Our neighborhood is called “The Woodlands” and, true to the name, has a lot of trees. Along with the trees come wildlife – squirrels, rabbits, deer and even a rafter of turkeys. Over the years, I have learned what plants I can and cannot plant to avoid the damage caused by these animals.
This year, we have several additions to the neighborhood wildlife – triplet fawns and about a dozen baby turkeys. While these young animals are really cute, they do like to eat plants, even ones that the full grown animals have learned they should stay away from.
Two motion sensing sprinklers have helped to chase the turkeys out of the backyard. However, the fawns treat the sprinkler as a play toy, each taking turns triggering the spray while the others run and jump in the water. Luckily I found an ultrasonic repellent that the fawns do not like. So, in addition to the sprinklers, I have added one of these in my back yard. My backyard plants are now safe and are reviving.
Unfortunately, my front yard has not been so lucky. The baby turkeys nibble away at any plant they see. I have tried several different spray animal repellents but without success. These young turkeys seem to like to eat anything!
While the motion sensing sprinkler did work for the turkeys in the backyard, I did not want to set this up in my front yard because it would spray anyone delivering packages to the house. I tried the ultrasonic deterrent, but the setting that worked for the turkeys was audible to the human ear and quite annoying.
A few years ago, when I planted apple and pear trees in my back yard, I had read that most animals do not like the smell of Irish Spring soap. At the time, I cut a bar of soap into four pieces, tied the pieces in an old nylon and hung them in the trees to keep deer from damaging the new trees. This seemed to work well at the time. My trees are large enough now that I no longer have to worry about the deer eating them.
With the plant damage I was experiencing in my front yard, I decided to try the Irish Spring soap to keep the animals out of my flower beds. I tied a piece soap in a nylon and hung in in various places in my flower beds. This really seemed to work. The young turkeys and deer were no longer eating my flowers and plants.
Unfortunately, I did not like the way the nylons looked and wanted to find a better way to place the soap pieces. In my garden shed, I had some old copper pipe. I just needed to make or find something to add to the end of a pipe that could hold the soap. After much thought, I came up with the idea to add a copper “flower”.
I purchased a rain chain made of copper lotus flowers, separated the chain into individual flowers, added a copper cap to the end of a 2 foot piece of pipe and soldered one flower to the cap. The other end of the pipe was hammered flat, the pipe was pushed into the dirt and a piece of soap (1/8 bar) was added to the center of the flower.
Now I have a decorative way to keep the animals away from my flowers. And, the soap is creating a nice verdigris affect to the copper.