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Gardens - how to protect your crops naturally.

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posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:18 AM
When planning a survival garden I stumbled upon a great companion planting idea totally by accident, and it's amazing!

The rows of my garden were in this order:
green peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, corn, zucchini, corn, zucchini, tomatoes, beans, corn.

Now, I went out last week as the corn was starting to ear up and noticed to my horror that there were raccoon tracks all around the edge of the garden. I figured that they'd have the corn as soon as it started to milk up.... but... they haven't even touched the corn. I searched for ways to protect the corn should they become more brazen and found out the BEST way to prevent skunks and raccoons from eating your corn is to surround it with sticky leaved produce. IE... cucumbers and zucchini

This led me to a search for companion plants. Companion plants repel the pests specific to various vegetables.

Here are some links to get you started.

Companion Planting

Table style list of companion plants.

and one more Natural Garden Pest Control

EDIT: Sorry mods. I see companion planting has been done with the exception of protecting corn from skunks and raccoons. Please feel free to delete.

[edit on 23/7/2010 by SeenMyShare]

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:36 AM
Lordy lordy this is just what I needed this morning!

I've got a 30'x60' garden in my backyard and am having a hell of a time with the deer. Any ideas?

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:39 AM
reply to post by Namaste

For some reason deer will jump a high fence but... they are unwilling to step over an 18" chicken wire fence that is not a tight install. They'll walk up to it but won't step over, I don't know why
. We just slapped it up one day to keep the kittens from playing or "going" in the vegetables, but it seems to be working for the deer too.

Good luck!

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:45 AM
On this thread Von Doomen mentioned a method of planting companion plants in the same space to promote growth and get more out of less room.


[edit on 23-7-2010 by Danbones]

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:48 AM
Companion planting is something I need to look into more, but what gets rid of ants? They're everywhere in my garden, harvesting greenfly all over my currants, plums etc. Had to throw away my cherry tree at start of this year for the black fly too.

Did see a good thing in one of my books recently though. It was planting lettuce with sweet corn in between. You pick the lettuce just before the corn takes off and upwards.

I didn't put a net on my strawberries this year and found something interesting about them. When a bird, a mouse, or some other beastie takes a chunk out of a strawb, they come back to that same one to finish it off, instead of picking the nice one next to it. Seems even critters don't like to waste. Because of that, even without a net, I've still had hundreds of strawberries this year.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:50 AM
reply to post by Namaste

Try stringing up fishing line with some CDs and or noise makers, where the deer will disturb them by entering the space or maybe mark the territory with some urine.

try searching deer repellent I remember reading of one the other day.

ehow for instance:

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:58 AM
Gardening buddies! YES! That's it, you are getting friended, so that I may await these conversations as they bloom on ATS.

Anyone can read a book, and it's a great thing to learn like that, but nothing beats experience.

Thanks for sharing it, everyone! I've done some companion planting and it is phenomenal.
Also, marigolds and strong-smelling herbs keep the bugs at reasonable levels, with enough for them and my family.

This makes the gardens beautiful, diverse, and works like a charm. Native Americans had some great techniques similar to what I've seen described here.

About the ants? They will not cross a chalk line, probably messes up their chemical signalling system or clogs their breathing, so perhaps a line or border of ground chalk around the plants or the garden's edges could offer some protection. I've seen some on my corn, so I'll be trying this, too!

Thanks for the great postings, green thumbs!

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:02 AM
reply to post by wigit

Catnip is your friend! Plant catnip throughout your garden and it will prevent a host of pests (except cats!!).

If its too late to plant catnip buy some dried catnip for cats and sprinkle it where the ants are.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:13 AM
Thanks. I've been pondering catnip for a couple of year for my 4 cats to roll about in. Didn't know it was good for pests. I'll put them on my seeds-to-buy list.

