The damage may vary, but there are similarities on how to keep animals from spending time in your garden. Two common options are exclusion and repellents.
Exclusion is an easy tactic to keep your garden from falling victim to hungry animals. Fencing is an effective option for all critters that venture where they are not wanted. Putting up chicken wire or hardware cloth gets the job done. Be sure to place it two to three feet high (so a rabbit standing on its hind legs cannot reach the plant being protected) and bury it two to three inches into the ground.
You may also opt to use an electrified exclusion method. Use an electrical fence kit made for garden protection to deliver a small but memorable shock to any animal that’s looking for an easy meal.
Repellents using powerful scent and taste deterrents work to irritate the animal immediately when it smells, touches, or tastes your plant. This unpleasant experience drives the animal away unharmed and encourages them to not return to the treated area.
Common ingredients used in repellents include oil of black pepper, piperine, and capsaicin. These ingredients, combined with a brand’s recipe, work by immediately irritating nuisance animals after they smell, taste or touch areas that are treated with the solution. To humans, it would be like eating a hot pepper on steroids. The unpleasant, peppery experience is one the animal will remember and won’t want to occur again.
When using repellents, be sure to employ a formula that is OMRI Listed and compliant with organic gardening. These substances will be on or around your fruits and vegetables and can be washed off your crops when you’re ready to eat them.