Although growing a fruit and vegetable garden has been extremely enjoyable and rewarding, one downside where we live are the critters. We have cats, birds, mice, wild turkeys, bunnies, woodchucks, bugs and deer - that I know of. They have been quite kind in leaving my plants alone for the most part, but I have had to put some measures in place to keep them away.
1. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is especially good to keep away rabbits. They can't take the heat! I sprinkle cayenne pepper on the leaves and around the base of each plant. I've been doing this for years, even when we lived in town, and it works every single time.
2. Irish Spring Soap
This type of soap is good for keeping deer away. Deer HATE the smell of Irish Spring. We have one doe that lurks around in our garden area and it seems like this is effective in keeping her away. I use about one full bar each time I reapply in my garden, which is normally every 2-3 days or after it rains. An old cheese grater that I found in my attic has worked perfectly for grating the soap around each plant.
I read that having some type of "movement" in your garden deters animals from approaching. We placed pinwheels around the perimeter of the garden. They catch the slightest breeze and are rarely still. I found the ones we are using at Dollar Tree for $1 each and they've held up very nicely through some very strong storms.
4. Wind Chimes
I love the sound of wind chimes, so there is no shortage of them at our house! We placed small wind chimes around both my fruit/vegetable garden and wildflower plot. Animals are supposed to be frightened by the sound of the chimes and birds do not like items that are reflective. I was able to find both the wind chimes and stands for the chimes from Dollar Tree, again, for $1 a piece.
Planting marigolds is a traditional gardening tip. Marigolds supposedly mask the sent of vegetables, confusing garden pests. We planted them around the entire fruit/vegetable garden. They must also be delicious, because the deer started nibbling on a couple. I fixed that by utilizing tip number two and sprinkled some Irish Spring around them, which did the trick!
6. Tomato Cages + Tin Cans
I planted two established perennials in my wildflower plot that will be good for attracting butterflies. What I didn't know is that they were also good for attracting deer! My solution was to place tomato cages around the plants, hanging tin cans from twine around the outside. I wanted the cage to block its head from the plant and for the cans to make sound to scare it away. I'm happy to report that this has worked and both plants are coming back!
I hope these tricks help you keep critters out of your garden as much as possible! If you have any good tips for keeping wildlife from eating flowers and or fruits/vegetables from your garden(s), I'd love for you to share them in the comments below!
I'm sure every gardener will agree, every "battle" with the wildlife has been worth it. Because this is what you get in the end:
And this is how big your smile gets to be:
I've turned into the woman standing at the edge of her garden willing her plants to grow. We've had quite the dry spell, and our hose is not hooked up yet, so Joel and I have been toting buckets of water out every other day or so.
I'm a gardening beginner. I don't know a whole lot about growing vegetables, but I'm giving it a try! In doing some online research, I found that having a trellis for your cucumbers is important because it keeps them fresh, clean and disease free. Along with my research, I looked for trellis options I could buy and trellis options I could make. I opted to make my own by repurposing an object commonly found at yard sales and auctions.
What do you see when you look at this picture?
I bet you said an old baby crib, right? Yep, you got it. But I saw much more than that! I saw: a trellis (2 barred sides of crib), two signs (2 solid sides of crib) and a light fixture (mattress spring). I was SO thrilled with this find at a local yard sale for just $10! And the best part, minimal assembly was required to create my cucumber trellis out of the barred sides of the crib.
After finding my material and gathering the supplies I needed, I accomplished this project in two easy steps!
What You'll Need:
Step 2: If your sides are wooden, I'd recommend wrapping a piece of garbage bag around the bottom to help prevent rot. Once that's done, figure out how wide you want your trellis to stand, dig into the dirt a few inches and bury the garbage bag wrapped bottom of the sides for stability.
That's it! You now have a cucumber trellis, or flower trellis, or whatever kind of trellis you want it to be.
Here's what it looked like in our garden at the beginning of the season in May:
Here's what it looked like in July, just after the cucumbers really started to take off: