There is nothing worse than spending loads of time and money on your vegetable garden, only to have it decimated by natural predators. This is our first year doing square foot gardening in our raised beds. I’ve had to do some research into how to keep our neighborhood bunnies, foxes and friends away from my young vegetables. We have had containers on our farmers porch the past few years and didn’t have to deal with any pests, aside from the curious toddler. Here are a few things we plan to try out in the garden, plus some that my Dad has done for years.
~Dried blood keeps the bunnies at bay. Rabbits don’t like the smell of dried blood, or hair from it’s predators (coyotes and foxes). Get these items at your local garden store and sprinkle them around the perimeter of your garden. Too gross? Build a 3 foot high fence instead.
~Cup of beer to drown garden slugs. There were always little cups of beer in our garden growing up. Usually filled with slugs. They are attracted to the yeast and barley in the beer. I would use a little yogurt cup filled halfway with beer. Replace as needed.
~Plant an onion border around your garden. Bunnies don’t like onions!
~Marigolds are your friend. Plant them around tomato plants to help deter pests like tomato worm, white flies and nematodes.
~Garlic Fire Spray. Keep the bugs at bay with this homemade recipe from No-Dig Vegetable Garden. This will take care of ants, grubs, caterpillars and most small bugs. Be nice to the ladybugs though, they are your friend. They eat aphids!
~Cats may not be nice to your garden. Discourage them by giving them a little squirt with a hose. Don’t let them take a cat nap on your little seedlings.
~Groundhogs. If you got them, build a fence. A tall one.
There are loads of other natural gardening remedies online and I support giving them a shot if you end up with some pests in your garden. Think twice about chemical pesticides that have been linked to cancer, nerve damage and birth defects. Keep your garden and your food clean and healthy with these natural gardening tips. Good luck!
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About Emily Roach
Emily Roach is a culinary nutrition expert and works with clients to create a healthy lifestyle design. She loves teaching her kids how to cook, playing tennis and inspiring women to take control of their health. Emily does one-on-one consulting, cooking workshops and speaking engagements.