Friday, June 14, 2013

Guest Post: How to Keep Garden Pests Away Naturally

Good Morning and HAPPY FRIDAY!!  We just recently put the word out that we are looking for 2 additional co-hosts for Tuesdays with a Twist while I am out of town.  If you're interested please send me an email with your info.

PLUS, I am looking for guests for Back to the Basics and Mary's Kitchen.  Interested?

Today we have Maya from Pets and Pests.  This is perfect timing since my mom was just asking me about how to keep the rabbits and other pests from eating her plants.


Maintaining a nice garden is a time-consuming (yet incredibly rewarding) task. There’s watering, weeding, planting, pruning, and more, but one of the most difficult parts of gardening is keeping the garden pest-free. Maybe squirrels are always chomping your bulbs, or maybe you can’t figure out what is munching all your tomatoes. 

photo credit: gardener41

While there are many manmade chemical products you can use to rid your garden of pests, (like deer, rabbits, slugs and other invaders) nature’s got her own chemicals we can borrow. Plus, pesticides can end up doing more harm than good for your plants themselves. This article is all about keeping your garden pests away the old-fashioned way.

Slugs are one of the most persistent and irritating of garden pests. They are hard to find, yet they can irreversibly damage your plants. The first thing to do to get rid of those nasty slugs is to spread some coffee grounds around your garden. Unlike humans, slugs cannot stand coffee grounds, nor can cats or deer. The coffee grounds actually possess an added bonus because they contain nitrogen which is an essential element for all healthy gardens.

Slugs are fairly easy to handle versus bigger pests that are a huge nuisance for your garden. Naturally, putting up a fence is one way to keep those mammals out. If that is not a viable option for you, things might be a bit more complicated. However, nature has a few tricks up her sleeve to offer. 

For larger garden pests, blood meal is a great way to keep them out, and yes, it is exactly what you might be thinking it is: dried up animal blood.  Interestingly enough, the bigger pests such as deer, rabbits, and raccoons cannot stand the smell of blood, and will stay far from your plants if you use it. Additionally, blood meal is full of high amounts of nitrogen which acts as a great fertilizer. 

If blood meal really isn’t your thing, you can also try using fox or coyote urine. Put some small drops of urine all around the garden. The smell of a predator will frighten the raccoons, rabbits, deer, and squirrels. Because the predator’s “scent” lingers even after the urine dries, a little of it goes a long way. Once there is a good rain, you can reapply the urine. The other piece of good news is that a bottle should cost less than $30. 

Starting your garden, growing all your plants, and keeping them safe from pesky pests can be a challenge. Hopefully, some of these tips will enable you to keep your bulbs, fruits, and veggies all for yourself this year – unless you choose to share with friends and family!

Author Bio: Maya Rodgers is an avid gardener, amateur salsa-maker (since she grows mostly peppers and tomatoes), and spends her days as a pest control consultant for Terminix. Hopefully by the end of this summer she’ll have lots of salsa to eat and share! She can be found blogging at Pets and Pests.


I'm sharing this great garden post HERE.


Deb Clem-Buckert said...

I thought we had a mole the other day and panicked (because that means you have slugs). We didn't but my heart was racing. Really hard to get rid of them.

Joyce said...

What about caterpillars? I believe they have stripped my kale of all the leaves leaving behind allll the stems. Now my kale looks like a fancy spider web.

amelia said...

I have little gray caterpillars eating my shrubs. What can I spray or sprinkle to kill them?

Mamal Diane said...

Great information. It seems I am always battling one pest or another lol. Visiting from The Gathering Spot :)

Judy diyAddict said...

Hi Mary,

This is very informative. I've been wondering how to do it naturally and this post answered my very long pending questions in my mind.

I would like to thank you for joining the Pin It Monday Hop Pinterest Party.

Pursuit Of Functional Home

Libby said...

Thanks for the natural tips! I'm definitely going to try the coffee grounds. I had my stash of Irish Spring, waiting to see if I was going to need them. It's great to have natural options. :-)

Maurine Roe said...

I have to give coffee grounds a try one of these days. Had slug problems in the past, I’ve tried using pesticide, but I’d rather use more natural means if ever I encounter such problems again. And since they can act as fertilizers, that’s a huge plus for me.

Mosquito Squad

Anthony Sebastian said...

Since coffee grounds are the easiest of these to get, I’m gonna try and start with that one. I don’t have much problems with larger animals, mostly just squirrels and the occasional rabbit in the garden. Does it have to be fresh or can it be the ones from my coffee filter? That’d be an added bonus for me as well, as I drink a lot of brewed coffee anyways.


Angelo Evangelista said...

I appreciate the info! With slugs and 3 pets running around, I'd definitely be giving coffee grounds a go. Also, do you have any tips for getting rid of beetles and ticks? -Angelo @ Peeler Environmental