If your garden isn’t fenced and you haven’t had a visit or two from a moose, count yourself lucky. Now is the time to strategize how you can prevent moose from discovering your garden. Once they have feasted on your produce, it will be harder to keep them from coming back. Moose are the biggest and most destructive pest in Fairbanks gardens. The obvious way to keep them from eating your garden is to build a fence, eight to 10 feet tall, strong and possibly even electrified. However, you might not want to fence your garden, for example, if it is scattered across your property, you don’t want to block your view or you can’t afford it. In that case, the following alternative methods may help you.
Moose eat some things because they’re there, others they gravitate to. They are particularly fond of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower or almost anything in the Brassicaceae family, and peas, but their palate is not limited to your vegetable garden. They’re also fans of flowers, shrubs and trees. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game lists trees and shrubs that are frequently damaged by moose, such as apple and crabapple trees, and those that are only occasionally damaged by moose, such as lilac and maple trees (1.usa.gov/1L02063).
Heidi Rader is a tribes Extension educator for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service and the Tanana Chiefs Conference. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.