12 Ways to Critter-Proof Your Garden

critter-proof-garden

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Back in January, I asked on Facebook which specific critters, insects, or plant diseases have been the most problematic to your garden. So many of you chimed in with responses. Most people named one or more adorable but destructive critter; quite a few people mentioned insects; and no one mentioned any plant diseases.

To keep this post from becoming a novel, destructive insects and plant diseases will be addressed as separate posts.

Here’s how I see these adorable but destructive critters:

Nearly all of them will fit into one, some as many as three, category based on how they move about: flyers, tall walkers, short walkers, climbers, and diggers. Many solutions for one animal will prevent all animals in that category from getting into your garden. Of course, that won’t always be the case, but many times it will be.

I’ve included at the end of this post a nifty little table I created of various critters and the category in which they fit.

1. Cinder Blocks

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Okay. This idea is not for the faint of heart. If you consider yourself a leisure gardener, this will NOT appeal to you. It will take a one-time big investment of sweat and brawn.

If you’re bound and determined to live off your land and keep persistent diggers out of your garden, here’s an idea I had:

  1. Dig a trench 8 inches wide x 8 inches deep around the perimeter of your garden.
  2. Place cinder blocks – with openings vertically oriented!! :) – back-to-back in the trench.
  3. Bury the cinder blocks with the dug-up dirt.

If you’re up to the physical workout, you could even go two cinder blocks deep. (It only took me about 5-10 minutes to dig one hole for a cinder block, as seen in above photo.)

Don’t get in so much of a hurry that you forget the simple things, like making sure the cinder block openings are vertically oriented. Otherwise, you’ve just unwittingly constructed an elaborate underground tunnel highway INTO your garden. :D

2. Motion Detector Sprinkler System

John is an engineer and an amazing problem-solver.

The first house we lived in, we had a very nice neighbor next door who had a few cats. When our gravel driveway got wet from rain or the late night or early morning dew, the cats would walk around gathering the gravel dust onto their paws, as much as their paws could hold, – oh, yes, it was intentional – and then jump onto our cars and make these *adorable* paw prints all over them.

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Eating Healthy – Progress Not Perfection {Recycled Post}

zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

With all the new faces here, I thought I’d recycle a couple old posts here and there. This post was published January 2012. There’s also a part 2 and part 3 to this healthy eating mini series.

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This is the time of year people start making new year resolutions. Even if you’re the type of person who cringes at the idea of new year resolutions, you still probably entertain some similar line of thought. It’s a new year, a new start, a blank slate. New goals are only natural.

Planning to eat healthier in the year to come is a great goal, and a common one. Sometimes, though, we can go about our goals all wrong. If our goals are not broken down into clearly identifiable, measureable, manageable goals, we have nothing specific to aim at, or means of knowing if we’ve succeeded.

On the other hand, sometimes the problem isn’t a lack of specificity, but rather unrealistic timeframes for meeting our goals. We know what needs to be done, but we think it all has to be done TODAY. With this mindset, you might find yourself

  1. Tossing into the trash everything currently in your refrigerator, freezer, kitchen cupboards, and pantries because the ingredients, or process by which the food is made, are not healthy.
  2. In a single afternoon, purchasing from Craigslist a pair of goats, a dairy cow, dozen hens, a few pigs, and a plowing ox.
  3. Renting a cattle trailer, and picking up all the new farm animals from the 5 surrounding counties.
  4. Tying the animals to your garage, until your husband is done constructing the farm fence, small barn, and hen house.
  5. While the new heard of animals graze on their leashes, grabbing the ox, tying him to your waist, and plowing the soon-to-be strictly organic garden.
  6. Teaching your children the nutritional value of your chemical-free front lawn, while waiting to harvest the organic crops.

Whew!! Now … don’t get me wrong. You can do that. However, living a healthier, more organic, sustainable life should not equate to an unnecessary increase in stress. If it does, what’s the point?! So now you’re eating a “perfect” diet, but your family is falling apart, and your stomach lining is being slowly eaten away by ulcers. Way to go! ;)

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7 Ways to Stay Cool in Hot Summer Days

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It’s that time of year of being hot and miserable! Or, if you’re a glass half-full kind of person, it’s the time of year to find creative ways to stay cool and comfortable.

A “perfect” weather day for me is bright and sunny (but enjoyed in the shade), low humidity, 72-75 degrees, and a light breeze. Ahhhhh … I know summer days can’t always be like that, but some days can be so hot, even I hate being outside. There’s usually something easy that can be done, though, to make even the most miserable days more enjoyable. [[... Click here to continue reading this post.]

Fruits, Vegetables, and Your Canine

Today’s post is mostly a fun post, but I’ve also included some things to know about fruits, vegetables, and your canine.

Bunker is our loveable doberman, our sweet little “boy.”

I recently taught him a cute trick where he’ll hold a dog biscuit or large chunk of a carrot on his nose, for what seems to be FOREVER. He’s so pliable and eager to please, he learned the trick instantly. In one of the photos, you can see him drooling while he stares at the carrot on his nose, waiting for me to give him permission to drop

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7 Benefits of Mulch

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One of the first things I do when the weather warms up enough to go out and “play”, is replenish the mulch in my garden bed.

There’s a lot that can be said about this simple, organic garden helper. Mulch…

1. Acts as an Insulator. Mulch is a great insulator in both the winter and summer.

Adding a thick layer of mulch, right before winter, to plants that are just above the plant hardiness zone you live in, might allow them to survive the cold weather. The mulch will act as an insulator. However, if you live in

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Homemaking for the 5 Senses: Touch

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Phiseksit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As I was thinking through Jill’s Homemaking for the 5 Senses series, the Lord flooded my mind with ideas for the sense of touch. The sense of touch is not one we give a lot of thought to, but there are so many ways we can make our homes more inviting, more cozy, by maximizing the sense of touch.

1. Comfortable Front Porch Seating. John and I spend a lot of time just sitting on our covered porch, enjoying the scenery of our woods, and all the wildlife.

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