Friday, April 20, 2012

Landscaping to Deter Animal Pests - Garden Book Review

A few years ago, I found a book that discusses planting strategies for deterring animal pests, such as deer, raccoons, rabbits, and voles. Deer-Resistant Landscaping presents numerous solutions to deterring mammals in the yard and garden.


Title: Deer-Resistant Landscaping
Author:  Neil Soderstrom
Publisher: Rodale Books, 2008



The author spent a lot of time researching and consulting with experts to understand these mammals and the problems they cause. Approximately 20 mammals are discussed. In developing a garden, I must understand the value that each creature has in the ecosystem, even though it may wreak havoc on my plants. Here, the author devotes sections to discussing the role of each mammal in the wild before offering solutions or deterrents.

I primarily bought this book for rabbit and vole control. I do not have a deer problem because we have a fence on a slope. So far, the deer have not attempted to jump up over the fence onto the slope. My guess is that it may be a bit tricky. Whatever the reason, I am grateful the deer do not frequent my garden.

Rabbit Damage on Ice Plant

The book does offer various solutions for vole control. The author lists some of the most preferred and least preferred plants of voles. Root crops and young tree roots are favored by voles. Voles do not seem to favor mature melons or tomatoes. In his research, he can say with certainty that Amsonia (bluestar), Pycnanthemum (mountain mint), and Solidago (goldenrod) are vole resistant plants. He lists some other plants that may be resistant.

Although I have found some additional methods of controlling rabbits and voles that are not discussed in this book, I think this is a great reference for any gardener attempting to control the damage that many mammals cause in the garden. The author has done a lot of research and discusses each mammal and the solutions quite thoroughly.


Holley at Roses and Other Gardening Joys hosts Garden Book Review on the 20th of each month. Visit her blog to see what other books are being reviewed.

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I am hosting the Earth Day Reading Project blog meme again this year to celebrate Earth Day. The Earth Day Reading Project is a month long blog meme where bloggers are asked to share in a post what books:

- inspired them to live or garden more sustainably - or -
- inspire their love of nature

and then post it to the meme. If you would like to join in, click the image below:

TheSageButterfly

© copyright 2012 Michelle A. Potter

25 comments:

  1. Pests in the landscape...oh the ways to deal with them. The critters are crafty and many books have been written. Here in NY, Cornell University has acres devoted to testing product and methods. Every year they post their findings which I find interesting to see which hold up over time and locality. Your meme is only for books recommended? I guess my post cannot link in. Sorry...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna, it does seem like an unending journey...to find what works and what does not. I find things that work on my own through trial and error...things I have not found in a book. It is a constant challenge.

      You are welcome to link in if you like. The focus is books, but many have included periodicals and blogs. I don't feel the need to exclude anyone if they have something interesting and valuable to offer. And I am sure you do...as always...

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  2. This book is probably one many gardeners will need. My cats take care of our rabbits and voles, but the deer have unfortunately discovered my garden! :( I may be checking this book out sooner rather than later! Thanks for joining in! The picture of your garden is just beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. My cats help somewhat, but they are not really outdoor cats. They accompany me in the garden for a few hours each day. I do see other cats in the yard from time to time, and I am always glad...hoping they scare something away. Thank you for hosting!

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  3. I think I need to read that book to see tips on keeping the deer at bay. Your shot of the garden id so pretty. I love your Lambs Ear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lona. I have lots of Lamb's Ears all over...which I love. Although I have problems with rabbits, voles, opossum, and raccoons, I do not have problems with deer. I suppose that is something for which to be grateful. I hear they are difficult to deter. This book does have a lot of ideas, however.

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  4. I need to read this book! I have commented before on my large vole population. We also have rabbits but oddly haven't had an issue with deer. I have seen some walk through our garden but not stop. I think we have "wild" deer and not "subdivision" deer who are use to humans and their animals.

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    Replies
    1. It is a very helpful book, and I hope it helps with your problems. I have found it very useful!

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  5. This would be a very helpful book to have. In our coastal garden we often have deer visitors in our front yard. I learned to confine the roses to the fenced backyard. The other pests that we deal with are gophers. In our valley garden, squirrels are the main pests, but we just put up with them and sometimes they can be pretty cute!

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    Replies
    1. I just sort of put up with the squirrels as well. They like to forage in my garden beds and dig holes here and there. So far, it has not been a major problem.

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  6. I am putting this book on my list to read. Thank you for sharing this with us. Squirrels have been a problem for me in the past. Currently, my biggest garden pest is the neighbor's cat. I have bird feeders so I definitely don't want cats around even though they keep the squirrels at bay. I've read that rosemary will deter cats so I'm giving that a try. The photo of your garden is lovely.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Beth. My cats do not like rosemary...too strong of a scent. Good luck, and I hope you find help with your problems.

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  7. It's very useful book. I have some holes of wood mice or of moles. Need to read about the damage they get to the garden.

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    Replies
    1. This book should help. I like books that are well-researched and give many ideas. Good luck!

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  8. Since mammals are part of nature i rarely try to discourage them mainly because i like to watch them also. My place in the 'city' has limited mammals roaming around and they dont do a lot of damage.
    In the country there is more of a variety including deer,turkey,and groundhogs to name a few. None seem to do any major damage, the deer are fairly easy to keep out of the vegetable garden.
    Voles/moles seem to be the biggest problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I enjoy all of wildlife as well, but with a vegetable garden I feel it is necessary to try to keep them at bay as much as I can. They have plenty of other things to eat, so hopefully it is simply a gentle shove away toward something else.

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  9. What a great book! I have recently figured out that some voles have moved in and started munching on some of my plants. The list of vole-resistant plants is sadly so short! I've been using a castor oil spray. It's definitely repelling some moles, hopefully it's repelling the voles as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have found the castor oil to be very effective against moles and voles. Voles do seem to have an appetite for most things in the garden. Good luck!

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