Having your own garden to support your juicing habit is a wonderful benefit because it allows you to get the absolute freshest produce available without ever having to set foot in a grocery store.
However, in order to succeed in this venture, you’ll need to figure out ways to keep the property pest-free. And, of course, because you’ll be eating the produce you’ll want to determine how to keep critters at bay without resorting to harsh chemicals and pesticides.
What’s the Problem With Pesticides?
The adverse health effects associated with pesticides were famously documented in the 1960s when Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring.
Now that more research has been done, scientists have found pesticides can contribute to a range of problems such as cancer, birth defects and endocrine system issues. Keep reading to learn about several ways to keep your juicing garden free of hungry and destructive pests.
1. Make Your Own Pepper Spray
Many mammals, including rabbits, deer and opossums are sensitive to an ingredient in hot peppers called capsaicin. Try mixing a quart of water with a half-cup of dried hot peppers. Then, bring the substance to a boil on your stove.
After you’ve strained the peppers out of the liquid, transfer it to a spray bottle and apply it to your produce. Ideally though, spray and harvest your produce on the same day so it won’t have any spicy residue.
2. Install a Sprinkler System
Many animals don’t like unexpectedly getting wet. Capitalize on that reality by installing a motion-activated sprinkler. When an animal makes a move to enter your garden the sprinkler will drench them in water and scare them into running away. This suggestion comes with a bonus, because it will water your garden every time pests are tempted to explore!
3. Put Pet Hair Around the Area
Dog and cat hair can be effective in keeping away creatures like chipmunks. The next time you groom your faithful pet, clean off the brush, then head to your garden. If you don’t have a pet, you’re sure to find a neighbor who wouldn’t mind having their pet brushed and giving away the hair.
4. Plant Flowers Pests Don’t Like
Getting rid of critters might also be as simple as beautifying your juicing plot with certain types of flowers that garden visitors aren’t crazy about. For example, daffodils keep moles away, and deer usually steer clear of areas that have narcissus bulbs. Lavender and marigolds are also famous for their insect-repelling properties.
5. Build a Fence With Chicken Wire
Surrounding your juicing garden with chicken wire that’s at least three feet above the ground and installed no less than a foot underground is a good way to deter large pests. Make sure to curve the underground part into an L-shape that leads away from the garden to keep creatures from burrowing under it.
6. Pepper the Area with Coffee Grinds
Although many humans find the scent of coffee grinds very pleasant, the same doesn’t hold true for some garden pests. Slugs, cats and even deer are among the animals that tend to stay away from areas that have been treated with coffee grinds. If you’re not a coffee drinker, don’t worry. Starbucks stores have a policy where they give away coffee grinds to customers for free.
It’s likely that one of the primary reasons why you got into the habit of juicing is to promote good health. Luckily, you don’t have to cancel out that benefit by dousing your produce with pesticides to keep pests away. Try some of the tips you’ve just learned and see how it’s possible to get the job done with natural methods.