Keep Your Organic Veggie Garden Safe From Pests With These Easy Natural Tips

Enjoy A Healthy Garden Naturally

Natural garden pest control lets you enjoy time in your garden as well as healthy foods and herbs.
Natural garden pest control lets you enjoy time in your garden as well as healthy foods and herbs. | Source
Beneficial toads eat beetle bugs and other garden pests!
Beneficial toads eat beetle bugs and other garden pests! | Source
Possums can be cute, but they eat a TON of any food that is available. You don't want them in your garden!
Possums can be cute, but they eat a TON of any food that is available. You don't want them in your garden! | Source
Handle raccoons with extreme caution! Cute as they are, they can also be quite vicious and tend to carry rabies!
Handle raccoons with extreme caution! Cute as they are, they can also be quite vicious and tend to carry rabies! | Source
Praying mantises are interesting, sort of friendly little critters that work hard capturing all manner of insect garden pests!
Praying mantises are interesting, sort of friendly little critters that work hard capturing all manner of insect garden pests! | Source

Easy Veggie Garden Pest Control

All gardeners know that keeping pests out of the garden is a never-ending battle. All manner of bugs and varmints seem to be lurking about waiting to enjoy the fruits of your hard labor. In this article, I discuss a number of ways to deal with the most common garden pests so the you can justly reap what you sow. Read on to learn how to keep pests out of your garden naturally.

Box Turtles and Toads Help With Grub Worms and Beetle Bugs

When you are preparing the soil for your garden, get rid of the grub worms in the soil. These little critters live under the ground and eat roots until they mature and emerge as beetles and eat leaves! You could go the poison route, but remember that poison will be in the soil where you plant your vegetables, and it will make its way up into the plants through the water, not to mention leaching into the water table and damaging drinking water. Instead, simply pick out all the grubs you see and turn some food grade diatomaceous earth into soil as you till. This will help eliminate grubs. Attracting box turtles to your garden will also help with grub worms and beetles. Toads in the garden also eat beetle bugs.

Beer and Beneficial Critters Help Control Pests In The Garden

Garden slugs and snails are a favorite food of box turtles! You can also put a thin line of salt around the perimeter of your garden to prevent slugs and snails from being able to get in. You can also put out shallow plates of beer for slugs and snails. They will enter the plate to drink the beer and be unable to get back out. If you have box turtles and toads in your garden, put a wire mesh cover over your dishes that will both allow slugs and snails in and keep toads and box turtles out.

Remember that birds are beneficial to the garden in that they often eat undesirable insects. Be sure to set up a feeding and watering/bathing station for the birds somewhere near or in your garden. Place bird netting over plants with fruit to prevent birds from eating your tomatoes, berries and whatnot. Think about planting berry producing trees such as mulberry near your birdbath and bird feeding area to provide natural food for your bird population.

Dealing With Larger Vegetable Garden Pests

Keep deer, dogs and other large critters out of your garden with a good, solid garden fence. You’ll find lots of good ideas for garden fences at your local home improvement store. Of course, budget may dictate that you search online and newspaper classifieds for bargains. No matter what you decide to do, be sure to install a fence that is strong enough to keep big critters out and performs as you want it to in regards to your beneficial critters.

Think about how large you want the mesh on the lower portion of your fence to be. It should either be big enough to allow box turtles and toads to come and go or small enough to keep them in the garden. If you choose the latter, then you will have to procure them somehow. Box turtles can often be found through a turtle rescue. Providing a box turtle habitat in an organic garden is simple. They just need places to hide, a good water dish for drinking and bathing and fruit and veggie scraps, bugs and other pests to eat. Toads need a little pond or stream so that they can lay eggs that will hatch into tadpoles, so unless you have a large garden that includes a pond, don’t plan on setting up toad habitat.

If you have a raccoon and possum problem, you may need to set out live traps to catch them and relocate them to another area. Be sure to take them far away (especially raccoons) or they will just come right back. Be very careful when dealing with these animals. Wear heavy gloves, throw a heavy blanket over the cage before attempting to move it, and be ready to spring the door and leap back into your car when releasing a raccoon! If you feel the least bit timid about doing this, call in a professional.

Natural Bug Repellent Plants and Beneficial Insects

You can also plant a variety of plants that will keep bugs away. Marigold flower seed scattered throughout your garden will grow into a natural, merry bug deterrent, yet it will attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. Other beneficial insects like praying mantis and lady bugs can be ordered from organic gardening catalogs. Lady bugs are very good at dealing with aphids and praying mantises will eat just about any garden pest they can catch, and that includes most of them. If you do not yet have ladybugs, you can also simply blast aphids off plants with a strong spray of water. After several days of this treatment, they will be too discouraged (or too drowned) to return.

