Coping with Pests

Judy Glattstein
Sun, 04 Jan 2009 07:26:22 PST
As has already been mentioned bulbs in the Amaryllidaceae are pest 
resistant. So are Araceae.

I've heard that even hosta (a favorite on Bambi's salad bar) can be 
protected with bamboo skewers pointed end up pushed in amongst the 
leaves. Another tip was to soak the foam of disposable paint brushes in 
reconstituted dried blood, that being a repellent for some animals. I've 
had good success with Milorganite. Be sure to cycle repellents. Constant 
use of one only habituates the vermin to it. My now out-of-print book 
"Made for the Shade"  has an appendix on coping with deer, including 
commercial and home-made repellents, recipes included.

For squirrels, try sprinkling spiny Ilex opaca leaves, or short lengths 
of trimmings from roses, blackberry canes, etc. over the soft soil. An 
old window screen dropped over the area is also a good option.

I checked potted "Dutch" bulbs in the garage - guess I won't enjoy any 
tulips, as the mice have eaten every one.

Gardening is such fun, bringing us into the web of life in unanticipated 
ways. One winter I did see a red fox trot over the snow, then pause. 
Head tilted forward, ears pricked. Double foot pounce, head into snow, 
then swift fling, toss, and gulp. After swallowing the vole he trotted 
off, hopefully to find some more. Red tail hawks, great horned owls, 
snakes - all part of the BelleWood Gardens pest patrol.


More information about the pbs mailing list