The Q&A Archives: Dying plants

Question: I suspect my sun impatients are being laid on, trampled on or urinated on by nocturnal animals or pets. They are dying one by one and the plant (sometimes the same type of impatient) right next to it is alive and thriving. There is no sign of bugs/fungus/ect on the plant leaves or flowers. Is there something I can put into my garden to discourage animals from visiting my garden?

Answer: How annoying! There's not much to offer in terms of deterrents since you don't know what kind of critter you are dealing with, but sometimes laying a length of chicken wire on the ground in front of the bed will keep animals from walking near your plants. Clippings from thorny plants, such as rose canes, can also keep critters from walking in the area. A final suggestion, and one that works in my landscape to keep neighborhood cats at bay is to drive some stakes into the garden and criss-cross nylon fishing line between the stakes. Keep it about 6" high and cross the lines every 6-8 inches. Animals don't like to walk in the bed because they are afraid they'll get their legs caught. If you install it carefully, you'll barely know it's there. Hope this works for you!

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