Ah, spring!

It's enough to bring out the gardener in all of us.

The snow and ice have melted. The warm, sunshine-y days get longer by the day. The sun is higher in the sky now, and Mother Earth is just itching to produce fruits and vegetables galore.

Row by row, the backyard garden begins to take shape. Greenery breaks the topsoil, and before you know it, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, cukes, green beans, carrots and more will be yours for the picking.

That is, unless the deer, rabbits, squirrels and other varmints get to it first.

Defend Your South Coast Veggie Gardener With Plastic Forks
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HouseDigest.com says, "Sure, you could use animal repellent to keep the pests out of your garden, but using all those chemicals isn't good for your produce or you."

The site says, "Spray repellents can damage (or even kill) your vegetables; plus, you're ingesting those chemicals when you sit down to eat a salad from veggies you grew."

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So what's a frustrated farmer to do?

HouseDigest.com recommends plastic forks. No, not to eat the vegetables but to protect them as they grow.

The site says, "Grab a bunch of plastic forks and place them generously throughout the garden, sticking them into the soil with the tines facing up."

Defend Your South Coast Veggie Gardener With Plastic Forks
Getty Images

The animals are likely to think the utensils are predators and shy away. The forks might also gently jab the critters as they make a move for the veggies and will serve as a painful reminder to shop elsewhere.

The site says the animals can also detect a human odor on the plastic forks which serves as a deterrent.

HouseDigest.com also offers tips for keeping snails and slugs out of your veggie garden.

Good luck and happy gardening!

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