Help! Bugs and squirrels.

Asked April 9, 2016, 8:17 AM EDT

Hello, My name is Jade and I'm 16. I would love to start a garden in my backyard, either raised bed or a container garden. Last year I tried for the first time, and it was a big fail! The squirrels and bugs are all of the produce. I would really like to grow organically, and I'm vegan so I don't want to kill the squirrels or cause harm to the environment with pesticides. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to humanly keep the bugs and animals away? Thanks, Jade

Hillsborough County Florida raised bed gardening garden pests

1 Response

Hi Jade,

Thank you for your question. Kudos on creating a vegetable garden, and being concerned about pesticide use.

The Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vh021 and Organic Vegetable Gardening in Florida http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1215 have recommendations for least toxic pest controls, such as spinosad, Bt and neem oil.

See this link for information about squirrel repellants, Table 1 and Table 2: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw371

Use the Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide (see tables included in the publication) to choose varieties recommended for Florida, and plant them at the right time of year.

Doing these 2 things may inadvertently reduce pest pressure because you are planting the right plants at the right time of year.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thanks and good luck!