If you've recently purchased a home on the outskirts of town or in a rural area, you're undoubtedly looking forward to seeing wildlife on occasion but may not be enthusiastic about the idea of having wild animals become regular visitors to your yard. Perhaps you've got children or domestic pets that you want to provide a safe environment for, or maybe you want to enjoy the results of your gardening efforts instead of providing a free feeding station for local wildlife. Following are three landscaping strategies designed to help keep your yard as wildlife-free as possible.
Avoid Planting Things That Deer Love to Eat
If you can keep deer out of your yard, you're well on your way to having a wildlife-free outdoor living space, at least when it comes to predators such as mountain lions and coyotes because they tend to follow the deer. If you've got a yard full of the kinds of plants that deer love to eat, however, you'll have a hard time keeping them away. Fortunately, there's a wide variety of plants that deer would prefer not to eat, including snapdragons, boxwood, dusty miller, all types of cacti, and almost all aromatic herbs — deer tend to stay away from anything with a strong scent, which is great news for those wishing to cultivate culinary herb gardens in their property.
Pick Fruits and Vegetables as Soon as They Are Ripe
Tree fruits, berries, and the contents of your vegetable garden all serve as temptation to area wildlife. Black bears love berries of all kinds, and raccoons are knowing for wreaking great havoc in household vegetable gardens. Even coyotes are attracted to ripe fruits, especially tree fruits that have fallen to the ground. Although it's tempting to save garden tasks for the weekend, spending just a little time each day after your fruits and vegetables begin to ripen will save you a significant amount of trouble with wild animals.
Avoid Having Standing Water in Your Yard
If you decide to have a water feature in your yard, choose a fountain or a waterfall over a pond containing still water. If you decide to include a birdbath among your landscape design elements, make sure it's far enough off the ground so that deer, raccoons, and other four-legged wildlife can't access it. Also, make sure to provide adequate drainage to ensure that standing water levels that may occur naturally in your yard and garden area are kept to a minimum. Aerating your lawn at least once per year in average soils and twice per year in soils containing substantial amounts of clay will help prevent rainwater and snow runoff from pooling in your yard.
Contact a landscape designer for more help.