July is an exciting time for gardeners. Nothing is better than sitting back and watching the sprouts that you planted in spring start to blossom and bloom in the summer heat. And while there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the fruits of your labor come to life, there is nothing more frustrating than seeing your prized tomatoes nibbled away by sneaky garden pests. That’s why we put on gardeners on high alert in July. Animals are always active and hungry and larger plants are an attractive target for potential predators. Luckily, we’ve created a list for you of some of our favorite ways to keep your garden safe!
For Everything: Sprinkling garlic, red pepper or chili powder on your plants should give your garden predators a spicy surprise.
For Deer: If a fence is out of the question, try hanging mylar or old CD’s or wind chimes around your plot to scare them away. You can also make a homemade deer repellent by combining a doz-en eggs and four beef bouillon cubes in a bucket, and fill the rest with water. Cover and wait until there is a noticeable odor. Add two tablespoons of soap per gallon of liquid, and pour into a spray bottle. Spray around the plants, being careful to avoid the actual vegetables or fruit.
For Rabbits: Shake baby powder or flour on young seedlings and garlic powder on mature plants.
Slugs and snails: Use thin copper strips, pine nee-dles, coffee grounds, or crushed eggshells as a barrier. You can also leave out grapefruit and melon rinds elsewhere to lure them away. Use Potent and Scented Herbs: Lavender, rose-mary, mint, sage, and basil will repel leafhoppers, aphids, cabbage loppers, mites, cucumber bee-tles, and others. Crush the herbs and place in a bucket that is at least half a gallon. Fill with water, cover, and let sit in the sun for a few days. Strain, add 1/8 teaspoon liquid soap, and pour liquid into a spray bottle.
Melissa Serafin, 2012 Summer Associate