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Summer In the Garden

Summer Gardening Tips

Wildlife damage increases in the summer season; and it's no wonder why. Deer, and other types of wildlife are hungry and they are approaching lawns and gardens more than in the spring to get first dibs on fresh crops and summer flowers. Here are a few things to know about wildlife movement patterns, and eating habits, before digging into the warm soil this season.

Wildlife Birthing
Deer mating season occurred in late fall; and doe are now delivering fawns. It is not uncommon to see fawns with their mothers for up to a year before they go out on their own. Doe will leave their fawns hidden away from predatory animals, including homeowners, for hours at a time to scout for food. It is advised to not approach fawns and leave them alone. They are not orphaned nor injured; and their mother is most likely near by. While fawns are safely tucked away, doe move about landscapes in the afternoon, while the weather is cool, and will find their way back to fawns by early evening.

In addition to fawns, bunnies, coyote pups and baby foxes, called kits, are born in the late spring-early summertime. Rabbits, for starters, deliver up to five baby bunnies in the late spring. While cute, they dig holes in the yard and eat all types of vegetables - not just carrots. Rabbit mating season, and breeding, usually lasts between March-September.

Coyotes and foxes will walk perimeters with their young in packs until October or November when the "teenagers" venture off to fend for their own food. The pack prefers the meat from animals like mice, squirrels, birds and even domestic dogs (coyotes) and cats (foxes). Pet owners must watch for wildlife attacks this season.

Bear Movement

Bear hibernation ended in February; and by March, they were hungry for home gardens. Bears don't just like the sweet taste of honey. They will not say "no" to berries from fruit gardens. Summer is when bear movement heightens as bears power-up on calories to prepare for winter denning. 

Wild Management Strategies This Summer

Gardeners that wish to protect crops from deer and wildlife damage this summer will need to act on wildlife control strategies including: fence installation; planting deer-resistant flowers and applying deer repellents, or animal urine, to the yard. 

To rid deer from gardens, gardeners will need to install a 7.5-8' foot high deer fence with deer-resistant plants surrounding the perimeter. Having a deer fence, with flowers for deer-resistance, will not only re-route deer, but will teach them not to move about your property.

For rabbit-resistance in gardens, gardeners will need to install a 2-3 foot high hexagonal fence with PVC coating. While bunnies do hop, the main concern is burrowing. Growers should trench a metal fence in the ground about 6-12 inches to block digging attempts from rabbits. Having PVC on the fence will prevent chew marks from damaging the steel core material, too.

Coyotes, wolves and foxes can jump high - up to five feet; and they are chewers. For this reason, it's best to choose a metal fence that is at least six feet high protected with PVC. This type of fence is often used by chicken owners to protect their flock from the pack.

For bear deterrence, choose electric fencing. The zap from electric netting will deter bears from approaching growing sites and is the most recommended type of fence to rid bears from gardens.

Questions? Contact 301-476-6896