Readers' Top 10 Gardening Mistakes
Mistake 6: Not Taking Wildlife Into Account
"My daughter and I planted 200 bulbs in our yard as a secret garden that would bloom in spring. To our horror, the squirrels
came at night and feasted on our bulbs. That spring only four lonely daffodils grew and we had some very fat squirrels."
There’s a good reason the squirrels left the daffodils alone; daffodils contain poisonous crystals, says Keys. Other rodent-repellant (read: poisonous) bulbs include snowdrops, winter aconite, and fritillaries. Critters from raccoons to deer to the family dog will inevitably try to eat your produce, and the only failsafe way to protect your precious plants is to install a fence around the garden. As for your dog, Penick suggests tossing a few chew toys into the garden to tempt him away from your plants.
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So maybe you can’t change your health overnight. But you can get a head start.