How to keep critters out of vegetable garden

micrazyJuly 6, 2008

Hi!

I live in a very wooded neighborhood, and there's a fairly good size area in my yard I would love to put in veggies. (I have been doing container growing for several years, and feel my yield would be much greater if I could put them in the ground. Trouble is- we have all kinds of wildlife in our yard (no deer), but chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, and birds. I would not be able to see my garden if I plant it where I'd like to. Question is- is there anything at all I can do to keep the animals at bay so that we could have an in ground garden? Thanks so much. It's mostly tomatoes, peppers, herbs, etc, but would like to add some other veggies If I could control the situation. Thanks so much

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davidtater

I have been having problems with "critters" myself. For the life of me, I can not figure out what kind of critters are invading my garden. First I found several of the plants cut up, but they do not appear to be eaten. I also found a small hole, maybe 6 inches tall, cut into the screen around one of my bushes. But the bush was no harmed? I did not see any evidence of digging. What kind of critter could it be?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 1:01PM
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micrazy

I should clarify...I would not be able to see my garden constantly- like I can now where it is located on my back deck. It would be a level below the main area of our house (basement rancher). Thanks again. I hope someone can reply.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 1:20PM
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sylvana_grows(5)

"I have been having problems with "critters" myself. For the life of me, I can not figure out what kind of critters are invading my garden. First I found several of the plants cut up, but they do not appear to be eaten. I also found a small hole, maybe 6 inches tall, cut into the screen around one of my bushes. But the bush was no harmed? I did not see any evidence of digging. What kind of critter could it be?"

I'm pretty good at figuring out what animal/insect/condition is affecting my garden. Were there any tracks around the affected area? Change in soil? What marks/bites are on the plants?

And to Micrazy:
Place ground chili peppers in your garden bed. Use the hottest chilies you can find, the little Thai chilies are excellent, so are habaneras and cascabellas. The capsicum in the peppers makes for unpleasant digging. The term 'hot foot' applies here.

Put mothballs down around your plants. Matter of fact we have some tool and garden sheds that are about 1 foot of the ground and every year I buy a trunk load of it (or so it seems). This discourages them from the git-go and even keeps out stray cats and other critters.

Hang rags soaked in vinegar and stapled onto small wooden stakes or dowels near you plants. Most rodents hate the smell even when dry. Re-soak each rag in about a week.

Should you be a coffee drinker who brews it up using coffee grounds then empty your coffee filter around the base of your tomato plants and that should help you. Should you be fortunate enough to live by a Starbucks go and ask for their used coffee grounds as they have been known to give away 5 and 10 pound bags to anyone who asks for it.

You can also mix up some regular cheap liquid soap with some ground red hot chili pepper powder and pour that around the base of your tomato plants. I would do some out about 2 inches and then another ring out about the same distance as your widest leaves on your plant. You may want to keep your eye out for those big jars of chili powder that go on sale once or twice a year in discount markets and stock up to use at the base of your plants by just sprinkling it on the ground. It is supposed to work also.

Then there is the old chicken wire with the smallest mesh. You can wire or staple it to stakes and drive them deep into the ground. You can use 36â or wider chicken wire and bend them over your tomato plants or they will use the wire as monkey bars to get in.

Get some blood bone meal and sprinkle it around the base of your tomato plants.

Got a dog? Then when you sweep up their dog hairs or you brush them, do not throw the dog hair in the garbage. Simply sprinkle it around your tomato plants and that will also work.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 12:57AM
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davidtater

Miss Sylvana Grows,

I did not notice the tracks until I went back and checked. There seem to be prints in the soil. I do not know if they are related. They do not look like paw prints. There are no toes, just lots of shallow dots.

There was no change in the soil. However, I have noticed that a swath of land bordering my garden is unusually green. I do not see how this could be related.

The marks in the foliage are long and straight like cat scratches. Do cats like to use their claws on plants? Most of the damage seems to be on the leafy plants such as my lettuce.

Thank you for your expertise,
Tater Totco

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 9:50PM
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micrazy

Dear Sylvana grows-
Thanks SO much for all of the great tips!! I'll try them all. Do these additives (bone meal, etc.) not change the soil? Again- thanks so much!!
micrazy

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 9:18AM
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gabby_granny_hotmail_com

Something would cut the stems from my Tomatos and leave them on the ground.Now this year again the tomatos are being cut off, also other plants .They are cut at an ANGLE and left on the ground, not being eaten at all..Please help solve this mystery..

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 3:09PM
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sibonogle_aol_com

keeping critters out of my tomatoes

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 9:47AM
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mariahskinner_hotmail_com

I have read that laying out chicken wire flat on the ground around your garden will keep deer away, as they don't like stepping on the wire mesh. I am trying it this year. So far, no deer damage.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:29PM
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