Week 13 of the Weekly Garden Digest – Valuable Veggies!

We have a plan for small pests, Now its the large ones…

How we protect our valuable veggies! 

In our previous chat, we explored those tiny garden pests that are tricky to spot but can wreak havoc. This time, let’s focus on the bigger troublemakers we all know about, who can still ruin our plants. Dealing with these pests is just a part of gardening – not always fun, but worth it for the outcome of our valuable veggies!

As we do every day or night, walking through our garden helps us see if there’s any damage or signs of these pests. With these bigger critters, you can usually tell if they’ve been around. Look for scratched or nibbled tomatoes, messed-up soil, or even droppings left behind.

Lately, we’ve had a problem with some of our lower-hanging tomatoes being eaten, and it seems they’re pretty clever – they wait until the tomatoes are turning red! It’s frustrating to watch green tomatoes finally getting ripe, only to find they’ve been nibbled on.

The big pests we’re talking about include raccoons, squirrels, bunnies, chipmunks, birds, and rats (yuck!). If you’re in a more rural area, you might even have to deal with deer!

Handling these larger pests means keeping an eye out and coming up with smart ways to protect your valuable veggies. It’s a bit like a game, balancing our love for gardening with the challenges these critters bring.

Tomato with pest damage, showing nibbled areas from garden pests.

Simple Solutions to Keep Your Valuable Veggies!

As usual, taking a stroll through your garden is the best way to understand the pest situation you’re dealing with. It’s a way to gauge what your garden needs and what might need your attention before it becomes a bigger problem.

Here are a few steps you can take to shield your kitchen garden from these larger pests:

Raised Beds – Constructing raised beds can discourage some of the larger pests, although it won’t keep all of them away. All our beds are raised, and they usually do a good job of deterring bunnies. However, it’s important to note that other pests can still cause damage, so this is just a starting point.

Elevation and Swift Harvesting – We’ve found that bringing in our tomatoes as soon as they start to show a hint of red can help prevent loss to wildlife. Vegetables higher up on the stem seem to stay safe to ripen. Thankfully, we haven’t seen any 3 to 4-foot tall raccoons yet (that would be quite a sight!).

Yard Maintenance – Many of these pests are attracted to yards where there’s readily available food. By keeping your yard clean and minimizing opportunities for them to find a free meal, you’re significantly reducing their presence.

Our Secret Weapon – We’re excited to share our secret weapon that has worked wonders for us – Chicken Manure Pellets. Sprinkling these pellets throughout our beds every few weeks has kept most critters away. We’ve seen impressive results from this method!

By implementing these strategies, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the challenges posed by larger pests, keeping those valuable veggies to yourself and creating a healthier environment for your garden to flourish.

Valuable Veggies! Assorted tomatoes ripening on a window sill, displaying various shades from red to green.

5 Key Takeaways

1. Regular Surveillance: Regularly inspect your garden by taking walks through it. This allows you to identify any signs of larger pests early on and take timely action to deter them.

2. Utilize Raised Beds: Constructing raised beds can act as a deterrent to some larger pests like bunnies. While it might not stop all pests, it provides a solid starting point for safeguarding your crops.

3. Harvest Timing: Harvest vegetables promptly as they ripen. This prevents ripe produce from becoming an easy target for wildlife. Focus on veggies higher up on the plants, which pests might find harder to reach.

4. Yard Maintenance: Keep your yard clean and tidy. Removing potential food sources for pests reduces their attraction to your garden. Minimize clutter and eliminate debris that could attract critters.

5. Strategic Tactics: Consider employing effective strategies like using Chicken Manure Pellets. These pellets can help keep larger pests away from your beds and contribute to a healthier garden environment.

By implementing these takeaways, you’ll be well-equipped to create a garden environment that’s less appealing to larger pests, allowing your vegetables to thrive and flourish.

Tomatoes climbing a string trellis in a raised bed garden.

What’s next?

We trust that this week’s newsletter has provided you with valuable insights and inspiration for your kitchen garden endeavors. But rest assured, our journey together doesn’t conclude here.

Stay connected with us on social media for an abundance of gardening tips, exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpses, and real-time updates. Engaging with our community and learning about your unique gardening experiences brings us immense joy. Join the conversation and become a part of our flourishing community of plant enthusiasts on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.

Feeling motivated and envisioning your own kitchen garden project? We are more than delighted to have a chat with you. Our team is ready to offer guidance, share our expertise, and collaborate to bring your garden dreams to fruition. Whether it’s a design consultation, construction services, or a personalized plan, we are eager to embark on this exciting journey alongside you.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and initiate the conversation. Share your aspirations, ask questions, and allow us to assist you in turning your vision into a thriving reality. We are thrilled to be part of your kitchen garden success story!

We are here to help you achieve your gardening goals! Reach out with any questions that might come up throughout your journey. 

We are excited to announce that there are some new DIY plans on our Etsy store. Whether you need some more storage in the garden, are looking to spruce up your curb appeal or are looking for a new way to grow your tomatoes, we have something for you!

Check it out here – https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/WillowLaneGardenCo

Best regards,

Tessa & Kyle
Willow Lane Garden Co.

P.S. Tag us in your garden photos and stories on social media. We’d love to see your green thumb in action! 

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