Cottage Gardening
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Teresa Flint
Posted on: March 2, 1999

I’m planning a garden at a cottage in northern Ontario, and would like to know if I should be concerned about any local animals (ranging from chipmucks, rabbits, deer and bears) that may be interested in the seeds, roots or vegetation of plants I’m considering to put in. I’m sure there is always a risk with vegetables, but is it the same situation with specific culinary herbs? Are there some herbs that you would recommend that may repel animals from eating other plants?

The very abundance of animals that is so enchanting in cottage country, also makes it hard to keep them from dining on your produce. Birda will be after your seeds- especially those that have to be surface sown to germinate. A scarecrow may help, but some chickenwire put over the row will work better to keep the diners out.

To keep rodents out of vegetable gardens or away from the more tender and mild tasting herbs, enclose the planted area with a 1 meter band of nasturtiums. They will not only be lovely, but also provide you with tasty flowers to add to your salads.

Insects will probably be your biggest problem. You might wish to consult a book on organic gardening and look in the section on companion planting for ideas. For instance planting potatoes and beans in adjacent rows will cut down on potato bug damage. Inoculating the area with scanmask(#T2600) (predatory nematodes) will nip many insect problems in the bud. If you have a pot neem plant, use the clippings to make an insect repelling spray.

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