Gardening Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day Repellents

Scare Predators Away as Harvest Approaches

Sometimes a fertilizer can be a repellent! Source:

When fruit-bearing vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, corn, etc.) are ripe, that can attract many unwanted animals to the garden: rabbits, groundhogs, raccoons, squirrels, etc., eager to nibble on the fruit before you can save the harvest.

To help scare them off, try applying a handful or two of blood meal, actually a fertilizer, to the soil around the plants. This has to be done at just the right moment, only a few days before they reach maturity. The idea is to confuse fruit-eating varmints. The presence of blood could indicate that there are dangerous predators in the vicinity, causing them to stay away. Of course, mammals are quite intelligent and will eventually realize there is no danger, but with a little luck, you’ll have brought in the harvest by them.

What About Birds?

20180921B Cannelle, .jpg
You’ll probably need “bird netting” to keep birds off your fruiting crops. Source: Cannelle,

Note that blood meal will have no effect on fruit-loving birds: they tend to use their vision rather than their sense of smell to detect predators. If you fear birds will attack your crop, often the easiest solution is to cover them with protective netting, available in any garden center.20180921

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

0 comments on “Scare Predators Away as Harvest Approaches

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!

%d bloggers like this: