The Q&A Archives: Vegetable Garden

Question: I have a vegetable garden with different vegetables including corn and onions. The problem is there are insects and squirrels distroying my plants. How can I get rid of them?
I'm also starting to grow some more and they are sprouting out now. Pls help.

Answer: Unfortunately, there's no sure-fire way to eliminate squirrels from your garden, but here are a few deterrents you can try; Try sprinkling the plants with cayenne pepper, cayenne pepper spray, or sprinkling red pepper flakes around the soil. (You can purchase these inexpensively in bulk at many natural food stores.) Garlic and garlic sprays have also shown some efficacy. Since squirrels' natural predators include snakes, owls and hawks, look for inflatable or concrete versionsof these predators at your local garden center. Placed conspicuously around your garden, they just might scare the squirrels away--at least for a while. Spreading lime around the base of your plants may deter them for a while (and it's good for the soil.) Also, have you considered a cat?

It would be impossible to eliminate every insect from your garden. In fact, it wouldn't be healthy for your plants. Both flying and crawling insects help pollinate flowers and without them, your vegetables would not produce fruits. (With the exception of corn - it's wind pollinated.) Try hosing the pests off your vegetables or identifying each of them, determining whether they're considered beneficial or harmful, and then using a pest-specific botanical insecticide to control them. You'll want to be careful about the products you use since you'll be consuming the vegetables. Best wishes with your garden!

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