Gardening is a great hobby and an excellent way to get some physical exercise during the spring and summer. Unfortunately, however, some backyard critters may undermine your best efforts to grow delicious veggies or beautiful flowers.
Between ubiquitous insects, curious rodents and other creatures, your garden can come under attack from a whole host of animals. Happily, there are a number of safe ways to keep these critters from uprooting all of your hard work. These are non-toxic, meaning they’ll keep pests at bay without causing any serious harm.
Earth Easy reported that for individual species that are giving you trouble, there is likely a specific remedy for keeping them away, but anyone with a garden should try a few easy prevention tips to minimize any sort of infestation.
Above all else, keeping your plants healthy is a great way to reduce any damage caused by unwanted insects. Earth Easy suggested investing in a good organic top soil, as well as a natural fertilizer full of nutrients. Some types, like seaweed fertilizers also serve as natural repellents.
Another way to keep your garden safe is to remove any dead or dying plants or weeds. Loose sticks or debris can be great habitat for insects, while dying plants represent an easy meal. Stagnant water can also help insects survive, so a good irrigation system is critical.
Beyond insects and other bugs, a good fence will deter rabbits and other herbivores from munching on your herbs or veggies. Making sure seeds, compost or any other supplies are covered and fully protected is also critical, as rodents like squirrels or mice will make an easy meal out of any available food.
For some gardens, simple prevention methods may not be enough to combat hungry critters. Having said that, there are plenty of home remedies that can be employed that do not introduce harmful chemicals into your backyard.
Veggie Gardner found that one concoction of common ingredients found around the home can be a powerful deterrent to all sorts of hungry animals, from rabbits to deer. This may even be helpful from keeping any curious dogs out of your garden. Grab an old spray bottle and combine the following ingredients:
- 4 tsp. dry mustard
- 3 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. hot sauce
- 2 quarts warm water
As you can imagine, this mixture packs quite the punch. Spray it around the perimeter of your garden, and even the boldest animals will be unable to overcome this powerful scent. This can also be effective against all sorts of bugs that may be interested in making a quick meal out of your veggies. The source stated that combining other pungent food items like garlic powder, onion or baking powder can be effective for keeping pests out of your garden.
Earth Easy found that while some bugs like aphids or certain caterpillars can be a problem for your garden’s health, other species may actually protect your plants. You can purchase a few predatory critters online to feast on pests or just create an area of the garden designed to attract the right sort of bugs.
Species like ladybugs eat mites and other tiny pests. They may be attracted to daisies and other flowers or can be ordered online and introduced into your backyard. This is a safe and natural way to keep unwanted bugs away.
Another great predatory insect is the praying mantis. Buy mantis eggs online, and when they hatch, these bugs will protect your garden from a long list of critters that would otherwise eat through your herbs and veggies.