Photo courtesy of the Seattle Tilth.
Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be a great hobby, but the fun stops when certain uninvited guests sneak into your garden and eat all your hard work.
Insects, birds, and small animals can definitely be a roadblock in maintaining your garden. And to prevent these nuisances from treating your backyard like a buffet table, gardeners often use pesticides and other synthetic chemicals to make these problems go away.
Unfortunately, these chemicals are harmful to the environment and can also damage your health. Thankfully, there are eco-friendly alternatives that are just as effective. Please read on to learn some easy solutions that will ensure your garden bears the most environmentally-friendly and freshest produce possible.
1. Use organic instead of synthetic pesticides.
Insect repellents made of DEET (N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) effectively kills bugs, but studies have shown they can cause physical harm to infants, young children, and even adults if they exposed to it too often. Organic pesticides made from natural bacteria and oils leave less toxic residue and still gets the job done.
2. Use barriers.
Pesticides work on bugs, but not small animals or birds. To keep the larger creatures out, consider building or purchasing barriers that will keep them away. It can be as simple as constructing wooden walls to surround your garden or using a mosquito net. Mosquito nets are primarily used to protect people from insects, but they can also protect your fruits and vegetables from becoming someone’s free lunch.
3. Look in your kitchen for natural pesticides.
Foul smells will keep critters away. Spices found in your kitchen can be mixed together to create an awful stench that you can use for protection. Garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage, baking soda, and vinegar are all ingredients that will repel insects (and people, too!).
4. When in doubt, plant indoors.
Plenty of produce can be grown indoors. With the right sunlight, water, and nutrients you can protect your fruits and vegetables with the ultimate barrier: your home. Just make sure to not leave the front door wide open!