Instructables

how do i keep bugs,birds,and animals out of my vegetable gardens without chemicals?

 I plan to start growing a med-large vegetable garden (parsley,cucumber,pumpkin,carrot, cantaloupe,sweet basil,spinach, green peppers and a small pomegranate tree as an extra). I dont want to use any pesticides or chemical deterrents. Any ideas as to what to go with? Chicken wire? 

Z..4 years ago

One of the first things you should do, is accept that nature rules! It is the make-up of a garden to have bugs-good and bad! You will never eliminate all of them-and neither should you.

I know it's frustrating, but if you have to fight the bugs for the lions share of your vegetables, they are paying you a compliment,-because your stuff is really tasty!!

(I think the rottweiler/cats thing is valid. The only thing I would change, is to get a very hungry rotty to deal with the cats...When cats defecate, they mound;-they don't bury their poo. I would not encourage such animals or habits, it is a pretty lousy way to discover that they've visited you).

Silver tinsel discourages birds-I've had an even better result using a foil emergency blanket, torn into strips and draped across fruit trees, plants etc.

Australian Rosella's (beautifully coloured wild parrots), are as predatory as hell,-and NOISY! They don't just sneak in;-they let the neighborhood know they are there!! Fools!

Tinsel didn't stop them. Foil strips did. Go figure!

Enjoy your gardening, it is the most fulfilling thing to pick and cook/serve the freshest and tastiest food;-that you grew!!

Good luck! 

 

First, i have everything planted in separate pots on my deck, so animals like rabbits and birds don't come near the plants.

Also, you can use fences to keep away the ground animals (i.e. rabbits, etc.).

For the blue berry bushes under my deck, i use a large, wispy, mesh piece of fabric that covers one side. I don't get caterpillars and other bugs that way. (Plus, it is literally under my deck, so that helps....).

Anyway, i'm sure with a little research, you can find other ways to rid your garden of pests the natural way.

Have fun growing!!!!
Beuna3 years ago
I have found that using organic gardening methods you have fewer pests to begin with.  Healthy soil helps plants to be healthier and less attractive to pests.  There is also a better environment for beneficial insects to live because you aren't killing them off along with the pests so they can be there to patrol your garden for you. Keep in mind that most insects are beneficial or neutral - few are pests.  In my 20+ years of gardening organically (at four different houses in two states) the only real pest problems I have had were aphids and slugs/snails.
That does not necessarily apply to birds as pests though.    Some birds are mostly seed and insect eaters and will not eat your plants. 
Using a garden fabric to keep out pests of all kinds may be necessary in your situation.  I have never had to use it so don't assume that you will.
Some things that may be helpful:
Try to attract seed and insect eating birds
Keep your soil healthy.  Square Foot Gardening is a great way to do this.  I don't do this for my entire yard but I do for vegetables, most herbs, and small fruits.  See http://www.squarefootgardening.com  Also, the book All-New Square Foot Gardening includes information on protecting plants from insects, birds, and animals.
Learn to control the pests you do get in as simple, safe manner as possible.  For example: Aphids can often be knocked off with a strong blast of water.  Insecticidal soap can take care of any that survived if necessary. If you see ladybug larvae (looks like a miniature alligator) do not use insecticidal soap.  You may not want to do anything and let them take care of it.
Slugs and snails are sometimes the result of overwatering.  They can be repelled by bits of hair, sharp sand, and crushed eggshells.  There are baits containing iron phosphate which are only deadly to snails and slugs.
If you have specific pest questions after this you can contact me, someone locally to you who uses organic methods, or do some research online.
Most of all - Have fun!  Gardening should be an enjoyable experience.
jeff-o4 years ago
Some outdoor centers will have bird netting or bird mesh, from which you can build a tent or cage over your vegetables.  It should keep out the larger creatures.  But for bugs, I'm not sure.  Some are beneficial, and some are not.  Are there any species in particular that you want to keep out?
blackkittyatl (author)  jeff-o4 years ago
 not a clue. i want bee's but i dont want the beetle. we have a lot of lady bugs, but i think those are a good bug but we have a lot of Caterpillars that i really dont want munching through my spinach 
Thank-you for my Best Answer!

Good luck with your gardening. I use a product called Dipel (in Oz) to stop caterpillars. (It is an organic derivative-and is one of the older solutions). Dipel is lethal to caterpillars, and has no 'holding' period, (ergo; you don't have to wait a few days -or more, to pick the vegetables for consumption).

Watch out for cut-worm;-these critters live under the soil, and pop up at night to have a meal! They are like a very large maggot..., yuk! The sign that you have them is the withering of the plant at root level,-despite watering. They are eating the roots!

You might not have them over there..?

Anyways, an edible plant that is not 'perfect' in appearance, is a good plant, because it appeals to all who like to eat it!! 
JimFlo4 years ago
Chickens for the bugs, pellet rifle (slug gun) and a jack russel terrier for the critters.
blackkittyatl (author)  JimFlo4 years ago
i hope a pomeranian and a bb gun would do the trick, lol
frollard4 years ago
Chicken wire won't keep bugs out...not much will;


You can make coverings that work like greenhouses - pound stakes in the ground, put 180 degree hoops of pvc pipe over them as supports, and drape with plastic/tarp, etc. - or go more rugged and build it structural with wood and various plastics.
blackkittyatl (author)  frollard4 years ago
 a greenhouse wold probably be good, we have a LOT of birds and some fairly big crows that like to terrorize my dog and all the smaller birds. that and maybe a covering of mesh under the tent might work, thanks for the idea!
seandogue4 years ago
birds: hungry cats.the more the better

animals. Rotweiler

bugs: Many companion plants help to keep certain insects out. (some attract them). Marigolds are a classic companion for the vegetable garden. Netting is also available for things like cucumbers (cuke beetle is  bad mojo in my neighborhood) and leafy veggies like spinach, chard, etc. (many species of moth lay eggs that eat the leaves from the inside out). Aphids and other nectar cows are tasty to  lady bugs & preying mantis

The local (dedicated) garden store (not diy store with garden department) is your best friend....

best of luck
Re-design4 years ago
Plant extra. Wire will keep out birds.  Hand pick bad bugs.  Without the birds bugs will be worse.  Plant extra and figure you are going to loose some to the "pests".  You can cut around bite marks.  Rabbits will eat somethings and leave others.  They eat my strawberries but leave all the greens.
blkhawk4 years ago
I am sorry to sound disgusting but I learned once that if you sprinkle some of your urine around your patch that will keep rodents and other pets away.
About the bugs there is an instructable that will show you how to make a biodegradable bug repellent:  www.instructables.com/id/Make-an-all-purpose-organic-pesticide-from-vegetab/
orksecurity4 years ago
You want some bugs, or flowers don't get pollenated and you don't get the squash, peppers, etc.

Best suggestion I've got is to websearch "organic gardening" and "organic garden pest control"
Karletto5554 years ago
my grandma uses ash in order to disifect the soil. it is mixed with the soil. no need to make thick layer otherwise the soil will become too sour. just few strokes here and there.
for leaves: in bottle of water she puts small pieces of hot paprica and leaves it for a week. than the mixture is sprayed on leaves
cant remember more recipes at the moment
against birds thin/ light net or special blanket
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!