Although gardening is considered a therapy to some and extremely enjoyable to others. At its heart, it can be a lot of hard work.
Mainly diligence and staying on top of little things can keep you ahead of any tough tasks and avoid things getting out of hand and turning into chores.
After all your hard work and care, there’s nothing quite as disappointing or frustrating to come out one morning or afternoon, to a plant that has been damaged or outright eaten by some type of garden pest.
They can wipe out an entire bed overnight or in just a few hours.
There are so many things that can go the wrong way in a garden and quickly get out of control, that there’s no way to prevent them all.
All we can do is try our best and react to situations as quickly and effectively as possible.
Gardening is always that. It is an ongoing experiment. A reaction to constant changes in your environment and as well as things in your environment.
Keep in mind, these are not all guaranteed, but we have to start somewhere.
Keeping Wildlife Away
The greatest deterrent of all is YOU. Being in the garden all the time is a surefire way to keep everything out. Although this is my personal dream, I just can’t be in there 24 hours a day. Here are a few things to try for those times when you can’t be out there gardening!
One way to keep larger pests out is to consider where you plant your flowers or garden. Closer to your home may help deter wildlife.
Animals are always wary of humans and are more afraid of you than you realize. High traffic areas with lots of movement and human scent are usually avoided by wildlife.
Most wildlife are very sensitive to scent.
There are many products sold that claim to deter wildlife by scent. Most involving spicy pepper spray or some type of wild animal urine. But who want’s to smell that awful mess all day while enjoying your day in the garden?
A more pleasant and organic approach is by planting strong scented flowers like marigold and lavender, or herbs like rosemary and thyme in your garden may be enough to keep the critters away.
Other tactics such as spraying perfume or leaving clothing about can be effective.
Placing an Air Freshener in a problem area can really mess them up. Hanging a bar of soap or a scented candle can be just the thing to keep deer away.
There are always different types of spinning wind ornaments for sale at your local garden center.
You can also make your own by tying old CD’s to a string and hanging them up. Their movement blowing in the wind and also the shiny surface flickering in the sun will frighten birds away.
The combined movement and sound of windchimes anywhere in your garden can also help.
A popular trend these days are Garden Flags. Their bright colors and movement make a great wildlife deterrent.
Ok, so these come with their own problems but can usually be taught to stay out of the garden. If you can figure out how to keep my cat’s from using my beds and gardens as a litter box, please let me know as soon as possible!
Woe to any egg laying butterfly in my collard patch if Jeremy sees them. Cats will lower the population of mice, rabbits, snakes, moles, shrews, squirrels and many insects that may be plaguing your garden efforts. Just the presence of a dog is enough to keep most wildlife far away.
Free ranging chickens will eat their weight in all kinds of bugs in a given day. When mine were free ranging, I swear they kept the mosquito population down.
Depending what you are growing they will leave your crops or shrubs alone.
In my experience, once the plants are larger, they did not eat squash plants, or tomato plants in the vegetable garden.
They left woody shrubs alone like hydrangea and cigar plant. They will definitely eat more leafy tender plants, and absolutely love Begonia, trust me on that one.
Also, I read that begonia are toxic to cats and dogs, but all my chickens are alive to this date.
Planting wildlife resistant plants is just that. It’s not full proof and the deer or rabbit may be extra hungry or curious in your area.
In extreme conditions, they only way to keep them out is to build or purchase some type of garden enclosure.
Garden enclosure can range from many things including : netting, fence, or growing everything inside a greenhouse.
Having a garden is like anything in life. You can have good and bad times.
All the prevention and reaction in the world may not stop some things but I will still be out there pruning and planting, watering and weeding as I continue my journey of making my backyard into a paradise.
Until next time, Good luck and Happy Gardening!