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How to protect your Grow Your Own crops

Posted on April 23, 2015 by Potter & Rest

You’ve put in all the hard work weeding and digging, and now it’s time to sit back and reap the rewards from all the seeds you’ve sown and the plants your nurtured…but not if the wildlife gets there first.

Here’s how to help keep our feathered and furry friends at bay:


1. Smaller garden birds will disturb any seeds you have planted and larger ones like pigeons will peck at young shoots and brassica (cabbages, sprouts, broccoli etc) leaves.

2. Create a scarecrow with a modern twist using old or unwanted CDs as part of the display and also on wires around your veg beds as the birds will not like the reflections they create. Or use horticultural fleece as protection for cabbages and sprouts.

3. You could also use mesh tunnels over seedlings until they become more established and less likely to be attacked.


1. Deer will pretty much eat anything, not just veggies – they will also have a go at roses, shrubs and trees. There are some plants that are deer resistant so you could opt for planting up your garden with these, although that doesn’t apply to many veggies!

2. The best thing to do is erect a six foot fence but before you go for that option try stringing up some old tights stuffed with human hair as deer don’t like the smell of people.

3. Another deterrent is lion dung – sometimes available from zoos!

4. You could also try the product Grazers, which protects against rabbits, deer and pigeons. This product is harmless to people and pets and is safe to use on edible and ornamental plants.


1. Rabbits will nibble their way through pretty much all your crops given the chance. Cover your crops with wire netting or mesh and dig it in to stop them from burrowing into your veg plot.

2. Protect individual plants with homemade cloches made from clear, plastic drinking bottles with their bottoms cut off and pushed into the soil over the plant, remove the lid to allow for the air to circulate.

Rats and mice

1. Rats and mice like to nibble on bigger seeds such as peas, beans and sweetcorn and they will also have a go at sprouting young veggies so it is worth sowing these in pots initially and keeping them either indoors on a sunny windowsill or under cloches until they are established.

2. Also if you have your own compost heap do not put cooked vegetables, meat or fish on it as this attracts rats.

3. Rats also gravitate to gardens that have poultry in them as their feed is a source of food for them so take care when feeding your chickens and don’t allow any food to be left hanging around for the rats.

Pets and poultry

1. Keep chickens away from your crops as they will peck them and eat them or scratch up the earth making dust baths and searching for grubs to eat.

2. Cats can often use veg patches as their toilets so this needs to be deterred – they don’t like strong citrus smells and you could use lemon essential oil soaked sticks around your plot or lay hazel pea sticks over your seedlings to protect them and the earth around them as cats won’t like walking on them.

3. For cats try these two ideas – a product called Cat Repellent and a plant called Coleus Caninus ‘Scaredy Cat’, which deters the felines from fouling. 

4. We also stock Animal Repellent to help repel domestic and other animals from fouling in your garden.

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