Posts tagged ‘Pest Control’

Garden Warfare: Deer

One of my gardening clients has a terrible deer problem. The deer have a taste for her phlox. The entire property is surrounded with wild phlox, but the deer would rather destroy the domestic ones in her garden. They just have a bad attitude.

I told her that Irish Spring keeps deer away. It’s not surprising, given the smell. I would stay away too. Just use an old stocking to tie the soap to shrubs that are a problem. She wasn’t interested in decorating her garden with soap (again, I don’t blame her). You can also string fishing line around the garden, because it confuses the deer when they walk into it. But if you’re like me, you’ll probably also walk into it yourself.

Human hair is also a good solution. Sprinkling it around the garden means that the deer are deterred by human scent, and your plants get nitrogen. But unless you have a deal with a barber, or spend a lot of time cutting your hair, a fresh supply of human hair is hard to come by.

The thing that finally worked was so simple it’s absolutely brilliant. She cut a small hole in a little garbage can, put a radio inside with an outdoor extension cord running through the hole, and tuned it into the CBC. Unlike some fear-based deterrents, the diverse range of music and talk radio changes enough to keep the deer away. For now, anyway.

June 11, 2009 at 2:43 pm 1 comment

Garden Warfare: Squirrels

As I moved my artichoke and pepper seedlings outside this morning, I was greeted by a horrible sight. My beautiful beet babies were tossed about and buried. My mizuna roots were lying bare.

Squirrels.
Bane of my existance! Oh why do you torment me so?

So, I reached for my handy dandy secret weapon. Cayenne Pepper. Yup, just plain old cayenne pepper. You can sprinkle it right on your young plants, the soil, and even mature leaves, without harming anything. My only problem is remembering to reapply after rain and waterings.

The Brooklyn Botanical Garden suggests a more peaceful method: Feed the squirrels. They claim that squirrels are territorial, so it won’t increase your squirrel problem, and if they’re well fed, they won’t bother digging in the dirt. It’s a lovely thought, but I don’t negotiate with terrorists.

May 5, 2009 at 11:39 am 2 comments


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