Sunday, 1 July 2012

Garden pests or are they just friendly visitors?

Voracious appetites
Yummy bluberries
I read an excellent article on-line. Lee Valley Tools publishes a newsletter. They wrote all about gardening better (smarter not harder!), how to avoid pesticides, encouraging beneficial
critters, plants choices, managing environmental conditions, and taking preventative measures.
"Creating a chemical-free garden that's full of biodiversity and in balance with nature is the ultimate goal in my garden. In my opinion, we all stand to gain from gardeners making sound, pesticide-free choices that lead to healthier soil, air and water."

Then there is Butch, who figured out how to
get the lids off off the garbage cans!
Edythe Falconer has been a volunteer with the Master Gardeners of Ontario Inc. since 1999 and with the Friends of the Central Experimental Farm also in Ottawa, Ontario, since 2004. She regularly writes for local newspapers and gardening newsletters and presents for various gardening groups.
Marnie Wright ( is a lifelong gardener, writer and passionate garden photographer. Her Rocksborough Garden, developed over 30 years, is located in Bracebridge, Ontario.

Chipmunks everywhere!
Chicken wire - not just for chickens!
Hopefully these will be pumpkins!
Now, my faithful readers know that it is a battle with the deer, rabbits, lily bugs, who adore hostas, new sumac shoots, as well as my new wee trees. The woman who wants to get rid of the deer around her property (which abuts Murphys Point Park) as they are dangerous to drivers, well, maybe she should just go back to the city! Like those who buy property beside farms and complain about the smell...citiots!

I've learned to love our critters, and while I put out bird seed for birds, I see my plants as food, too. I'm happy to watch the deer. I've learned to protect vulnerable plants, and encourage toads, snakes, and other predators of the mice who chew everything.

This is brilliant stuff!
I ordered it on-line
Lily Bugs
Lily Bug larvae poo and aphids
Lily Bugs
This is a simple solution: Neem Tree Oil. It is sold as 'leaf shine', but it is wonderful for keeping the Lily Bugs off. You mix a capful with warm water and spray it on! It works well, as long as you remember to apply it every five days or so!

You mix it, and spray it on. Otherwise, you can pick the little suckers off and then crush them, but I prefer prevention to that!

Deer in the garden
Truly, you have to learn to live with them. There are 'deer resistant' plants, but come February, saplings are fair game!

Yes, you, Bambi!

For heaven's sake, though, don't put cayenne pepper on gardens. This is a horribly inhumane thing to do. I heard Ed Lawrence, former NCC gardener, make this suggestion on air, a CBC hone-in. I was shocked. Critters get it in their eyes, take it home to babies, and sometimes you just have to let the raccoons rid you of those lawn grubs!

 In a gardening magazine, I read of bullfrogs eating small goldfish in an outdoor pond. They suggested you collect the frogs, kill them, and gather all the eggs they may have laid and destroy those, too. Really. We know that critters like this have compensatory reproduction. They will enter the territory, again, and reproduce. You've landed on their territory, and you'll have to deal with it!

In town, they put flying tape around a new veggie garden.

I did the same thing.
Now, Bambi can leap this, so we'll see what happens!

Bondi Village free range chickens eat bugs!

Bondi Village Fencing
c'mere chickie!

Bondi Village fencing

Deer chopped off my sumac!

More deer damage

But there are blossoms as second growth

She only looks innocent.
Labbit eats everything!

All it takes is a guard cat, though!
The wise gardener uses Deerfly patches!
On the back of my hat, I trapped 5 just getting the newspaper!

Our blessed dragonflies who eat up those bugs.


Olga said...

Hope you have a happy Canada Day. I like to complain about the critters in my yard, but actually they are a source of amusement, too. Also, complaining kind of amuses me.

Red said...

For some of these critters we have moved into their territory so what are they to do. For some of them we have upset the balance of nature so the bad guys win.
There's a book out her called Nature Scape by Myna Pearman. I has many suggestions for landscaping .

Kay said...

We're always battling bugs and birds over here in Hawaii. I'm really having a hard time with aphids and white flies. Sighhhhh.... It's hard to keep up with. We could use more dragonflies.

DUTA said...

The pictures in your post are lovely, all of them.
The informatin and the tips regarding critters are very useful. Thanks for sharing.

Linda said...

We always have to remember that we are encroaching on their territory - not the other way around! Love the visit to your place! Except the deerflies! I HATE those things! I am sure they are the most annoying and leave the biggest welts on me!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I can't believe that about the bullfrogs! Learned something new about cayenne pepper. We share our garden quite freely withe rabbits.


Ewwwwwwww, infestation, but still all part of what nature has in store for us. I wouldn't mind having a raccoon in our midst [but we don't have a veggie garden either.] Or a deer. The bugs...well, I don't like 'em.