Like most gardeners, my hopes for the New Year includes growing a successful vegetable garden. Due to family members’ health issues, I didn’t plant an in-ground garden this past year. Instead, I grew a few key veggies in containers.
New Year, New Garden”¦ the Vegetable Garden
I have to admit, I really missed my big garden. And, surprisingly, it wasn’t having the abundance of vegetables that I missed the most. It was the work. I know that sounds a bit eccentric, but working in the garden gives me an excuse to be outside. The sunshine and fresh air does wonders to lift my mood.
Now, I could say that scientific research points to Vitamin D as a mood enhancer. And having adequate amounts of this so-called sunshine vitamin is reported to ward off depression, not to mention the antidepressant effects of soil microbes. But for me, simply escaping from the hustle and bustle of everyday life allows me to kick back and relax.
Located at the back of my property, my garden is far away from traffic, people and other houses, which makes my garden the perfect place for me to find peaceful solitude. Unfortunately, it’s also the perfect place for deer to escape the same hustle and bustle of civilization. It’s a great place for them to catch a snack too.
So, in addition to getting back to gardening this year, I plan to be a bit stingier in sharing my vegetable wealth. And having had a year off to research ways to keep deer from devouring my garden, I’ve decided to go with a multi-faceted plan of attack.
Deer Free Gardening Plans
Row covers and chicken wire cages will be protecting my most vulnerable crops. Trellises and fencing will be placed to impede easy access into the garden. But, most importantly, I will be breaking from past traditions by intermingling crops with herbs and flowers, which had never previously found a home in my vegetable garden.
Forever obsessed with the desire to grow a garden worthy of a magazine cover, my vegetable patch had always been neatly divided into perfectly straight rows and square plots. Like a child demanding their veggies not touch their meat or potatoes, my garden was the outdoor version of a divided plate. Onions grew next to onions, peppers next to peppers, and so on.
This year, my onions will be planted in the spaces between deer delicacies like cabbage, kale and broccoli. Prickly-leaved squash will surround my sweet corn, dill will intermingle with my tomatoes and marigolds will alternate with my swiss chard. This hodgepodge gardening style will reflect the ultimate in deer-resistant companion planting.
To further get the message out to Bambi and her furry friends, clay pots of aromatic perennial herbs will be sunk in and around the finished garden. Planters of lavender, mint, rosemary, sage and thyme can overwinter in place until being pulled the following spring prior to tilling.