How to keep garden pests away (naturally)

When it comes to keeping insects away from the garden without harsh chemicals, what's worked best for you—or what lessons have you learned the hard way? We're looking for words of wisdom, and we'd love to hear from you!

Emily Kochman


Lauren J. May 13, 2021
red chili flakes or cinnamon sprinkles have been known to steer of pests. neem oil is good too
Lori T. May 13, 2021
I find my gloved fingers are the most useful tools for removing most garden pests- although I admit using tongs to remove tobacco/tomato hornworms. Not because they sting or bite, because they don't of course- but they are just fearsome looking and squishy. In cases where something more is called for, I opt to use either neem oil, a vegetable soap/salt spray, or sometimes one based on chrysanthemums. You can make your own if you have the blossoms, and I have done in the past. The biggest lesson I have learned from my garden is to be patient, and not compare my produce results to the pictures on the seed packets- looking for perfect. I think you could apply that lesson to a lot of things besides vegetables, really. Perfect is not a goal, it's not realistic, and you will miss out on a lot of great stuff if you can't see past the skin. So I guess learning to love imperfect produce has taught me to love imperfection in others AND in myself. There are probably a lot of life lessons you can learn in a garden, if you are open to them. LIfe is supposed to have started in a garden, which may be why we all find comfort in one.
Emily K. May 14, 2021
Thank you so much for sharing, Lori—this is such inspiring advice!
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