How to keep pests out of your garden
You worked hard to add compost to your garden, weed it and plant it. Now that your vegetables are growing nicely, a little glutton decides to drop by for dinner: a groundhog. Disaster! What do you do? No doubt it’s going to devour your hard-earned garden. But you don’t want to use any pesticides harmful to the environment and your future harvest.
Here are some solutions to keep pests out of your garden.
Keep out unwanted guests with garlic
Besides being delicious, garlic has many other uses in the garden. Its strong scent keeps certain insects like aphids and caterpillars at bay. Tip: plant it between other vegetable plants throughout your garden.
Just because it’s called an insecticide doesn’t necessarily mean it contains chemicals. If you have critters eating your plants, a garlic-based insecticide is a chemical-free way to get rid of them.
Despite their cute appearance, groundhogs have an insatiable appetite for cucumbers, green beans, parsley, lettuce and more. They’re far from a gardener’s best friend. But the idea isn’t to kill or relocate them.
Around your garden:
- Sprinkle ground pepper. Do it again after it rains.
- Take the children’s toys out. Groundhogs are afraid of bright colours.
- Hang beach balls in different places around the garden. When it’s windy, they’ll move around and scare the groundhogs.
- Plant daffodils, fritillaria or hyacinths. These flowers repel groundhogs.
- Install a light equipped with a motion sensor.
Animals are smart, even through they tear apart your garden. They will figure out your trickery sooner or later and return. The idea is to mix up your methods.
Here are some other ideas:
- Hang aluminum plates. The wind will blow them around and the noise will scare animals away.
- Install a scarecrow in the middle of your garden. A retro option, but it works.
- Scatter fabric softener sheets around your plants. The strong scent will keep animals away.
- Place mothballs (naphthalene) around the garden. Caution: they are toxic to children and pets.
- Plant vegetables and herbs (dill, thyme, onions, garlic, chives, tarragon, lavender, oregano) that we find especially tasty but that repel animals.
- Put cat or dog hair around your plants. The smell will keep animals away.
- Sprinkle a few shavings from a strong-scented bar of soap.
- Put mesh (chicken wire) around the garden.
According to garden experts, the only tactic that works long-term is a motion-activated sprinkler system. As soon as animals approach, they get sprayed. Needless to say, they won’t be coming back anytime soon.
Garbage, compost and recycling
This might seem like an obvious tip, but close your trash, compost and recycling bins so animals (raccoons, groundhogs, squirrels) can’t eat from them. Keep them as far away from your garden as possible. You can never be too careful!