The Battle Begins…

Author JL Huffman
3 min readJun 17, 2024


Common Garden Pests

Last week, I regaled you with tales of my nascent garden, but the battle of gardener vs. pest has already begun.

Potato Pillage

This morning, I went to my potato boxes to add more fill soil around the growing plants. Yikes! Something ate the leaves off of three-quarters of the plants. A neighbor suggested perhaps rabbits were the culprits, but unless the hares have stilts, that’s unlikely since the top of the boxes are waist high.

Browsing Deer

The most likely varmint was a deer. A single deer can eat up to ten pounds of plants each day. The area is now barricaded with some old cucumber trellises.

Flower Remnants

And the eaters were not picky. They also polished off a pot of petunias and coleus, either as hors d’oeuvres or dessert.

HDPE Extruded Mesh Rolled Fencing (Lowe’s)

So far, my make-do fencing has protected the tomatoes and peppers. Stay tuned.

Chicken Wire Cage (

Chicken Wire cages stand guard over the squash, cucumber, bean, and melon beds.

Electric Fence

Nearby, another neighbor has kicked his plant protection up a notch: his gorgeous, productive garden is surrounded by two layers of defense. First, there is a standard post-and-wire fence. He began with this method, but after finding a stag in the middle of his plot he added an electric fence as an outer perimeter.

Fertilizer/Animal Pest Repellent

A helpful Tractor Supply clerk recommended this particular fertilizer as an animal pest repellent. Tomorrow, I will spread it widely and hope it works.

Fort Knox

Reporting from Garden Fort Knox, Author JL Huffman.

Combatting Garden Pests

Are you a gardener? What pest challenges do you encounter?

You can follow the Author on her Website or X (formerly Twitter).



Author JL Huffman

I’m a retired Trauma surgeon/ICU doctor, a world traveler and gardener. I’ve published in the surgical literature; now I’m writing poetry, memoir & fiction.