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3 Garden Pests & How to Defeat Them

This has been an amazing garden season so far. We’ve had more tomatoes than ever before, an excellent variety of peppers, and so much more that we’re waiting to harvest. But wait – where’s the lettuce been? what happened to the carrots? and when will we get sweet corn?

3 words – Slugs, Rabbits, & Deer

In my 4th year of gardening, this is the first time that I’m battling pests other than bugs, fungus, or disease – and I’m so thankful for that! Now I am just realizing that I need to take an even more preventative outlook & approach.

Slugs

Slugs are tough to spot because they typically feed at night, so that explains why I catch them sliming around early in the morning. Rains haven’t been too terrible this year, but when it rains, it pours, and that moisture has been attracting them as well.

When I find slugs in the garden I typically will throw them out of the yard and hope that a bird finds them instead of my dogs eating them. Other than that, there are some real alternatives to give you real results. Sprinkle coffee grounds, crushed up egg shells, or diatomaceous earth around your plants – this will act as a deterrent, plus the rough surface will cause damage to the slug’s soft body. You can also look into wool pellets or slug deterrents that may benefit your garden as well.

Rabbit

These guys have been hanging around ALL season long. At first I thought they were cute. I saw them munching on some grass & weeds in the garden (and didn’t see damage on anything else). Little did I know, they were plotting on me the whole time – carrots ripped up, turnips getting the tops eaten, and the latest, they bashed all the lettuce that was growing so perfect – and that my CropBox customers have been missing out on all year! To solve this problem, I have installed garlic clips – just a clip filled with a garlic oil mixture that smells extremely strong to animals & deters them from an area. I’ve never used them, but when I worked in Sales, I had a large pecan orchard that swore by them to fend off rabbits AND deer.

Deer

This one just really hurts me to have to say. Majority of my crops are grown in the Garden of Gains – at my home. Garden of Gains North is a small plot that I’m growing at my parents’ house. It has been responsible for green beans, cucumbers, & potatoes thus far – and I thought sweet corn. After inspecting our sweet corn this weekend, it is apparent that somebody has already gotten to it – deer!

Though my parents’ live in the middle of nowhere, with a field behind their house, with deer running through their yard all the time – we’ve never had an issue with them eating anything from the garden. Though I think the garden may be reaching its completion at the North location, we will move forward by using garlic clips and also installing netting around future crops we’ll plant there like lettuce, spinach, and other tasty deer treats.

But not too long ago, the ferocious, loving & sweet guard-dog Gizmo had to be put down. I think that her fierce chicken-like bark was just enough to keep the deer out of our yard & to protect our garden & landscape delicacies. It was really sad to hear the news about Giz, but she had 16 awesome years of chasing tennis balls, making friends with stray cats, & being the most loyal dog a family could ask for – Rest in Pupper Peace Gizmo.

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Needless to say, these are the challenges of gardening – battling pests for your food. As you go along in your gardening journey, all you can do is pick up little details to perfect your approach to the next planting.

And to everyone in the CropBox program – THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE CHANCE TO GROW FOR YOU! I really appreciate the faith & patience and will pay everything back 10x as I grow & learn through this process!

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My Passion Projects

2017 was an amazing year for me with a lot of execution on creative projects. Typically I’m not much of a creative, or much of a person that shares those things either, but 2018 is the year of speaking my truths & executing further on my dreams.

By dreams, I mean the eventual plan of owning a farm – or to stop the negative looks/thoughts/feelings that everyone has when I say I’m gonna be a farmer – I’m going to be a grower; a field grower, a container grower, a greenhouse grower.

And this is a PLAN – not a pipe dream. Pipe dreams are for wishful thinkers & dreams are for losers – there’s no room for pointless dreams in a world that needs action & execution.

So here’s a quick rundown of my projects & channels!

Gardening 4 Gains –  Garden Blog|Plant Shop|Mission – This is the engine that powers everything that I do! Gardening 4 Gains began as my Instagram handle & is a mix of my 2 biggest passions: bodybuilding & gardening. As my love for gardening grew, I began to do research, watching gardening videos to learn more. One of the biggest gaps I found was the amount of information that needs to be relayed to people about gardening, so I began blogging & have slowly gotten into YouTube – that is one of my top targets for 2018 – to post weekly videos of relevant, interesting, and engaging content to build the Gardening 4 Gains Community & spread the awesomeness of the art of gardening.

Plant Rant Series – YouTube Channel – One of my top goals for 2018 revolves around publishing to YouTube. And not just posting videos, but creating a stream of content that is highly relevant, helpful, and engaging for people curious about learning how to garden. If you’re stepping into the gardening world, leave me a comment with some of your top questions & I’ll be happy to answer!

Writing TV Show Script – Sorry, no link to this guy just yet, and I don’t think I can tell you much about the story until we get it polished & ready for the press! The idea for this show is something that my buddy Tony developed – we actually discussed this a few years back in college, but for some reason, it has just started clicking with us. That’s the thing about a great idea – it doesn’t die! It only becomes stronger in its slumber because it’s a living, breathing, ever-morphing idea in the mind and once we started writing, we rolled! Currently we have 5 episodes written, all between 25-35ish pages – so needless to say, we’ve been crushing it! Now we finish editing, polishing, and then we will be submitting it to multiple companies like Amazon & Netflix – where else should we submit?

Plant Rant Radio – Anchor Podcast – This is my least expected venture, but one I am having the most fun with. Anchor is an easy-to-use podcasting app that I have been using for my show called “Plant Rant Radio”. Anchor allows you to record 5 minute segments, add background tracks, add music from Spotify, call-ins – you can basically do it all! What you’re supposed to do is get all the components together & then stitch them together to create an Episode. This will allow you to make a podcast that is much longer if you only record through Anchor (you can upload from your computer as well). I like the 5-minute segments because it puts a limit on my Rant & forces me to be quicker & more creative on the fly. It’s interesting to see how this has been progressing; I’m feeling more comfortable & getting into a groove. My show has no real direction other than just talking about life – reflecting on the day or just ranting about the stuff bubbling up in my mind. I’m sure I’ll get some “Plant topics” in there eventually, but right now I’m having fun with being myself & being real!

Last year was monumental in the movement & traction I gained with my Passion Projects, 2018 is a year to execute further & take these ideas to new heights.

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting around wondering what my passion was – worried that I would go through life just searching, worried that I was “wasting my life” since I didn’t know what I wanted to do, or had no true passions outside of bodybuilding & fitness. But it doesn’t matter when you find the thing that makes you tick – the only thing that matters is that you know it’s out there & if you’re paying attention, you’ll find your passion & turn your dreams into realities.