Problem with chalk and my ants is that these days, anywhere I put a chalk line, the ants have a nest either side of it already lol. Great fun for kids to watch though. I used to chalk a line where the ants would want past and a child will sit for hours watching the ant decide what to do. Poor wee ants would march 1000 miles (in ant world), get to the line, wander in circles for a bit, (probably swearing) then have to march 1000 miles home again.
Wee bastards.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:14 AM
Companion planting is a great idea, but squash, like melons or cucumber, would make it difficult to get to the corn without stepping all over the vines, wouldn't it? I guess it depends on your area, and growing patterns.
We try to grow what we eat. I have added garlic, asparagus, and potatoes this past year.
For Texas weather, you MUST mulch. A good composting mulch for vegetables and fruits will keep the soil moist and keep the rain from beating it down. With mulch, the soil stays moist and crumbly.
No tilling necessary when planting, just cover with plastic in the winter time to kill weeds. In the spring, uncover, move some mulch away and plant the seed.
The microbes are still there and the plants will love it. Rotate the crops on a schedule based upon what the plants give back to the soil.

For deer, I have had neighbors run a short, double row of chicken wire spaced a few feet apart with rosemary, lavender and other plants deer don't like, planted in the space between the wire, all around their garden. Looks good, and keeps the deer out.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:22 AM
reply to post by Stewie

The double row of short chicken wire is a wonderful idea especially with planting other useful herbs in the "between" space.


posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:37 AM
reply to post by SeenMyShare

Your welcome. I don't have a deer problem, but some neighbors do. I have a wonderfully trained doberman named Libby. (Liberty).
Your avatar looks like the cats that plague my dill! Pretty though.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:47 AM
reply to post by Danbones

Thanks Danbones for that link!

I tried to compact my garden this year, to get more in less space than I've ever done before. I started out with loose soil tilled to 2' deep but surrounded by a bank of clay to prevent washing out. We tilled in a good heaping helping of composted horse manure (plant candy!) and with good soil we've had more produce to date than ever.

Stewie, the cucumber and squash in my area are nearing completion so they'll be done by the time I pick corn. Even so, I just move a few vines so I can tiptoe
through them to harvest.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:49 AM
You can try getting an organic cat, an organic dog and an organic gun to keep those psets away.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 12:00 PM
reply to post by Stewie

Hi Stewie

The caterpillar in my avatar is a Monarch butterfly larvae. I suspect this bugger is what's messing with your dill though.. It's a tomato hornworm. It is suggested that you plant dill well away from your tomatoes to draw the hornworms to the dill and keep them from the tomatoes.

Here's a tomato hornworm removed from my tomato plants:

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 12:03 PM
reply to post by zaiger

Hi Zaiger

I almost used my organic gun on my organic cats this morning when they flattened half of my second planting of corn this morning. One of the organic Danes unfortunately loves the organic cats and would have helped them flatten the rest of the corn. The other organic Danes would have gladly ripped up the organic corn to eat the organic cats

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 12:08 PM
reply to post by Namaste

A rifle and a freezer?
Did you really have to ask that?
Lol I would be eating fat if I had that problem.
Fresh veggies and non steroid meat!

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 12:13 PM
reply to post by SeenMyShare

Careful with that manure, SMS. Evidently many hay farmers are using herbicides to make their hay weed free. The hay is sold to the livestock owners, the livestock owners sell or give the manure from their livestock to gardeners, the gardeners put it in their garden. Then the nightmare begins ....... Watch out, check your source. Never, ever thought I'd have to worry about the good old fashioned, tried and true method I've used for years, a sad state of affairs.


Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure,
Compost, and Grass Clippings:
Caution to Hay Producers, Livestock Owners, Farmers, and Home Gardeners

Milestone Herbicide Creates Killer Compost

[edit on 7/23/2010 by seentoomuch]

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 12:18 PM
reply to post by seentoomuch

Same problem in the UK with supermarket manure bags. There's a big website about that, forgot the name. If I find it I'll post here. Loads of weed seeds in compost bags too.

Edit to add - forget that website, just google weedkiller contaminated manure. It's EVERYWHERE.

[edit on 23-7-2010 by wigit]

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 12:23 PM
reply to post by seentoomuch

Thanks for the tip, but the manure is also "home grown" as is the orchard grass. Weed seeds is my biggest worry from using it and a little elbow grease is all that's required to fix that problem

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