There are few things more frustrating for a gardener than to see all of their hard work destroyed by the tiny mouths and claws of pests. If you’re at your wit’s end trying to save your precious plants and vegetables from the destructive power of mice, deer, rabbits and insects, we’re here to help.
Keep reading to see 10 of the best ways you can keep your garden safe from pests of all sizes!
1. Clear your garden of temptation
If squirrels, deer, and rabbits enjoy partaking in the fruits of your hard labor, you’ll need to tidy up the garden space. Clean beneath bird feeders, keep garbage lids closed and remove fallen nuts and fruit from the garden area, Bonnie Plants recommends.
2. Net the plants
If you need to keep animals at bay, install a net or cage over the plants that are most likely going to get noshed (tomatoes, carrots, lettuce etc.). You can use chicken wire or bird netting to protect individual fruits and/or whole plants.
3. Make it less attractive
Cutting down tall grass, removing brush piles and getting rid or nests make it harder for pests to hide. This should deter most pests from entering the garden area, Gardener’s Supply recommends.
4. Stink them out
If you know the type of pest that’s coming into your garden you can tailor the scent to keep the perpetrator at bay. Common deterrents for pests you can’t identify include hot peppers and castor bean. You could also use moth balls, just be careful as these are toxic to pets and kids.
5. Build a fence
You can keep most larger (and medium-sized) pests away from your flowers and vegetables by building a taller fence that’s buried deeper into the ground. Deer may not be deterred by shorter fences, so you’ll have to go up or consider additional protection, according to Better Homes and Garden
6. Plant tin foil
A tin foil hat may not keep alien bugs from getting into your brain, but tearing up strips of tin foil and mixing them in the soil may keep pests (of the insect variety) at bay. The tin foil reflects light up onto plants, and many bugs shy away from the bright lights, Maid Brigade recommends.
7. Plant wisely
Aromatic plants like basil, sage, mint, dill and thyme will provide a natural odor that most bugs dislike. Plant these near your favorite veggies to protect them from otherwise curious munchers.
8. Row covers
A row cover allows you to cover several plants without cutting them off from light or oxygen. This cover works against most insects and some rabbits/deer. You’ll want to remove the cover once the plants mature.
9. Get a chicken
This may not be a feasible option for most people, but if you can purchase a chicken, you’ll have a two-for-one prize. Get a laying hen and you’ll have a natural pest deterrent (chicken like to nosh on bugs) and you may even have a few eggs to cook for breakfast.
10. Change your water routine
Bugs and insects are most attracted to the moist soil when the sun goes down. Instead of watering your garden at night, aim to get the yard wet in the morning. The soil will dry out by night time and make it less likely that the creepy crawlies will show up.