Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Prickly prunnings deter pesky pests

Pest damage is an inevitable part of gardening. We all know that. Yet, who hasn't looked with shock and disbelief at the tattered remains of a seedling, or worse yet, a row of seedlings.
I've had a long running battle with a number of pests and I employ an arsonal of weapons to defend my plants from them.
In my garden, keeping things organic, sustainable and cheap is of the upmost importance, and this pest control method incorporates all of these concepts.
The plan here is to make your garden as inhospitable as possible using the stems and branches of prickly plants. 
The boysenberries that are growing in my yard are a thornless variety, but each season a few plants revert back to their prickly past.   

The boysenberries and Jasmine have taken over this fence. 

This is boysenberry season and the fruit is delicious.

The thorny canes are prunned down to ground level.  This work is best done with long sleeved gloves made for prunning roses.  Don't forget to use an old shower curtain to catch the clippings and make clean-up a breeze.

The leaves are cut off, and the stems are gently pressed into the ground around young seedlings, or anywhere I've seen evidence of slug and snail damage.

The vines have lots of thorns, large and small, and the slugs and snails seem reluctant to cross them, thus saving my plants from becoming their breakfast.

I hated when the neighborhood cats used my vegetable garden as a litter box.  I worried about the safety of my food crops since cat feces can lead to parasites in humans.  I've used a lot of methods to prevent this from happening, including using rose canes and lemon tree suckers (shoots that grow beneath the soil surface or graft union) to make my garden bed as uncomfortable as possible.
Clip off the flowers to enjoy indoors.
Use caution.  Rose thorns hurt!

Lay the stems in area's you don't want distrubed

Tomato and Peppers being protected.

Suckers from below the graft on the lemon tree.  The thorns are huge. 

These shoots, pressed  into the soil around my veggies, keep cats from choosing this spot for their bathroom breaks and, hopefully sends them to other, less painful  pastures.
Be well and happy gardening

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