Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rubber Snakes, Tobasco, and One Handy Man

Last weekend I declared war on the pests in my garden. Not only did some pesky varmint dig a massive hole in my tomato bed, something mowed down 50% of my cucumber seedlings.  Grrr...

Every year, I try to keep the garden organic. It is a challenge. Pests and bugs are not easy to eliminate, especially when there are some bugs you want to keep in the garden.

Several years ago I received this book as a gift and it has become my own garden Google. Many of my favorite organic garden tips come right from the dog-eared and dirt-covered pages.

For instance, let me introduce you to my little garden friend, Mr Tobasco. Mix him up with a bit of soap and water and he will keep aphids from eating the veg. The only problem is that it has to be reapplied every couple of days. And try not to spray downwind on a windy day. Tobasco and soap in the face really does take the hungry right out of you.

Tip #2 - Last year we were inundated with bunnies and squirrels who ate quite a bit of the small garden I had growing. This year, they're not invited to dinner.  It was recommended to take an old garden hose and paint it to look like a snake. But I'm the mother of a boy who used to have an obsession with reptiles. I will admit ten years ago I was not happy when my brother bought these fake snakes for him. Finding them in various places around the house (the shower, the kitchen counter, the garage) has contributed to many a gray hair. Today, I can say I am glad The Boy (aka, The Packrat) had placed all his beloved rubber reptile collection in an attic tote for safe keeping. Let's hope I don't scare myself every time I go to the garden.

Tip #3- Though it is not mentioned in the book, I highly recommend you find a handsome and patient man, who will willingly double re-enforce the gated area with more deer netting (even though he's already done it before and you think just a little more would be better.) That little bit extra might just hinder the critters from jumping in for snacks, and keep snakes from slithering below... and it will provide you with something nice to look at while he quietly does his work.