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How to deter Groundhogs from Spending Quality Time in your Garden

It’s that exciting time of year again when our flowers are blooming, and our gardens are starting to produce vegetables that are almost ripe and ready for picking.  But then we start to notice beautiful flower heads going missing, and same with that almost ripe tomato or head of lettuce has been picked right off too. Who is the culprit of all this? Probably groundhogs unfortunately, and most typical fencing you put up around your garden won’t help because those little guys are great at digging and will dig right under any fence you put up and get into your garden anyway.

Our expert Nursery Staff are here to suggest a few ways you can prevent those mysterious flower and veggie disappearances from happening.

THE NATURAL WAY:

  1. Garlic and Pepper Groundhogs hate the smell of garlic and pepper, crush some up and sprinkle in their holes and around your garden to prevent them from entering. You can even mix some up in a spray bottle with water and spray it on your flowers or vegetables.
  2. Cayenne Pepper Sprinkle Cayenne pepper generously around the base of your plants, the base of your garden or even on the vegetable itself (you can easily wash it off later). The smell and the effect it will have on the groundhog if they touch it, eat it, or even get it in their eyes will be sure to deter them from coming back. You may have to repeat this several times but eventually it should do the trick.  Sprinkle some on the entry to their borrow holes as well to deter them from coming back.
  3. Dogs and Cats – let your dog or cat run around in your garden, spreading their smell and hair around, even get them to urine in your garden, as that smell will really deter the groundhogs. Groundhogs also see cats and dogs as predators so even just having them around will scare off the groundhogs.
  4. Fencing – if you put up a regular fence it won’t help and they will just dig underneath it, but if you are determined enough there is a way you can use a fence. Dig a 2-foot-deep trench around your garden and sink the fence down two feet into the ground.  This way if they try to dig underground, they will just hit the fence underground.
  5. Trap – use a live trap such as a have-a-heart and trap the groundhog, then transport them somewhere at least 5-10 miles away.
  6. Noise – This one may seem odd but playing music outside or installing windchimes or a garden decoration that that makes noise can be off putting to groundhogs as well.

IF THE NATURAL WAY DOESN’T WORK:

  1. Talcum Powder – Groundhogs hate the smell so spreading some around the garden or in their borrow entryways will help steer them away.
  2. Lime – Spread some lime around the garden or at the entrance of their borrows as this will burn their feet when they walk over it.
  3. Liquid Fence – This is often used to keep deer away, but the strong smell can deter the groundhogs as well.
  4. Deer Spray (Cayote Urine) – again usually for deer but the unpleasant smell will not be enjoyed by the groundhogs either.