Early in our container garden planning stages, I incessantly worried about pests.
I’ve had trouble before — I once had a few herbs on a second-story balcony that thrived for all of two weeks before some animal (An opossum? A squirrel? A chipmunk?) uprooted two and devoured the third.
And around the York Daily Record / Sunday News building, we’ve seen our fair share of wildlife — bunnies, groundhogs, squirrels, birds. (There was talk of bunny soup.)
But so far — knock on wood — I’ve seen more damage from storms than from critters. I’m wondering if having the plants so close to the office where people are consistently coming and going discourages animals from lurking around. Whatever the reason, I can’t complain.
I could be in a situation similar to my grandparents’: My grandpa has a small garden in the backyard — perhaps 12 or 15 feet by 10 feet. Despite being 82, he still grows a slew of tomatoes, beans, potatoes, onions, zucchini and other veggies. And all that produce invites a slew of hungry animals once the sun goes down.
So my grandpa ran an extension cord down through the yard and hooked up a radio. He sets it to a Christian station that alternates between music and preaching, and hopes the noise keeps the animals away. (Providing the neighborhood riffraff with some food for thought is a bonus, he jokes.)
Except the radio alone wasn’t protecting the tomatoes on the far end of the garden. So my grandma took a plastic alligator that growls when it senses motion in front of it, and set it down in the garden, too.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose — and they haven’t had as much trouble with bite-sized chunks missing from their tomatoes.
What precautions have you taken this summer to protect your produce from pests? Leave us a comment and share your tips.