Don’t let bugs, birds or rodents destroy your organic garden, or worse, drive you to spray toxic pesticides on your family’s food! Here are some successful potting and planting tips, with built-in pest deterrents to keep your garden growing naturally.
Begin by elevating your planter boxes and potting containers with large concrete blocks to deter ground crawlers. Recycle an old picnic table with benches to hold your planter boxes, or line up your potting containers along an elevated homemade shelf of scrap wood planks elevated with concrete blocks. Just remember to position your planter boxes and containers prior to filling with heavy soil.
The higher your containers and planting boxes are the easier it will be for you to tend your garden without the bending-over back-pain, and it will be more difficult for creatures to get to your garden. There are hanging garden containers available now for $9.99 to $14.99 and are another great way to elevate your garden. However this method could get expensive if you’re growing more than one or two varieties or fruits or vegetables.
You can also make your own hanging gardens by simply hanging your planter boxes or garden containers on patio beams using durable chain and heavy bolts or hooks. Strawberries, zucchinis and all varieties of tomatoes do particularly well in hanging gardens, as gravity pulls the plant making its fruit grow large very quickly.
I learned gardening tricks while living in Hawaii that many mainlanders are unaware of. Banana palms and papaya trees love soapy run-off water from your washing machine, and bugs will shun the soapy solution. This recycled watering technique keeps bugs and vermin from climbing your trees and eating the fruit growing on it.
Other pest repelling tricks include planting your choice of pungent onions, garlic, fennel, and/or leeks on either end of your garden beds. Neither rodents nor bugs can tolerate these odoriferous plants, a scent most of us enjoy smelling in our gardens. Pests are also repelled by pungent herbs like dill, cilantro, thyme and mint. Plant these herbs at strategic places throughout your garden, or plant separate herb-filled pots to position in rows between your planter boxes.
If ants are still attacking your fruits and vegetables try some of these ideas to stop them in their tracks. Ants aren’t supposed to cross solid chalk lines or salt, baking soda or ground cinnamon. I’ve tried these methods but they must be re-lined (without any breaks) daily, and still some ants will brave the backs of other bugs crossing over the lines to get at your garden! The worst of which was wasting expensive cinnamon, daring the ants to cross into my garden, which they eventually did anyway.
Cinnamon was truly the sweetest-smelling bug repellent I’ve ever used. However I was heartbroken after enormous quantities of the delightful spice that could have been used in my baking, was poured onto the ground! And finally birds can be averted by tying recycled glistening Christmas tree ornaments onto your fruit trees, your hanging gardens and dangling from stakes placed in your planter boxes or containers. The sparkles of reflected sunlight will startle birds and keep them away from your garden.
Elevate your garden off the ground in planter boxes and containers with bricks, or hang them from your porch to keep pests away from your food as it grows. Plant odoriferous plants and herbs throughout your garden, use reclaimed sudsy water, draw your ant lines and use reflective lights to scare the birds away from your family’s food supply. Try all these natural pest repellents and reap the harvest of your organic gardening labors.