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Protecting Container Gardens from Pests and Critters

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container gardening picture of zucchini

Zucchini Jail

Photograph © Kerry Michaels

I have a tribe of woodchucks that has plagued my container gardens for years and my chipmunks behave as if sunflower seeds were crack.

I have tried many methods to keep my flowers and veggies pest free. I've tried several of the sprays and powders that are supposed to repel critters and none have worked. It may be my fault for improper use, but it seems like my critters just think they have a wonderful new condiment and consume my plants with even more gusto.

The most successful way I have found to protect my container gardens is with barriers. While this may not add to your container design, especially for some veggies, this is the only way I've found to really protect my containers.

I buy inexpensive roles of plastic fencing from Home Depot which is easy to cut to size. I cut it on the top edge of a horizontal line, which gives me the little ends, which are easy to stick into the soil, making it harder for critters to dig under.

If my pot is circular, I just bend it around and attach it to itself with string or covered wire. If the fencing starts to sag, I thread a piece of bamboo through the squares and insert it into the soil as deeply as it will go.

If I have a square container I put bamboo, cut so it is taller than the fencing in the corners. I then bend the fencing around the outside bamboo poles.

You can also use chicken wire, the same way.

I've also been known to put an entire garden on top of a picnic table to keep the woodchucks out of my veggies.

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