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GardenSMART :: Protecting Plants From Animal Damage Before It�s Too Late

Protecting Plants From Animal Damage Before It’s Too Late

By Plantskydd
Photographs courtesy of Plantskydd

The first thing deer and rabbits think when the winter starts to wane is, “I’m hungry, where is the fresh food?” Actually, they don’t even have to think about it, they know where it is. Innately, they find microclimates in a garden where plants emerge first after the soil warms up a bit. These places in your yard are where the snow melts first, such as:

  • Garden beds along a fireplace wall 
  • Near a well-used hot tub located outside 
  • Near the dryer vent
  • The south side of a large tree in sunshine
  • Along some boulders warmed by the sun edging a path or patio
  • Southern or western sunny side of a house foundation
  • Southern or western sunny side of a hill

Radiant heat emanates from these sources, hits the mulch or garden soil, and pushes plants up out of the ground.

In early spring, it still may be chilly outside, spring rains are happening, or you may be experiencing erratic weather that is warm one week, followed by a snow squall the next and back again. Considering this, the gardener may feel it’s not time to go outside and begin gardening yet. That is when the deer and rabbits are watching your microclimates very carefully to see if your Dianthus have some green leaves left on them after the winter, checking out which of your early bulbs are spiking up through the mulch, seeing if any roses, hydrangeas or sedums are pushing new succulent growth, and much more. Remember, they consider your plants as nutritional food, especially after a long winter where food was sparse. Plus, there was competition for what little food was available.


From the distance of looking out of your kitchen window or walking to your parked car, the garden beds look as if they are dormant. But if you patrolled your garden with a quick walk around the yard and a careful eye, you will see all kinds of unexpected new growth. Even with snow in your yard, microclimate areas are the first to warm up and plants emerge – with hungry deer and rabbits just waiting to seize the moment!

To prevent this problem, be proactive. Use Plantskydd Animal Repellent granular formula early in the season to send the message to browsing animals that this garden is dangerous and not worth the risk – even though food (your plant) is available.


Browsing animals smell the odor long after humans can no longer smell it. It is a fear-based repellent, once their strong sense of smell is triggered by it, they think a predator is in the area and an animal has been killed. This danger signal motivates them to quickly vacate the area and to take their young with them.

Due to the erratic early spring weather, use our granular formula. Rain or shine, you can sprinkle it right where the plants are emerging. When the most vulnerable of your plants begin to unfurl their leaves-like tulips, lilies or hostas- spray the leaves with Plantskydd ready-to-use spray (or mix up your own batch of our powder concentrate). Once the plants form flower buds, spray them again. It’s important to apply the spray when temperatures are above freezing, and the plant will be dry for 24 hours, which includes your sprinkler system.

Plantskydd is the #1 choice of professional growers, landscapers and foresters. Proven to out-last and out-perform all other repellents, it is rainproof, so no need to re-apply after rainfall or irrigation. Plantskydd is the first animal repellent OMRI listed ORGANIC, so it is safe for people, pets and the environment!

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Delilah Onofrey, Suntory Flowers
Photos courtesy of Suntory Flowers

As summer heats up, the garden party is just beginning for gorgeous, tropical mandevillas. To learn more click here for an interesting article.

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