With summertime finally here, now is the perfect opportunity to cultivate your garden. From planting various herbs to caring for vegetables, there are a lot of delicious crops to be harvested. While you may be looking forward to incorporating fresh produce into your meals, pests and animals can often wreak havoc on garden spaces devouring crops before they are done growing.
If you’re looking for ways to prevent animals from eating your garden and summertime produce, we reached out to gardening experts across North America, from San Juan Capistrano, CA to Richmond, BC, to share their best tips for keeping your garden free from pests. Read on to see what they have to say.
Squirrels wreak havoc on urban gardens, burrowing into the soil in order to feast on tulip and crocus bulbs. To prevent squirrels from eating our garden, we plant daffodils nearby, which squirrels don’t care for, to deter them as well as sprinkle red pepper flakes on the surface to discourage them from digging. – Jim Guckert of Guerrilla Gardeners of Washington DC
I like to make or buy products that have cayenne pepper in them, or you can make homemade peppermint oil diffusers to bury in the soil. Most rodents and pests don’t like strong mint or pepper smells, and these natural remedies can work wonders. – Bailey Van Tassel
Drip irrigation is one way to reduce the moisture these pests need to survive. Slugs and snails usually avoid plants with aromatic foliage or very stiff leaves, such as lavender, rosemary, and sage. Include herbs with a strong scent among your more susceptible plantings. Lastly, barriers can be effective. They don’t like to slide over copper so consider mesh copper screens or sheeting 8 inches wide to protect valuable plants. – Norfolk Extension Master Gardener
Cabbage moths can really do a lot of damage to members of the brassica family, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. To prevent animals from eating your garden, use an old toothbrush to gently remove the eggs and caterpillars from the underside of leaves. – Three Seeds Farm
If I see even one bunny in my neighborhood, the food tents come out. Picnic food tents on cabbage and squash or mesh bags for tomatoes and berries are quick ways to protect your harvest. – Nichollette Shorts, Broadway Gardener
Are Japanese beetles invading your garden? You can help control them without insecticides that could harm our pollinator friends. At dusk when the insects have settled in for the night, grab a bucket, add hot water, and a couple of drops of dish soap. Walk your gardens and brush the beetles off your plants into the bucket. – Midwest Garden Gal