A vegetable garden has many benefits: it can be a great hobby, save you money in the long-term, and provide you and your friends with fresh vegetables. However, it can also provide food for unwanted guests, such as insects and wild animals. By reading the article below, you will be able to identify how to protect your vegetable gardens from becoming meals to pests.
The first step to protecting your vegetable plants is to get rid of garden grubs. Grubs are the larva of an insect, like beetles, that feed on the roots of your plants. If the roots of a vegetable plant are eaten off, it becomes harder for the plant to deliver nutrients throughout and they will die off. You can generally locate grubs in your garden right after tilling; they appear as small, whitish, and circular-shaped in the soil.
What is the best way to remove them from your garden? One way is to prevent them from coming in the first place. Many garden grubs are the larva of the Japanese beetle, which is well-known for being a plant and tree destroyer. There are some plants that you can include near your garden that will repel them, such as baby’s breath, carnations, daisies, and hydrangeas. If you do have grubs, you can infect them with a parasite known as nematodes, which bore into the grubs and inject toxins which kill them. These parasites can be purchased in mixtures from your local gardening store. If introducing parasites to your garden does not sound pleasant to you, you can also use pesticides to kill the grub. Make sure to water thoroughly before using pesticides, as this will help it to penetrate the soil and be more effective. You’ll also want to stay vigilant for insects and beetles in your garden and rid them on sight.
Slugs can be extremely damaging to a vegetable garden. They will eat any vegetation, from fruits and vegetables to leaves, which can leave a lot of damage to your crops. However, getting rid of them can be easy. You can use a pan full of beer, the scent of which attracts the slugs. When the slugs try to consume the liquid, they will drown. Replace the pan of beer frequently and you will find a lot less slugs pestering your garden.
While birds can sometimes be beneficial for gardens (they eat a lot of the insects that can terrorize your garden, for instance), they can also cause destruction to plants. They will sometimes eat the leaves off of your vegetable plants, and they will often seek out seedlings to eat. You can prevent this problem by placing netting above your garden. This allows your vegetable garden to get necessary air flow and sun while preventing birds from swooping in and destroying your plants.
Another animal to be mindful of are deer. They often seek out the vegetation in vegetable gardens when grazing for food; with how much food they need on a daily basis, this can all but wipe out your garden quickly. There are some strategies you can use to prevent deer from entering your garden. Fences can be effective, but only if they are built higher than a deer can jump. Using scarecrows can also deter a deer, who will see the odd item in your yard and be fearful.
You may want to include some plants near your vegetable garden that repel animals. For instance, herbs like rosemary, oregano, or thyme are good for deterring deer, as the strong scents will often drive them away. Other strong-odored plants can help repel animals such as raccoons, rabbits, and your household pets, such as cayenne peppers and ornamental garlic.
You can protect your vegetable garden from unwanted invaders by following the tips above. Keep a vigilant eye on your garden and address any issues that arise in order to make the best of your gardening experience.