Deer, slugs, and other garden destroying pests might be a part of our natural world, but that doesn’t mean you have to tolerate them being a natural part of your garden. These tips will keep your plants pest-free without harsh chemicals.
Bring on the Coffee: Coffee grounds are a great addition to your garden. They add nitrogen to the soil, they increase the acidity for acid loving plants, and, best of all, a wide range of creatures can’t stand coffee grounds. Slugs hate coffee, cats hate coffee; it’s even sometimes an effective olfactory-based repellent for picky deer. What’s that you say? You hate coffee and have no coffee grounds to work with? Stop by your local Starbucks and ask. They have a policy of giving away their mountains of spent grounds for patrons to use for composting and other projects.
Repel Insects with Organic Sprays: There are an abundance of organic recipes online for insect-repelling plant sprays. The majority of them have common ingredients like garlic cloves, hot pepper, and sometimes the essential oil extract of either or both. Mixtures of the two work great for repelling everything from bugs to bunnies. This step-by-step guide will help you make a potent garlic/pepper mix for your plants.
Deterring Big Pests: If slugs are the most annoying little pests, adorable yet destructive creatures like rabbits and deer are the most annoying big pests. A few deer can reduce a thriving garden patch to waste or a hearty stand of hostas to nubs in a matter of days. Unlike the simple orange-rind traps you use for slugs, you have to be a little trickier with larger pests. Photo by wwarby.
If you can afford it and it’s feasible to do so, putting up a fence is the only fool-proof way to keep animals out of your garden. Barring building a rabbit-proof fence, the most effective deterrent for large pests is to scare the hell out of them. You can spray plants with nasty tasting substances like the garlic/pepper spray above, but that’s not as effective or far reaching as introducing the scent of predators.