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Old 08-23-2015, 01:06 AM   #1
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How do you garden with pests around??


Hi everyone,

To start off, I live in Southern California, San Diego area with 1 acre of land. There are a lot of bunnies, rats, crows and maybe a few other nocturnal pests I don't see around here.

Last year I had a few potted tomatoes, and cucumbers with some eggplants and herbs in my garden beds and everything grew fine for the most part.

This year, the temperatures are higher, it's raining less and my crops are getting destroyed by pests. Specifically the potted tomatoes, strawberries and cucumbers are being picked off before they are even fully developed.

I have tried setting mouse traps, conibear 110 traps for the bunnies (got a few, but the strawberries are still getting picked off by them) and old CDs hanging on a fishing line to keep the crows away.

I am not sure what else to do to keep these guys out. The sure proof way is to only plant inside a fully enclosed garden bed using chicken wire and lots of PVC. However that is not a cheap solution. I did that on two garden beds by creating a 4 foot tall chicken wire lid to cover them.

I have seen gardens on YouTube that are not fully enclosed, and they are full of produce. I'm sure there are pests there.. rats, bunnies, raccoons, and crows are basically everywhere. How is this done? I don't want to use chemicals. Do I have to sit here and watch my crop with a pellet rifle (legal in my town, I've checked with the Sheriff)? With this extensive drought we have, I'd rather not waste my water on plants that will only feed the pests.

All solutions and suggestions welcome!
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Old 08-23-2015, 05:05 AM   #2
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Old 08-23-2015, 05:26 AM   #3
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Old 08-23-2015, 06:37 AM   #4
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Your pellet gun marksmanship can become very keen when you have grasshoppers that eat the onion tops to a stub. Evidently mine wasn't keen enough or I ran out of bullets, I don't remember.

I feel for you and the enclosed garden may be your best choice.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:36 PM   #5
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We were able to make a 4' fence with wood and chicken wire, burying the chicken wire 6" underground. This did a great job keeping out rabbits, but wouldn't help with birds.
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:15 AM   #6
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I think maybe that big fake owl does work. A lot of farmers use them, placed up high. There are thousands of birds around here, but none near the owl. My neighbor has 4 cats and three dogs on a run around the house, chickens and a fine garden. ( As a tree-hugger/ animal lover, I don't like the animals out all night but it does work. Guess the Ancient Egyptians had the right idea about cats :}
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Old 03-06-2016, 03:00 PM   #7
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Another option is a DIY greenhouse. This keeps everything out and nothing is wasted..you do not even have to use anything to keep insects off if you build it correctly...Build it modular and you move, you can take it w you...
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