Maybe you don’t have such a black thumb after all—maybe you’re just being plagued by some of the most common gardening problems around. One of the biggest obstacles gardeners face are deer, arguably the biggest pest of all. They can’t get enough of your veggies, plants and blossoms, and even if something isn’t part of their “regular” diet, these woodland creatures will go off course if they’re hungry enough.
Even though deer can jump exceptionally high, they have problems with “double fencing” and will move on to greener gardens. Even two fences close together at just four feet tall is enough to make a deer think twice. As for squirrels, another common pest, they love a lot of things about gardens but can’t stand plants with strong smells. Plant some cayenne peppers for a guaranteed squirrel-free garden.
Pests of All Shapes and Sizes
Another group of troublemakers are moles, who are probably after the white grubs nestled in gardens. Remove the grubs and you’ll remove the moles in one fell swoop. If you can’t spot these gray rodents, buried walls often do the trick to keep moles out of the garden. Use compacted clay or stone that’s at least half a foot thick. They may still climb over, but it’s a good deterrent.
Mildew, especially the powdery variety, can easily take over your leaves. The infected ones need to be snipped and removed so it doesn’t spread. Never put them in compost, and consider spraying once a week to keep things in check. However, spraying will only work with hydrated plants, so indulge your garden in a “deep watering” two days before the spray.
Tackling the Intruders
A very common garden intruder is blackspot fungus, which thrives in humid, hot weather. It looks like black spots on the leaves and it’s especially fond of roses. This can also be treated with a weekly spray and requires full saturation. Don’t forget to spray the ground surrounding the plants, and remove diseased leaves to the trash—not the compost. Again, hydration is key.
Finally, there’s the most dreaded uninvited guests—insects. Each bug may require slightly different approaches, but always choose an earth-friendly spray that’s preferably listed on OMRI (meaning it’s been approved to be organic in the US). Try to only spray the infected plants avoiding any unnecessary chemicals, and consider indulging in some research about natural removal methods.
Pests come in all shapes and sizes, but try to take it as a compliment. Similar to someone copying your outfit, they clearly like what you have going on—even if it’s frustrating for you.