What's A Beginner To Do? - Knowledgebase Question

Melba, ID
Question by queen_jillji
December 27, 1999
I haven't even started my garden and I want to do it right. What should I do to keep rodents and snakes away from my veggie garden?

Answer from NGA
December 27, 1999


Rodents can be a real nuisance and the best way I have found is to fence them out with a small mesh fence. Setting some horizontally just under the surface of the soil and facing outside the perimeter can help deter them from digging their way in, too. Should they become a problem, some gardeners will also use repellent sprays, either homemade with a pepper and/or garlic base or the commercial types sold specifically for that purpose. In some cases these critters never become a problem, especially if you have a pet cat or dog in the neighborhood. Interestingly enough, snakes and rodents tend to show up together because many snakes eat rodents. For this reason many gardeners welcome the little garter snakes and black snakes in the garden. Controlling the rodents will make it less inviting to snakes, too. Since I think it would be very difficult to fencesnakes out entirely, I would simply suggest you make some noise and stomp your feet a few times as you approach the garden and hope they go away. Usually all of the critters and especially the snakes are very frightened of people! (I have not seen a snake in my veggie garden in five years, although I have seen them in my yard.)

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