I am starting my first garden this year. we have a lots of birds and rabbits, so is there any way to keep them away without using chemicals and bird netting, etc.?
Also, im going to rototill some peat moss and compost into the soil. are there any other amendments that i should add? we have soil that doesnt really have good drainage.
You're in luck, go to Walmart right now and head out into the gardening center. Ask them to show you the holographic ribbon and the inflatable snakes.
The holographic ribbon is just that, a lightweight plastic ribbon spool printed with holograms. You tie it around your tree branches or on long stakes in your garden, and the shiny ribbon flapping in the breeze scares away most birds.
For the bunnies, get the inflatable 6' snake. Its just what it sounds like, a big lifelike looking snake balloon. The bunnies won't go near one.
Birds (mockingbirds especially) really used to tear up my tomatoes. 4 or 5 years ago, I started hanging red Christmas ornaments on the plants while the tomatoes were still green. The birds would peck them for a while and decide they weren't anything to be eaten. Then when the tomatoes ripened, they would ignore them. I havent had one tomato pecked since I started this. I pick up the red ornaments every year after Christmas when stores have their ornaments clearanced out. I can usually find them for $1 for a box of six.
Does the ornament trick work with tomatoes too?
Yes, tomatoes are what I've used them on.
I have to say in my experience rabbits are the most difficult ones to get rid of. I tried everything
from setting up a fence to sprinkling powered nothing worked. I finally bought a spray called Defence
that did the trick. I think it also works for deers. Its very simple, you spray and that will keep the rabbits out of your garden.
I got the idea from this blog that talks about ideas on how to get rid of rabbits.
When I saw "first garden, peat moss, drainage"...
Make raised beds, 3-4' wide... no need to frame it with boards.
Learn about and use cover crops to slowly build up a rich, loose soil. One of the best things you can do for it.
Feed your soil, feed your soil!
Till it this one time and then STOP.
See no-till gardens / farming.
ronkw I am with you up until the no-till.
That is not to say you are wrong, only that it has not worked for me.
I till every season, sometimes use a hoe or shovel.
I till in compost so it will start to work faster, then laying on top. I till to kill bad bugs like horn tomato worms, which hibernate in the soil, then infest the Spring plants. One study found a decrease of up to 90% after tilling.
I use coffee waste compost, leaves, grass clippings most years & compost is the best way to get well drained or water retention (LOL, it true, but sounds impossible), great soil.
This is the way to get good soil for rows, raised beds, tilled or no till.
Some Birds will stay away if you use fake owls,fake snakes & real cats or a shotgun.
Rabbits, the mesh must be 1 inch square instead of 2 X 4, to keep young rabbits out of the garden.
Live traps & rabbit boxes work also.