Organic Gardening Techniques Pay Off!

Dealing with garden pests organically may take a bit more creativity than tossing poison all over the place, but it results in healthier food for you and your family and a healthier relationship with the environment. When you follow the tips presented here, you are taking proactive steps to be a responsible citizen of the planet and grow great veggies simultaneously.

Copyright:SuzanneBennett:January 10 2013


More by this Author


Comments 17 comments

Snurre profile image

Snurre 3 years ago

These are good tips for gardeners in the USA. Luckily, I don't have to worry about half of these things. Voted up and useful.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

That's great, but I'm sure you have your own varmints to worry about! Thanks for reading and commenting! I appreciate it! :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

This is a really good list for getting rid of pests in the garden. I don't think I would tackle the racoon problem. I know they can be very fiesty. You have great writing style and so very well researched.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, teaches! Yes, I'm with you! I wouldn't try to tackle a raccoon on my own either! They can be very dangerous! Thanks for reading and commenting! :)


LiamBean profile image

LiamBean 3 years ago from Los Angeles, Calilfornia

Excellent. Glad I "bumped" into you. I'm starting a box garden (I'm a city dweller) on my balcony, and though not all of these tips work, many of them are excellent. I never thought of marigolds, but it makes sense.

I definitely want to keep my miniature garden healthy and using pesticides is out of the question. Glad I read this.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks Liam! Glad I could help! :)


Anjili profile image

Anjili 3 years ago from planet earth, a humanoid

As for toads, mantis, beer and pest repellents, these are okay with me. But possums and raccoon can be such a nuisance for those of us who love peace and quiet. The one on beer made me smile.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

I just recently learned that possums kill snakes - specifically poisonous ones. They are immune to all snake venom. I guess this explains why I do have plenty of beneficial snakes in my yard but have never seen a poisonous one. I guess if they come here, the possums kill and eat them! :D

Thanks for your comment, Anjili! :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

I have on occasion seen a possum roaming around in our backyard. A few of my veggies have been chewed upon or totally disappeared but never so much as to worry me. According to our local Wildlife Rehabilitation Center it is illegal to move an animal like a possum or raccoon unless taking them to such a center due to injury, etc. That is primarily because if there are babies somewhere and the mother is removed, the babies will die. I wrote a hub titled Wildlife Rescue with Images of Baby Red Fox Squirrels in Houston, Texas. It shows something of our Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Two Funny Cute and Short Stories about Squirrels hub tells you the extent we went to (following their advice) when we had squirrels in our attic one time.

Love your tips about using natural means to discourage pests in the garden. Up and useful votes. Will also tweet.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Well, possums are marsupials, so if the mom is removed, the babies are too. Possums are ugly, but they are awfully beneficial and do very little harm to gardens. If you secure your trash can, they will not tear up your trash, either. They eat lots of non-beneficial critters, and they are pretty unimposing. :) Thanks for your comments and votes!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

We actually found a couple of baby possums in our garden one day at our former home here in Houston. We took them to the Wildlife Rehab Center. We never did see the mother. They speculated that it was possible that a raptor bird had them in its clutches and dropped them for some reason. They did not seem to be harmed so would have been rehabilitated and eventually released back into the wild.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

If they were wandering around on their own, they were probably able to fend for themselves. I just recently found an infant possum (hairless and eyes closed) on my porch. The local animal guy and I could not figure out how on earth such a little one got separated from its mother. Just this afternoon, my cats brought a baby possum into the back yard. It must have been sleeping under the house. It was old enough to be on its own, so I took it to a nearby creek where it could hide under some logs and find plenty of food and water.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

I am always looking for natural ways to control pests in my garden. My biggest problem is army worms and squash bugs. I couldn't put box turtles in my garden as they eat my squash, but toads and praying mantis would be a great idea. I am always seeing toads around here, I will have to take them out to the garden. I really enjoyed you hub, voting up, useful and interesting! :)


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Be sure to provide your toads with water to soak in. If they are to reproduce and thrive, they will need a pond to lay eggs! :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

We have plenty of birds in our garden and lizards and toads. Overall things work out pretty well by using organic gardening methods. Going to add this to my Gardening section on Pinterest.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 3 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks! Yes, healthy plants don't tend to fall prey to bugs. Thanks for the share! :)


Indian Chef profile image

Indian Chef 3 years ago from New Delhi India

Very nicely written hub..keep up the good work.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working