Country Lore: Make Your Own Pest-repelling Mulch

Cedar woodchips keep many pests away from garden crops.
By Warren Johnson
April/May 2006
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In the eternal war of gardener versus slugs and bugs, my arsenal of sprays and poisons is a bit scary. During the annual trimming of various cedars, junipers and arborvitae trees, I hit on the idea of using those branches for mulch to discourage the pests, rather than using pesticides.

Instead of sending the branches to the landfill, I just ran them through a chipper/shredder and put the wonderful-smelling chips around strawberries, pumpkins, squash and other plants that pests love so much.

The pests are repelled by the smell, as are moths that won’t go after clothes in a cedar chest or fleas that avoid a dog lying on a cedar-chip mattress.

Warren Johnson
Smithfield, Utah








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