Organic Gardening: Tips for keeping the critters out (video)

Rumor of the juicy tomatoes at Chez Loni's vegetable garden spread as I saw more and more tomatoes damaged from backyard critters.

Vegetable Gardening - Tips for keeping animals out of your garden

Vegetable Gardening - Tips for keeping animals out of your gardenSince I built my own vegetable planter box and started growing a few tomato, cucumber and green pepper plants during the spring and summer months, I’ve had to contend with backyard critters.

The first season, it was only a few tomatoes that fell victim to mysterious bite marks. Not the Twilight vampire type, but those that can only be made by squirrels and their close cousins. Each subsequent year, the rumor of the juicy tomatoes at Chez Loni’s vegetable garden spread as I saw more and more tomatoes damaged from these lovable, but pesky visitors.

A few tomatoes to feed the hungry animals on the preserve behind our home was okay. Surely it is a nice gesture since the animals were here before our home was built. Last year, however, between the bad weather and the critters, I almost didn’t get any tomatoes from the garden. I didn’t want to use any chemical deterrents since I am trying to maintain an organic garden.

Ultimately, I concluded I needed to install a fence. I thought it would be difficult working with metal chicken wire. So instead, I used a plastic mesh for the fence.

This video- number 5 in my  Vegetable Gardening Series– provides tips on how to build a fence around a vegetable garden to keep the critters out.

The entire project should take less than 30 minutes. Happy gardening!

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Loni Stark
Loni Stark is a self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker, and yet is also passionate about technology’s impact on business and creativity. She's the host of our Stark Insider video features. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite. Loni's story...
  • DavidO

    Hi Loni,We built a planter last year. It’s been an adventure for our two young boys (and mom and dad).Hi Loni,Last year the squirrels ate every last tomato before we could harvest them. This year we’re having a little more luck, but not much (record high temps took more tomatoes than the squirrels).My question is, don’t you need to cover the top of the planter with mesh as well? Do the squirrels not just climb in and over? I had thought of enclosing the planter as well, but wondered if they’d find a way in regardless.Thanks,David

  • David O.

    Hi Loni,

    We built a planter last year. It’s been an adventure for our two young boys (and mom and dad).

    Last year the squirrels ate every last tomato before we could harvest them. This year we’re having a little more luck, but not much (record high temps took more tomatoes than the squirrels).

    My question is, don’t you need to cover the top of the planter with mesh as well? Do the squirrels not just climb in and over? I had thought of enclosing the planter as well, but wondered if they’d find a way in regardless.

    Thanks,

    David