4 Ways to Keep Your Garden Pest-Free Without Using Harsh Chemicals



 This is a partnered guest post.

Owning a home with a yard, with plenty of room for a garden, is a dream for many Australians searching through house and land packages in Keysborough for the perfect home. After all of the hard work you put into planting your garden, you don’t want to have to battle with animals and insects to keep it beautiful and thriving. However, you probably don’t believe in spraying harsh, potentially dangerous chemicals all over your plants, either, especially considering that the Australian government reported that agricultural pesticides are damaging natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef. Do your part to keep your land harsh-chemical-free while you protect your plant life from pests.

1. Salt and Flour

Seemingly harmless items you have around the household can give off odours and even kill pests like insects without at all harming your plants. Both flour and salt are very effective and inexpensive household substances you can use to keep pests away. Sprinkle either or both substances around the entire perimeter of your garden.

For an especially effective border, dig a little trench beforehand and fill it to the brim with flour or salt. You can also create little “traps” to kill slugs and other insects via saucers or cups filled with salt that you place throughout the garden. Other household substances that may prove just as effective include beer and coffee grounds.

2. Nylon Nettings

If a tall fence is simply not an option for your garden or little pests are climbing underneath the fencing anyway, cover the plants themselves with nylon nettings. This is especially effective for bushes, trees and vines. Purchase netting large enough to throw over the entire plant and affix it to the ground with stakes or tie it around the bottom of the stalks of the plants to keep it in place. Untie the netting once a week and then affix it down again to allow the plant more space underneath for new growth.

The nylon allows the plants to receive the water, air and sunlight necessary for them to thrive but provides a barrier between the plants and the hungry herbivores who might be attracted to eat them. They might smell the plant, but once they start chewing, they’ll get a mouthful of inorganic substance, which will cause them to leave and look elsewhere for food. Nylon netting is an inexpensive, humane method of getting pests like rabbits and deer to move on.

3. Foil Strips

Not all plants are a good size and shape to make them easily protected with nylon nettings. Insects and herbivore mammals don’t like stepping over or chewing through foil, so use that to your advantage. Wrap a strip of foil about 100 centimetres in length folded in half around the base of each plant. This will keep the insects and small mammals off of the plants. You can also rip the foil into strips and mix it up with the mulch surrounding your garden so animals will have to step on it to get closer to the plants.

Make a scarecrow of sorts out of foil to keep birds away. Wrap an old broom handle with foil and tie a horizontal stick covered in foil to make a perch that the birds may try sitting on, only to dislike the feeling and fly away.

4. Planting Unappealing Plants

Planting unappealing plants in your garden seems counterintuitive; however, it’s not a suggestion to plant unattractive plants by any means — you need to plant flora that’s unappealing to pests, not to you. In fact, a number of plants that you might otherwise welcome into your garden omit odours unappealing to pests, particularly to insects, or otherwise taste foul to them. Surround your garden with a border of pest-repelling plants such as:

  • Lemongrass
  • Mint
  • Yarrow
  • Citronella
  • Catnip
  • Fennel
  • Basil
  • Oregano

Many of these plants work great for cooking and can prove a productive addition to your garden if you grow vegetables for recipes.

Using chemical-free protection on your garden is not only better for the environment at large, but it’s safer for your family, your pets and the very plants you’re trying to protect.


About the Author: Sean Hobbes is a contributing writer and landscaper. He recommends calling pest control for gardens only as a last resort, as there are plenty of chemical-free solutions to keeping garden pests at bay.


I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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  1. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Wonderful tips!

  3. Thank you for the ideas! Our bugs are starting to come around, yuck.

  4. Thanks for the tips. I really want to start a little garden.

  5. Thanks for the ideas. I am planting a little garden this year and I don’t want to use chemicals on my plants.

  6. love planting real plants to help.

  7. Love the planting other types of plants. Great tips.

  8. These are great tips! I pinned this, and I plan to use them for my own home. What about rain, do I just keep pouring salt and flour after each rainfall or is it sufficient that I do it once and it’s in the ground?