Raised garden beds are popular these days since most gardeners consider them a better alternative to beds on earth.
They are mainly done to keep away critters like rabbits, skunks, bugs, chickens, goats, etc.
Unfortunately, you may have recently installed a raised garden bed and discovered that critters still come around.
You may wonder if there are ways to keep them out permanently. There sure are! We covered all of those in this guide.
Critters like squirrels and rabbits can be hard to deal with in gardens.
Sometimes, even with a raised bed, these stubborn animals will still find their way into munching on fruits and vegetables in the garden.
To keep them away from your raised garden bed, here are some strategies you can try out:
- Fence the raised garden bed.
- Drive them away through your pets.
- Use the right repellants.
- Leave some grass on your raised garden bed.
Keep reading the guide to learn how to apply these four critters-deterring strategies.
In the following sections, we will walk you through some practical ways to keep critters out of raised garden beds. Also, we will answer some common questions about handling critter infestation in raised garden beds.
4 Ways To Keep Critters Out of Raised Garden Beds
Critters leave raised garden beds messy and munch on fruits and vegetables. Of course, this could be tiresome but worry not.
Below, we consider four practical ways to frighten them away:
1. Use Proper Repellants
The first thing you need to note is that you are dealing with different critters. The substances that would repel a rabbit might not repel a chicken, goat, or deer.
So you have to observe the exact critters you are dealing with and note them. You can monitor your garden beds for a few weeks and determine the common critters.
Maybe you’d check and discover that you’re dealing with a skunk, rodent, bug, chicken, or deer.
This discovery will confirm your suspicions, and you’ll know what you’re up against and act accordingly.
For skunks, chickens, rodents, and bugs, you can use natural DIY repellants. Such DIY repellants come from baking soda, garlic, vinegar, or peppermint oil.
Before applying organic and inorganic repellants, ensure they are safe for the plants and won’t cause any irritations. You can also sprinkle chili or cayenne pepper to deter the critters.
Chickens, for instance, may feel irritations on their feet when they step on the pepper or any other repellant and stay away.
Skunks and bugs may feel disgusted at the taste of some repellants like citrus and keep off.
For deer, you can deter them using a variety of repellants. Deer have an incredible sense of smell which you could use to your advantage. The scents of soap and blood meal are enough to ward them off.
For stubborn deer, you can include other repellants like ammonia, garlic, peppers, and rotten eggs. Any of these repellants are a nightmare for them, and they will leave at the slightest smell.
Remember that the goal of these repellants is not to kill these critters (except in extreme cases) but to keep them away.
Hence, use safe repellants for the sake of your crops and the critters coming around.
2. Fence the Raised Garden Bed
Fencing is one of the most effective methods for keeping critters out of raised garden beds. Again, recall that there are different categories of critters.
So the fence you want to use should match the specific critter you want to keep out.
Fences for smaller creatures like rabbits, squirrels, and skunks need to be about 16–18 inches.
For giant creatures like deer, you need a fence of about 6–8 feet. There are some DIY fences out there that are affordable and easy to make.
The materials you can use to make them are sticks and wire mesh, and getting them is easy.
Other fences are nets that you can place around the raised bed. These nets ward off birds and chickens from picking on the fruits. Some of these nets also have holes where water and sunshine come through to give the plant all it needs.
Some fences pop up when placed on the ground and cover the beds entirely. These fences have entrances on both sides for easy access when applying manure or harvesting fruits.
Remember that these fences will also go into the ground to prevent certain critters from digging holes and entering.
Critters like rabbits, squirrels, and skunks have digging tendencies and can find their way into the beds.
Ensure these fences also go beneath the beds and into the ground. This action will guard your beds against underground invasion.
3. Use Pets
Your dog or cat could just be hanging around feeling lazy. One method you can use is placing their food near the beds.
If they discover any funny activities while trying to eat, they can take action immediately.
Aside from pets, scarecrows also play a good role in scaring off critters. You can place one at the garden’s center and rotate it from time to time.
4. Leave Some Shrubs
Unlike what you expect, the raised beds don’t have to be extremely tidy. Overcleaning the beds can attract more critters than you can imagine, and you wouldn’t want that.
Growing shrubs and little grasses will distract critters from the beds. If the shrubs or weeds overgrow, you may cut them.
The idea is that you shouldn’t cut off weeds and every little grass you see in the garden bed to foster tidiness.
On the other hand, you could tidy up the fertilizer or compost you plan to apply to the crops. Leaving compost around will attract many critters, so it’s best to arrange it somewhere else.
You could get a dumpster and put all the manure you plan on using.
Chasing critters away from raised garden beds is not as difficult as you think. Above, we described four practical strategies you can deploy.
But before applying any, first, identify the particular critters invading your garden.
It all begins to make sense when you’ve identified the particular critters you’re at war with.
Afterward, you can now apply any of the methods discussed. Only then can you say a big goodbye to them.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I Do if I Can’t Afford a Fence?
Fencing is effective in keeping critters away. However, if you’re on a budget and you can’t afford to construct a wooden or electric fence, there are other alternatives.
You can use repellants like your pets, pepper sprays, chives, pepper, garlic, etc., to deter critters.
What Is the Best Repellant for the Critters in My Raised Bed?
All the repellants listed above are potent in keeping critters away. However, garlic, thyme, and cayenne pepper are common and affordable.
They irritate squirrels, chickens, deer, and many critters, and you won’t stress about getting them.