Protect Your Garden against Wildlife

The wildlife here in South Dakota sure is magnificent, but they can wreak havoc on your garden. Shrubs, trees, and perennials look extra tasty to hungry deer and other animals during winter, but our Rapid City greenhouse suggests some simple steps to help minimize the damage and protect your garden against wildlife:


Avoid providing convenient environments for mice and voles by not piling up too much mulch around the tree stems. Rodents love to dig tunnels to chew on bark and shrubs, so spread the mulch just a couple of inches and clear an area around the stems of vulnerable plants. For the same reason, snow should also be cleared.


Young trees and shrubs are more attractive to animals because of their tender bark and twigs, but you can protect them by fencing them with a cylinder of hardware cloth. Individual fencing is a very practical and economical solution, unless you are able to fence your entire yard. Plants that are less than 3 feet tall need surrounding fences that are several feet higher than they are, since deer can easily reach over fencing. Put the fence posts about 4 feet from the plants and attach wire mesh to create a barrier. Inspect your fencing regularly, especially after snowfall, to make sure it is not weighed down or torn. Remember that no plant is completely animal-proof. There are some plants that animals don’t typically favor, but if the winter is harsh and they are hungry enough they won’t be very picky eaters. If you have many plants and would rather fence your yard, the fence should be at least 7 feet in order to avoid deer and other large animals. Deer are great jumpers and will easily clear anything below this height. Rabbit fences should have holes that are smaller than 1 inch and they should be placed 3 inches below the ground to prevent digging.


Using a chemical repellent is an alternative to fencing. Animals don’t like the scent or taste of the repellents, but you will have to reapply it after rain or snow since it easily washes off. You can even make the mixture yourself by using spoiled eggs and water!

The Least Yummy Plants

Planting trees and shrubs that deer wouldn’t eat unless they are out of options are spruce, box elder, pine, lilacs, and tree peonies.

We are a Rapid City greenhouse that provides helpful information to both green thumbs and beginning gardeners about horticulture in the Black Hills and surrounding areas. Our garden supply center houses a variety of plant selections, including shrubs, annuals, perennials, and herbs, as well as garden décor. At Jolly Lane Greenhouse, you’ll find your senses stimulated by an extensive assortment of seasonal plants, shrubs, and trees from our garden supply centers. We have a variety of fragrant and brightly-colored foliage, bushes, evergreens, perennials, vines, ornamental grasses, and rose bushes—there’s something for every season! We are located on 2962 Jolly Lane in Rapid City – Stop by today!