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Tips to Keep Rodents and Wildlife Out of the Garden

Posted by Darrell Ross on
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Gardening Tips
Tips to Keep Rodents and Wildlife Out of the Garden

Gardening is a rewarding pastime that requires a lot of hard work. It takes months of tender loving care for your fruits and vegetables to ripen. Finding that your plants have been eaten or damaged by wildlife after so much time is a truly disheartening experience. Try implementing the following tips to stop animals from raiding your garden.

Cover Your Plants

Covering your plants with row covers or netting will help prevent flies and wildlife from getting inside. They will also continue to let the sunshine in. You can purchase these in hardware stores or online. Ultrafine mesh covers are great for keeping rodents out.

For bonus protection, consider building a raised garden bed. The higher it is off the ground, the better. Skunks will have a hard time climbing into the bed, and you can stop rodents from digging underneath by lining them with mesh. You can also install hinged covers that you can open and close when gardening. Raised beds are great for city gardening and extend the length of the growing season by keeping the soil warm.

Build a Fence

Like raised beds, you can help keep animals out of the garden by surrounding your plants with a fence. A soft, mesh fence is difficult for skunks and raccoons to climb and can be set up temporarily. If rabbits, deer, or marmots are giving you trouble, you can alternatively set up an electric fence. You can find electric wires that emit just enough voltage to scare away wildlife in most hardware stores. These can also be set up temporarily.

Get Rid of Other Food Sources

Skunks, rats, raccoons, and other animals are drawn to yards where they can find food. Get rid of the bird feeder and store your seeds and gardening materials in a shed. Make your garbage cans and recycling bins inaccessible, as well. Use lidded receptacles and store them in the garage or shed until collection day. You should also clean them out with vinegar every few weeks to make them unappealing to wildlife. Always clean up after a meal outside, and don’t leave any pet food out.

Use Apple Cider Vinegar and Spices

Pests dislike the smell of apple cider vinegar because it is similar to predator urine. It is also effective at repelling ants because it covers up their scent trails. Soak some rags in apple cider vinegar and place them in sandwich bags, then poke holes in the bags and place them around the garden. Next, try mixing one part apple cider vinegar with one part water and spraying the sides of the garden to keep bugs out. You can also spray your plants directly by diluting the vinegar further. This works best when the weather is warm, sunny, and dry.

Mice and rats especially dislike cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle some of these spices in the garden to ward them off. You can also make a hot pepper spray by mixing one tablespoon of hot sauce with a gallon of water and a drop of dish soap. Spray the mixture around the edges of the garden.

Set Up Motion-activated Deterrents

There are all kinds of electronic deterrents out there. Some flashlights make high-pitched sounds or spray water when an animal comes near. Try installing one or two motion-activated repellents in the garden to encourage the animals to leave. These can be purchased from hardware stores, home supply stores, or online retailers.

Hire a Wildlife Remover or Pest Control Professional

If there is an animal living on your property and you want it removed, call a professional for help. They have the tools and know-how to remove them safely. Attempting to remove an animal yourself could result in injury and risks separating a mother from her young. And you definitely don’t want to get sprayed by a skunk!

If you have been dealing with rats, the problem won’t go away without professional intervention. Rats are common in city gardens and spread from one area to the next. Call The Exterminators in Peterborough or near you. A technician can set up bait stations for you and service them regularly to keep the rodent population under control. This won’t harm your garden or the other species in the neighborhood.

Conclusion

Growing produce without attracting wildlife is a bit tricky, but it can be managed with a combination of the tricks above. Remember to restrict the animals’ access to food – keep as much as you can out of reach. If it’s too much, call a professional for help. They can get rid of pests and help keep them out by excluding the garden for you.

