Gardening Progress, and My Plants Have Been Attacked!


We found someone getting rid of some wire fencing (looks like chicken wire possibly?), so I snatched it up to use for all my beans and peas to climb up!  We took some tree limbs that my husband had cut when trimming a tree in our yard, and attached the fence with some extra wire.  Click picture to enlarge.  Cost of that project was FREE!

And look at my little peas venturing forth!


And on a distressing note, it looks like something is enjoying nibbling at my bell pepper plants. I have no idea what it is, or what I should do about it.  I’m calling out to all you gardeners! What should I do to ward off whatever this is?  I look forward to hearing all your tips about keeping bugs and rodents away from the garden (without using toxic chemicals). I’d like to do a post later on what to do for protecting our gardens, so I can’t wait to hear all of the great advice!


YTD Gardening Expenses: $67.27

Teaser: Want some extra money to spend on some gardening supplies from Home Depot?  Look for a great giveaway coming later this week!

  1. Welcome to organic gardening, Crystal! We organic gardeners tolerate a bit more pest/rodent headaches, as long as they are not killing the plant, before we do something. You really should find out what is nibbling your plants before you do anything. Little nibbles could be bugs, big bites are a rodent/squirrel, totally gone leaves, possible deer. Big holes can be slugs- it really depends. I recommend this book set to you for excellent advice: Rodale’s Successful Organic Gardening.

  2. I’ve used the hair I take out of our dog/cat brush (if your prolem is rabbits/rodents)… just mix it in with your soil and tuck it around the perimeter of the garden. Has always worked for me, to a certain point!

    • I’ve heard this one. Someone said to get a bunch of hair from the local beauty parlor and put it around the perimeter of your garden. We don’t have a dog, so I may have to check with a local hair salon.

  3. I plant marigolds which wards off lots of bugs and animals and I use a plastic netting that we bought at either Lowe’s or Home Depot and hook it to stakes ( they are $1 a piece). It is gray and looks a bit like chicken coop stuff but plastic, I think is was $5 for huge roll we have reused the same pieces every year and split the rest with several others.. It works great and it hardly visible. I have never lost even a leaf to an animal of bug in 3 years.

    Thrifty & Chic Mom’s last blog post..FREE Dominos breadbowl pasta

  4. You can take a watering can full of water and mix a raw egg in it and spray it on the plants (and reapply if it rains) and it will keep critters away. Worked last year for my in-laws and I will use it to when I get a house where I can garden! Another helpful hint is if you get slugs put a sauser out with beer in it, they are attracted to it, they drink it, get drunk and drown in it. All the while not a chemical on your plants. =D Happy Gardening!

  5. we also use a plastic netting around the garden. I had a pepper plant in the ground for less than 12 hours and it was eaten (before I got the netting up for the season)

    If you have any more of the chicken wire, I would create a fence around the garden

    we also have marigolds planted (keep away rabbits)

    Good Luck!

  6. Sprinkle cayen pepper around your plants. It will deter the animals.

  7. I have been having the same problem with my bell pepper plants. I have heard that if you buy some cabbage plants and put them around the pepper plant, that the moths will eat that instead, and stay away from your plant.

  8. sorry, I hope no one said this before, I didn’t have time to read everyone else, but just wanted to say try spraying your plants and surround areas with garlic! works like a charm – but you have to do it often, like after everytime you water.

  9. We’ve gardened for several years and I’m a big Jerry Baker fan–he has great gardening information! I also use marigolds in my garden to keep the critters at bay, but it’s kind of early to put those out.
    One year, something completely ate our beans down to the “nubbins”, I mean there was only a little stick left! We thought it was probably rabbits/deer–but don’t lose heart–it’s just part of it;)

  10. The wire you got is rabbit fence. I have bunny, possum, armadillo and other critter issues here so I stake it around my whole garden to keep them out of my plants.

    As far as the bugs go, no telling what it could be. The suggestions so far are good, but the bottom line is if you’re going to go organic you have to write off a certain amount of your crop to bugs. Good luck!

  11. I’m following your lead – I told my husband that I want a garden for Mother’s Day – we picked a spot today and will go seed/plant shopping soon! I remember helping my grandma with gardening when I was a little girl and LOVED it!

  12. I LOVE to garden! Anyway, just wanted to tell you TM that be careful what hair you get from you local beauty parlor, A Lot of women color their hair and those chemicals can still leach out into your soil!

  13. My dad puts coffee grounds around his garden to ward of rodents and small animals. (plus it is good for composting)

  14. I know your prolly gonna think I’m crazy, but moth balls will keep anything at bay, even snakes. I learned the trick from my mom and it works. Every summer we use them to keep critters out of the yard and the gardens.

  15. We’re doing a garden this year, too. First time at this house and first times in years. Two nights after planting the herbs, bunnies ate about 1/2 of them. We put up chicken wire and marigolds. Good luck with your culprit.

    Cathy’s last blog post..Mail Box Monday

  16. it is probably not critters. You should look under the leaves for small insects since they are eating the center of the leaves and not the edges. It could be earwigs (which you will spot at night by using a flashlight) or slugs. If you want to be organic, just squish them as you find them.

  17. Over several years I’ve tried many things like human/pet hair, moth balls, soap tied in mesh bags, short rabbit fence, pepper sprays, companion planting (marigolds mainly), and probably more that I’m not thinking of at the moment. Some worked for a while but my problem (deer) always came back looking for more yummy plants. Last year we tried an electric fence. It has WORKED LIKE A CHARM! Yeah, it was an expense but what a real problem it has solved! This year we are trying corn for the first time. I’ve already thought ahead and decided to use a mesh netting over my plants to deter feathered friends from snacking.

    I would not consider myself strictly organic but I REFUSE to use any chemicals in my garden. I prefer to lose a plant or two to bugs/pests than go that route.

    Sorry this was long winded but I heart gardening!

  18. Oh yeah and if you have trouble with moles you can use rose bush or blackberry canes (sharp and pointy) pushed down into the mole runs. Criss cross several in a few different areas and it will keep them out. Moles have tender skin and the thorns will keep them from going further.

  19. I mixed cayenne pepper and water in a spray bottle and sprayed my plants. It stopped whatever critters have been nibbling my greens.

  20. Marigolds planted around the sections will keep away many insects and hot sauce sprinkled around the edge of the wood part will deter many creatures without harming them!

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