As frustrating as those garden robbers may be, I think we can all agree that staying up all night, with a miner’s helmet on, trying to see who is nibbling on your lettuce is a little over the top. Instead, put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and keep reading! The evidence (almost always) leads to the culprit! Play detective by looking at what’s left behind at the scene of the crime and then you will know who is the usual suspect!
EXHIBIT A: Lettuce and other greens, eaten from the top down, but only the plants around the outer edge of the garden.
EXHIBIT B: Trails of silver or slime on the stems, snacked on snap peas and lettuce but no teeth marks, leaves with holes.
SUSPECT: Slugs or snails. Snails leave the silver streak, slugs leave a trail of slime. Hint – They love it cool, wet and dark so let your soil dry out a bit before you water. You can pick them off by hand and do the old salt trick to kill them (yuck), or buy a deterrent that you just sprinkle around the base of the plants.
EXHIBIT C: Hostas gone. Rosebushes gone. Hoof prints, oval shaped droppings, and plant stems are all that are left.
SUSPECT: Deer, oh deer. So beautiful to gaze upon, until…NOOOO! Hint-Other than the 8-10 foot fence, plant lavender, salvia or rosemary. They don’t like anything with a strong scent. Extra hint – String wire from tree to tree and tie orange plastic strips to it. The strips will flap when the wind blows and the deer don’t like it.
EXHIBIT D: Trash in your yard, chewed up corn and other veggies.
SUSPECT: Listen for the proof…Crowing in the morning? Crows love corn and they are loud about it. Ironically, they don’t like loud noises, so make a racket! Hint – horns, bells, pots and pans – let ’em have it! Another deterrent that works for all birds – hang shiny things near your garden, aluminum foil, old CDs, mirrors, etc.
Do you have any aces up your sleeve when it comes to garden robbers? Please, by all means, do share!