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The Green Life: The Gentle Gardener: Furry and Feathered Pests

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February 06, 2013

The Gentle Gardener: Furry and Feathered Pests

furry pestThis week on the Green Life, pro gardener George Gibbs is sharing a few practical tips for organic gardeners. Yesterday we discussed small pests. Today, we're pondering bigger critters. 

Tip #2: To deter bigger pests, irritate them.

"I always try to encourage people to not kill animals," he said. "We're all inter-related. I think we all have a purpose."

Still, you gotta guard your garden. For the furry and feathered, Gibbs tries to repel them through the art of vexation.


For a client plagued by gophers, Gibbs planted mole repellers that emit sonic vibrations underground. Sweeney's Mole & Gopher Sonic Spike, for instance, runs on sunlight and can store it for several days. For Gibbs's client, gopher holes in the park across the street evidenced the repellers' success.

Birds are another challenge. A 70-year-old Christmas cactus in Gibbs's backyard attracts hummingbirds. They're lovely. A Santa Rosa plum tree (same genus as Gibbs's front-yard  "spittin' plum," but planted by human hands) attracts sparrows. They're voracious, leaving him with just four or five plums.

For a pretty, simple solution to ward off hungry birds, plant a shiny pinwheel.

Check the Green Life tomorrow for tips on composting with sidekicks.




HS_Mackenzie_BLOG Mackenzie Mount is an editorial intern at Sierra. She's cleaned toilets at Yellowstone National Park and studied sustainable cooking at The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas.



The Gentle Gardener: Day 1, Small Pests

Books on the Complex Lives of Birds

Bird Cams for Avian, Tech Geeks

- images by istockphoto/hschin (top) and by istockphoto/TheyLive (bottom)


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