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A Critter-Free Garden

Are lovable, fuzzy critters taking a bite out of your garden? The Saturday Early Show's Gardening Expert Georgia Raimondi has some tips for keeping the fruits of your labor out of the stomachs of the local fauna.


Hungry deer can devastate a garden, and they can clear obstructions up to eight feet tall. A fence around a garden will only be effective against them if it reaches close to 10 feet. vote

Scent is a better barrier. Deer have a strong sense of smell and this can be used against them. Take bars of scented soap, leaving the wrapping on, and hang them from tree branches. Tests conducted by Christmas tree growers show that this reduced deer munching by up to 70 percent.


Sachets made of human hair also are effective. Clean out your hairbrushes, wrap the hair in cheesecloth and hang it from the branches.

You could also try adding a flavor that deer dislike. Commercial sprays are effective for a month to six weeks. They taste of egg solids or hot peppers and garlic.

If repellants don't work try growing a deer-resistant garden. In general, deer do not like fuzzy foliage like lamb's ear, globe thistles, purple cornflower, and black-eyed susans.

Aromatic plants like salvia, heliotrope, rosemary, mint, lavender, dill, thyme and scented geraniums also deter deer.


Rabbits like vegetables and flowers and, if left unchecked, can destroy a garden. Inflatable or rubber snakes that scare rabbits away can be purchased at garden supply stores.

Another safe and organic alternative is a garlic clip. Available at garden stores and at the Gardeners' Supply Company, these are made from concentrated garlic oil and will protect your garden for six months to a year.

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These pests like to munch on a variety of green plants. Sprinkle cayenne pepper on the ground around the perimeter of the plant. It washes out easily so it must be replenished after rain.


These bandits can wreak havoc on a garden. They are nocturnal and have extra light-gathering cells in their eyes. Place a rotating blinking light in your garden; the flashing light confuses them.


If you want to keep these critters out of your brd feeders, try Squirrel-proof, a product made from the spicy ingredient of hot peppers. It repels mammals but the birds can't taste it and it's actually a good supply of vitamin A for them. Mix it in with your birdseed before filling the feeder. Also on the market is birdseed coated with red pepper.


Moles dig tunnels that destroy plant roots. The Gardeners' Supply Company makes a mole repellant noisemaker that can be stuck in the ground.


They're both friend and foe, eating harmful insects in the garden but also munching on fruits and picking at vegetables. Scare the birds by attaching deflated Mylar balloons to stakes or fences around the garden. As they blow in the breeze the noise and reflections scare the birds away. Aluminum pie tins will do the job too.


Slugs can eat holes in green leaves and low-lying fruit. But there is a remedy short of putting all your plants up on stilts. Get the slugs drunk. That's right, slugs like beer.

Wash out an empty tuna can or other shallow container and bury it so the lip is level with the ground. Then fill it with beer. The beer anesthetizes the slugs and they drown.

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