Fending Off Garden Pests


A photo of Allan DouglasIf you are like me, there are two main battles that I fight in growing a vegetable garden: weather and pests.

Weather, we cannot do much about. We take our best guess as to when that last frost will sneak in, and have empty containers and straw on hand to use as protection in case we're wrong. We can water when it's dry, use raised beds if it's getting to be too wet, have sulfur, milk and Neem oil on hand to ward off blight and fungus. But other than growing in the controlled environment of a greenhouse, we cannot control the weather: we just deal with it.

Pests, we have a little more control over. How much control depends on how far we are wiling to go. If we're willing to saturate our food in poisons, we can achieve a high degree of efficiency against insects. I, for one, prefer to avoid poisons that can have a deleterious effect on my family and me. Fortunately, there are other ways.

Here are a few of the things I do in my garden to help ward off insects and other pests.

fence boxes

Rabbits have been a major issue in past years. I tried a perimeter fence around the garden, but used the wrong fencing and they ran right through it to destroy much of my produce. So I built fence boxes for my raised beds from PVC and poultry mesh. These have been very effective in keeping out the rabbits. Not so much against chipmunks and squirrels but, fortunately, these are only a minor concern (so far) because my dogs tend to make them fearful of coming into the yard.

6/18/2015 7:35:58 AM

Our biggest pest problem is squash bugs. They nearly destroyed my winter squash/pumpkin crop last year. This year I'm checking the plants every 1-2 days and manually removing/destroying eggs. I found seven clusters last night. I hate to use poison because the flowers are blooming on the plants now and the bees are out, so it's hours of egg-hunting.

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