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Last spring (a year ago) I planted several hundred dollars worth of new ground covers and other plantings across my railroad. Within days, the birds, rabbits, and squirrels started digging them up. So this year when I plant the replacement plants (in a few weeks), I need to find a way to scare the critters away. I'm wondering about scare-crows, plastic owls, metalic ribbon, pin-wheels, etc. Does anyone have any good ideas that have worked for them? If so, please advise. I really want to protect my plants this year.
 

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I have had that happen many a time. You only have a few options. First, you can plant something that they wont like... good luck here. Some people swear by this plant repelling this or that plant repelling that... does not work for me. You can put up electric fence for larger things, but larger things that get into my garden either leap over easily or go under. You can fence it, but you must have small enough squares in the fence and/or tall enough... might as well build a moat. Lastly, you can try repellents. Good luck there too. I have found one that works fairly well for small and large critters. I bought a couple of motion control sprinklers (mine are scarecrows) such as the link below. They work fairly well although some raccoons learn to walk the line and avoid detection (so you move them weekly).


http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=motion+sprinkler&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=2729017247&ref=pd_sl_ogjbiujzj_b
 

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I've found that the varmints really like soil that is soft, so I never dig and prepare a 'planting bed'. I just dig a hole big enough for the plant and set it in. Also, if I've dug a hole and found an acorn, it's no use planting anything there, even if I remove the acorn...the squirrel will always come back to that very spot and dig the plant out. You could try making a protective screen to put over plants, using 1/4" mesh hardware cloth, and leaving that in place until the new plant is well-rooted.
SandyR
 

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Hardware cloth and a dog.
By the way, I've the same problem. Add to the list of critters, goats. Matilda the Hun and her merry band of raiders circle our gardens like the patrons of a salid bar.
It is amazing how imaginative and crafty a goat can be.
 

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I used vinyl/plastic coated chicken wire in my carnivorous plant pots:





keeps the squirrels and birds from stealing the moss!
works good in pots, but would be impractical for a large garden.

for smaller gardens you could lay down a layer of the wire, then cover it with mulch..
plants can grow right through the wire, and it should keep the squirrels from digging..

Scot
 

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I was told that animals don't like walking on plastic. So I took a plastic shopping bag and secured it under my bird feeder on the ground. Worked like a charm. They not only won't step on it, but the sound it makes when the wind hits it also scares them away. Unbelievable.
Regards, Dennis.
 

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And your bird feeder hasn't had those pesky birds around it ever since
 

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Go to your local toy shop and purchase a couple of realistic looking snakes. Place them around your garden and watch the fun.
 

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Used to put a toy snake in the strawberry patch when the strawberries started ripening. The birds left it be. Also worked for the neighbor
 

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We don't have Bob Cats here but we do have foxes. I can't imagine anyone running around behind a fox with a jar or squeezing a Bob Cat trying to get a drop. (sorry tounge in cheek).
 

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Cats absolutely hate the small of vinigar. Spray a little around youe plant beds but don't get any on your plants. I don't know about other animals.
 

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I had squirrels digging up my moss planting their corn and peanuts. I sprinkled a very light amount of dried blood and have not had a problem for 6-8 months. I just had to sprinkle some more this week.
 

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Some little mesh baggies (like marbles and other cheap toys used to come in) filled with moth balls? Not sure what mixing moth balls in your potting soil would do to the plants....

Failing that, a 10-YO boy with a shiny new pellet gun and permission to plink at anything that digs (might have to specifically disallow shooting at all the things that come close, move, don't move, look easy to hit, might make an interesting sound when hit, nobody will notice the holes in...at least for a couple days, little brothers, etc.)
 

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Sorry guys, I know this isn't helpful, but...

Every time I see this thread title, I can't help thinking of a little Gn18 loco rooting around in a flower bed.
 

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The recommendation for predator urine either in liquid or granular form is the best one. However you will have to refresh it periodically.

Mark
 

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hehe I think of that little Aristo industrial switcher. ;)
 

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try the Jerry Baker method. Take a package of chewing tobacco, simmer it in one gallon of water. After this has cooled, put 8 oz of it into a 20 gallon hose end sprayer. To this, add 8 oz of medicated mough wash. To this you can also add 8 oz of Mountain Dew (critters don't like lemon-lime - besides, it's good for the plants), also 8 oz of a lemon-lime dish soap, you can add a couple of drops of red hot sauce, and/or a couple of drops of castrol oil (Jerry says would you eat in the same place that gave you loose bowels??). I have his books but he must have a website with more ideas.
 

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I've been pretty lucky in that not too many critters have decided to dig up stuff. Once I found a remains of a rabbit nest under a bush, though. Somewhat a shock pulling out dead leaves and coming up with a handful of fluffy fur. Then there was the summer some creature decide to use my dry stream bed as a litter box. Smelly, mushy and it always went in the same spot. Moth balls discouraged it and I never did know what kind of animal it was. Oh well.
 

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Each year I plant one habanera pepper plant in my vegetable garden. Not to eat -- they are way too hot! The orange peppers are pretty to look at though. I harvest the peppers, cut them into quarters (wearing gloves and goggles while doing this), and put them in my food dehydrator. When they are completely dried out, I break them into small pieces and grind them into a fine powder with an old spice grinder. I store the habanera powder in a zip-lock plastic bag until the following spring, then sprinkle it in the flower beds and wherever else I want to deter critters from digging. Works great and doesn't take much to be effective! Just be careful when spreading the powder and don't breathe in any of the fine dust.
Bob
 
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