5.03.2013

Natural 'critter' barrier to your garden: plant marigolds

Marigolds... Nature's Boundary

Need to keep deer and other critters out of your garden?  Try marigolds.

Marigolds planted around the perimeter of your garden, while in bloom, will keep out deer and rabbit because they don't like the smell or taste.  I had tried this and  I 'figured' it was working because I hadn't had any problems with critters, but I had no real 'test' to prove it. When we moved up to northern Minnesota I finally found my proof. I was talking to my neighbors one day and found out she was disgusted at the deer that were visiting her garden during the night. Every night.  Instead of eating a whole fruit or vegetable, she found that exactly one bite was taken out of everything. Cantaloupes, cucumbers, peppers, melons, zucchini... nothing was spared. One bite. Enough to ruin her garden. This went on no matter what chemicals she used.

Me? Not one bite out of anything in my garden.

I talked to my other neighbor, (on the other side of me) sure enough deer were coming into her garden as well.

Third neighbor behind us, same thing. Deer.

I wondered why they weren't coming into our yard, but then I realized they were. We had deer tracks in the mud and dirt, and I could see pieces of the lawn taken out where they had sometimes ran through the yard and kicked up grass plugs with their hooves but I never missed any goodies from my garden. I also did not use any chemicals at all on it.

The only thing I did differently than any of my neighbors was I always planted the marigolds around the perimeter first.   Is this a sure test of why my neighbors to both sides of me and behind me all had problems with deer and rabbits and I didn't?  Not scientific, but it was good enough for me.  And since then I've always planted marigolds.  The only time I've had problems with rabbits was before my marigolds were blooming (when I had got them in too late). 

Just passing on a very, very frugal tip.  Buy a $1.28 packet of marigold seeds to test the theory yourself if  you wish!  :)



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