Justin White, Landscaping Lessons│Protect your landscaping against trotting turkeys – Santa Cruz Sentinel

During this time of year, turkeys are everywhere you turn: roast in the oven, handprint pictures hanging on your fridge, and even 5K turkey trot designs. But one place you don’t want to find them is in your yard! Herds can grow large within city limits because the predator population is not as developed as open land. With a range of up to 20 pounds each, a flock of 30 birds can cause serious damage to your landscape. Devour these tips to keep your home safe from poultry play!

First, you need to determine what is attracting turkeys to your property. Bird feeders can invite various other types of hungry creatures into your home, including turkeys. If this turns out to be a convenient source of food for them, remove the feeders until the season is over. Politely remind the neighbors not to feed any wildlife. After all, it’s illegal to do so in California. Turkeys also enjoy seeds, berries, nuts, and insects. They will cultivate the ground with their claws to discover these delicious snacks and to clean your bushes and trees. If they are not feeding in your yard, they may have found a resting place in your yard. Just like chickens, turkeys like to sit on high places like bushes and branches, some even flock to the roof or your car.

Put yourself at the top of the pecking order with these deterrents. If turkeys are throwing mulch or debris around your property or on sidewalks, consider placing mesh fabric or chicken wire over these areas. If they devastate certain plants, install tree guards to hide them. Take extra care to protect newly planted seeds that you’ve recently planted in the ground by also putting in a fence perimeter to keep those pesky poultry in check. Another alternative is the staging of 3D predators such as fake coyotes or scarecrows. Turkeys don’t like water. So if they just spray the hose in their direction, they can pack. Flash tape or streamers are brightly colored and make crackling noises when blown by the wind. They are known to scare off turkeys. Bring an eviction notice to their rest areas with this arsenal of defense!

While it may have been exciting to see these eaters galloping out of your front window at first, the appeal has likely faded since then and their presence becomes a nuisance. Don’t let yourself be sent on a wild goose hunt and try to clean up your landscape in their wake. With these tips to stop a trot, let them get off the cold turkey and enjoy your poultry alongside a side of mashed potatoes!

Justin White is the CEO of K&D Landscaping, headquartered in Watsonville, California, and was named “Business of the Year 2020” by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce. White is also the current president of the local chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) on the central coast. He is involved in several nonprofits across the community and sits on the board of directors of the Santa Cruz Business Council. For more information on landscaping, outdoor and gardening requirements, contact K&D Landscaping at kndlandscaping.com.

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