11 Natural Lawn Care Techniques

Posted by Darrell Ross on
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Gardening Tips
11 Natural Lawn Care Techniques

How to take care of your lawn organically? Is lawn care without chemicals possible? As the world is transitioning to more sustainable ways of living and doing business, we need to find better ways of taking care of our properties. A lush green lawn starts with healthy soil. The truth is the synthetic fertilizers and weed killers actually only work temporarily and deplete the soil over time. Fertilizers work on the blades of grass, making it look greener. The better way is to take care of your lawn naturally – from the ground up – as healthy soil is a sustainable way to take care of the lawn. Here are several steps that you can use to transform your property’s lawn into a thriving green paradise!

1. Test your soil

Your lawn requires the right pH levels to survive. Most grasses thrive in slightly acidic soils in the 6-7 pH range. If the pH levels go too acidic or too alkaline, you can end up with thin spots. You can get the soil testing kit at your local home and garden store or order it online.

2. Improve the soil based on the soil test results

Finding that balance is the perfect way to start working towards that lush lawn. Try adding lime if the ph level is below 6.0 or garden sulphur if it is above 7.0.

3. Aerating

Aerating is the process of removing 2-3 inch deep core plugs that consist of soil, thatch, and roots. Aerating ensures that air, water, and nutrients can reach the roots to develop the proper growth of your lawn. This type of lawn care service is typically recommended once a year.

4. Mow often, but not too short

Everyone loves a fresh, crisp lawn, but did you know you can actually cause your lawn harm if you mow it too short? Mowing your lawn too short makes it prone to weeds and drought. Grass needs a certain height to produce the proper amount of nutrients via photosynthesis, so both grass and roots are healthy.

5. Sharpen your mower blade

This one may seem obvious, but it’s crazy to hear how many people actually don’t do this! Why do you have to ensure that your lawn mower’s blades are sharp? Because a dull blade damages grass, therefore taking a long time to recover.

6. Leave the lawn clippings

Go bagless! Clippings break down quickly and return valuable nutrients to the soil. And you save time and won’t need to use plastic bags. Good for your lawn and the environment.

7. Get rid of weeds or pests

No one likes to look out their window and see a farm of weeds and other unwanted growth around their property. Use gardening tools that help to get rid of weeds while getting at the roots deeply and not removing too much soil around. You can use natural and organic agents such as gluten cornmeal during the beginning of the season to stunt the growth of weeds such as dandelion or plantain.

8. Water deeply but not too often

To water or not to water? Finding the perfect compromise for your lawn depends on a variety of factors. If you water it for not long enough, the roots won’t get enough moisture. Watering it too often encourages weed growth. Generally, watering is recommended to be done in the morning or evening time when the temperature isn’t very high so that it won’t evaporate a lot, and you save on water.

9. Overseed

If you’re searching for a luscious lawn this Summer, this is a key step in your yard care journey! Applying an overseeding mix after you mow the lawn will cover any dead patches on the lawn and help it return to its once perfect state. (You might need to dethatch first if the dead layer is too thick). Make sure to water well the next few days.

10. Dethatching

Dethatching is usually recommended during the beginning of Spring to give your lawn a nice wake-up call for the warmer months ahead! This lawn care service is completed by using an electromechanical dethatcher with rotating steel tines or blades that quickly and thoroughly take care of your thatch problem.

11. Fertilizing

Natural and organic is the way to go when it comes to fertilizing! Choose from various organic fertilizers available on the market or use a local compost from a nursery nearby for the best results. Apply 1 cm. layer and distribute it evenly by raking it through your lawn. This will provide crucial nutrients needed in your soil.

Last Words

These are some important steps on how to take care of your lawn organically. Focus on the health of your soil by testing its pH and adjusting ph levels if necessary. Make sure to aerate once a year to provide necessary nutrients to the soil. Take care of your lawn by cutting it often but not too short. Sharpen your mower blade for the best results. Overseeding and dethatching help to achieve the proper lawn consistency. If you don’t have enough time or tools to do all the work, you can hire a local natural lawn care company to help with your lawn maintenance.