If you live near a reserve or bushland, it’s likely your garden is frequented by possums. These furry little creatures may be cute, but they can also eat their way through your garden, leaving you with nothing but plant remnants and droppings! There are various methods to help deter or repel possums from feeding, all with varying degrees of effectiveness. Whatever approach you take, the key is to be persistent.
Possums will feed on almost anything, but particularly favour young shoots, buds, developing fruits and leafy vegies. Use a physical barrier, like fine gauge netting or shade cloth to help prevent or limit access to your plants. Throw this over susceptible plants in the evening and remove the next morning. You may also want to consider growing vegies in a raised garden bed, with a metal frame and cover to protect and extend your growing season.
For small crops in vegie beds or pots, you can fashion a cage from sturdy wire mesh. Make a box and secure the sides with cable tie. Place a mesh panel on top, but only secure it on one side so it can be opened to feed and harvest. Alternatively, an upturned laundry or waste basket can be used as an effective barrier. Place a brick or heavy object on top to prevent it from being moved or knocked to the side.
Various odorous products or homemade concoctions are said to help deter possums. Possums are reported to dislike the smell of blood and bone, so you can try spreading that around the base of plants. It will also help nourish the soil and gently feed plants, too. A spray made of crushed garlic and hot chilli may also help. Crush two tablespoons of garlic and chilli and add to one litre of hot water. Stand overnight and spray on plants the following day. Repeat as needed.
There are protective sprays that can help deter possums from browsing on your plants. Egmont Repel Animal Repellent is a patented formulation and contains ingredients that repel possums and help reduce feeding damage. You can use it on both edible and ornamental plants. Always read instructions prior to use and only apply as directed.
Install a motion sensor light in areas where possums frequent. This may make browsing less attractive as possums prefer to move about in the dark. Use this in conjunction with a solar powered owl, which hoots and flashes its eyes, mimicking a potential predator.
Learn how to rid your garden of uninvited visitors and protect your flowering plants organically with Eco-Organic Garden.
Photo Credit: Brigid Arnott and Getty Images