feet high, so fencing either needs to have angled netting at the top or thorny bushes at the base. Another tactic is to place netting around individual plants. Overall, the key is to keep surprising the deer, so switch out deterrents regularly.
Use these tips to keep larger animals out of your garden! This way, you can genuinely enjoy your landscape all year long!