Ahhh, summertime. There's nothing like a fresh sugar snap pea right off the vine, or crisp, slightly spicy arugula to make you wish it would last forever. Until, of course, some two or four legged creature takes a bite out of your garden when you're not looking! But before you resort to chemical warfare, try one of these organic ideas first. They might not only save your garden, but keep your produce healthy and happy, too!

1) Hair Bags - As strange as it sounds, human hair, bagged up in a nylon stocking and hung around the perimeter of your garden, can greatly help in keeping hungry animals at bay. Either cut your own, take it out of your brush, or ask a salon if you can have their clippings. The scent stays on the hair, warning would-be predators that your garden is your turf, not theirs.

2) Urine - Human urine is sometimes used around the perimeter of gardens, with mixed reviews. The scent alerts animals that there is a potential predator around. Unfortunately, not all animals regard humans as predators. (It might not keep away rabbits, for example) Also, it has a high Nitrogen content. While a great fertilizer in small doses, too much can lead to bushy green plants with no fruit, so keep it to the side, and not directly on your plans. There are also commercial products out there containing fox urine, which is generally regarded as more effective, since many more animals associate foxes with being predators. Obviously, though, this is the more expensive of the two solutions.

3) Soap Bars - A scratched up soap bar (use a pen, knife or other sharp instrument) can also keep animals at bay with its scent. Make sure its perfumed, though, because that is what the animals, especially deer, dislike.

4) Tabasco or Hot Sauce - Imagine you're a furry friend, just about to take a bite of a juicy looking plant, when - yowza! - a burst of heat sears your mouth. As opposed to the other scent-related deterrents, the spicy taste of hot sauce is enough to drive most animals away. The best way to apply hot sauce is slightly diluted in a squirt bottle, spraying the mix directly onto the leaves of the plant. Unfortunately, because it rinses off easily, it must be reapplied after every rainfall. Also, all fruits and vegetables must be thoroughly washed before human consumption, so as to avoid the same spicy effects.

5) Pinwheels - Particularly effective against groundhogs, who are notoriously skittish, pinwheels or other moving objects in your garden serve as an animated deterrent. Try ones that are shiny, bright colored, or both. Not only do they add flair to your garden, but they're also inexpensive - you can even find them at dollar stores!

Of course, although these techniques are no substitute for a strong and sturdy fence, one of their main advantages is that they can be used in conjunction with other repellent techniques. They're also beneficial because, unlike chemical products, they won't do damage to your soil or groundwater, they produce organic fruits and vegetables, and are easy to apply. So, the next time you see your plants have sustained a little nibble, fight back, the natural way!