Wildlife Movement In Spring. Who's Eating Your Garden?
Spring is the best time of year for starting a backyard garden as the snow melts and the grass turns from yellow to green. For gardeners, it's an exciting time to begin a vegetable garden full of asparagus, beets, carrots, lettuce and other earthy crops. For deer and other wildlife, it gets even better; as the herds sit and wait for gardeners to walk away from their landscape.
Spring is the most active season for deer and wildlife movement; and there are some things that home growers should keep in-mind:
For starters, the rut season ended at the end of the year; and now, does are preparing to give birth to fawns between late April and early July. This means that homeowners will need to worry about agriculture damage from both the mama deer and her baby fawn during this time period.
Natural resources were scarce in the wintertime; and deer were left eating twigs and leaves; but now that warm weather is here to stay, whitetails have a buffet of options. In the spring, white-tailed deer approach lawns and gardens around sunrise and sunset - sleeping during the day. They choose these hours of day to go unseen by homeowners.
While some bear sightings happen in February, the majority of bears will be seen in March and April this season as bears officially exit hibernation season. Bears will do what they do best in the spring season: eat; and they will consume between 20-30 pounds of food each day including berries, grasses, roots and insects. Bear activity will build momentum moving into summer.
Fence Tips: Install an electric fence for best results.
They may look like medium-sized dogs; but they are much more aggressive. Coyote breeding season happened in late December-early January; and come March and April, coyote pups will be brought into the word - and into home gardens to find food.
Coyotes are opportunists, scavenging for food; and they will go after small animals including pets. Homeowners with companion animals should take caution when leaving their pets outside unattended.
Fence Tips: Install a 6' metal fence with PVC for best results.
Bunnies are adorable; but they are the second most complained about wild animal after deer. Rabbit breeding season began in February; so, homeowners should expect to see babies in March. During spring, bunnies will eat more than just carrots including an array of vegetables, fruits and flowers.
Fence Tips: Install a 3' high metal fence with PVC for best results. Trench the fence into the ground at least 6 inches to deter burrowing.
Groundhogs, Woodchucks & Gophers
Groundhogs are a huge headache to gardeners in the spring season. To avoid predatory animals, they tunnel underneath the ground, creating two entrances, to reach gardens. They burrow 2-5 feet deep and can even climb up to 15 feet!
Fence Tips: Install a 3' high metal fence with PVC for best results. Trench the fence into the ground at least 12 inches to deter burrowing.
Wildlife Management Tips For Spring Home Gardening
Wildlife have waited to eat crops and flowerbeds for months; and with the help from home gardeners, they will be able to stock up on calories for many months ahead. To prevent spring agriculture damage in gardens, home growers will need to implement a solid deer management plan including:
2. Growing deer-resistant plants. They hate the taste and smell of certain plants!
Without deer control strategies in play, deer will continue to walk onto landscapes throughout the year. These are the best deer management tactics to re-route their movement.