Re: Garden 2019
I've had pretty good luck with planting a hedgerow of Sunflowers around my 90' X 110' garden. I plant 14-15 rows of sunflowers in a 3' width, forming a hedgerow. I use two types, the short black oiler's, and the taller gray stripe. At least for Deer, the theory is, they will not jump over anything they cannot see the other side of. You just have to make a short, small maze type entrance to get in. I just use the seeds, used to feed birds. I buy the 5-6 lb bags at TSC, and there is enough to go around mine for 2 years. I used planters for my garden tractors to plant them, but, if you don't happen to have one, I always thought a push type broadcast spreader, with something out to the sides to keep it within the width you wish to contain it in, would work great, but have never tried it. Some heavier corrugated cardboard would probably work. Then lightly rake in the seeds.
If you happen to plant cucumbers, or any vining type plants, 2 years ago, I planted rows of Daikon Radishes on both sides of the row of cucumbers. The Daikon's will bloom before the cuke's, and the white butterflies that lay the vine borer eggs will be attracted to the radishes, laying their eggs there. My mistake was not making a second planting, when the first even started to mature beyond the blooming stage. Once the blooming waned off, the butterflies went to the cuke's, and vine borer's did their damage. It was well into the season with no damage to the cuke's up to that point, so I was satisfied the radishes were doing their job.
I'm also going to experiment with planting Marigolds around my tomatoes this year. I've been reading that they mask the pheromones given off by the tomatoes that attract, Hawk Moth's, who's eggs are horn worms. I found a place that sells the seed in bulk, that aren't too expensive. Luckily, I have plenty of parasitic wasps around due to having horses, and them working on flies due to manure. If you see multiple white eggs on the horn worm's back, those are the wasp eggs. Don't smash the horn worm, as in short time the horn worm is paralyzed. and when the eggs hatch, they will feed on it. I usually have a few volunteer tomato plants, so I'll set them outside the garden, and transfer the horn worms to those plants, to carry on the cycle. I usually don't find them until picking time, so I use a spring type clothespin to pluck them off. I've had a few juicy one's pop when I pull them off with my fingers, so to prevent that, use the clothes pin. I'll clip 2-3 on some of the stakes, so one isn't that far away, if I need one, or just clip one on my shirt pocket to keep it handy. I'll use a small plastic container to put them in, and transfer them later, after picking.
My biggest problem the last few years with tomato damage has been from Grasshoppers. Getting ready to study up on that some, and see what I can do to prevent that. They will eat a hole in a tomato approx. 3/8" in diameter, and about that deep. I have to believe that damage is much like a cracked tomato after a rain, and if not picked pretty quick, will cause the tomato to sour. And I donate a lot of tomatoes to food banks, so it pretty much renders them useless.