Thousand Island Gardening - Eliminating the Pests

thousand island gardening

Thelma is no exception to the challenges that face a gardener in the wilderness.  Unfortunately, the foraging animals have a tendency to prefer my cultivated plants rather than the natural variety.  While I have so far been able to keep out the deer and muskrat,  the mice were a real problem with my southern flower bed that houses the David Austin roses, a few perennials and geraniums and petunias.  Every year the mice would come in and cut down all the flowers.  I tried cages which didn't work and traps that sometimes worked, but after I found a frog in a trap I abandoned them.  

So this year I went on a tangent to find a way to keep them out.  Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon the miracle repellent - garlic.  Mice apparently hate the smell of garlic.  So I planted garlic cloves around each of the Geranium and Petunia plants as they went into the ground.  I also tried this with some Impatiens that are in another bed.  To my surprise, not a single flower was touched the entire season.  As the garlic grew I just tucked the stocks under the plants to conceal them.  Next year I'll try this to protect my Oriental Lilies at my home.

Another pest is the aphids on my roses.  For years I have been battling them and have found spraying a Neem oil, water and dish detergent mixture to be the most effective solution.  This year they deserted the roses, however took residence on the petunias in the planters.  Next year I'll spray all of my plants with Neem oil and see what happens.  Apparently the Neem oil eventually goes into the soil and the plants take it in.  I watched a TV show and it said the Queens gardeners use garlic powder and water to keep away the aphids.

I'm happy with my results this year and being able to use an organic means to control the pests.