Scarecrows (and Squirells, and Deer, and Armadillos)

When the cat's away . . . the birds, squirrels, deer and armadillos will wreak havoc on your carefully-tended garden. Unfortunately, wildlife finds juicy summer fruit as enticing as we do, and there's no simple way to keep animals from sharing in your bounty. There are a few tricks that might help to make sure there's a little left for the humans, though. Read on for our tips, and let us know in the comments if you have any to share!

  • Ribbons--in our teaching garden, we tied colorful ribbons to a nearby arbor. Their waving and flapping seems to be keeping varmints away so far!
  • Netting--draping a lightweight netting over fig trees, berries, and tomatoes can help keep birds away, but squirrels can often find their way underneath, so make sure to weight down the bottom with stones or secure with stakes.
  • CDs & DVDs--some people swear that hanging reflective discs from fig tree branches or in the vegetable garden scares critters away, but we haven't had much luck.
  • Traps--squirrels are territorial, so if you use a Havahart trap and "relocate" them, you'll have a little respite before new males move in.