You SHOULD have pests. A good gardener always plants in threes-one for the bugs, one for the weather, and one for herself.
The birds can be beautiful but deadly to your seeds, and plants. If you notice nothing coming up after a week or so, dig up a seed. If it’s gone, the birds got it. Replant.
If your fruit and vegetables are coming on but the birds are eating it, figure out a scaring system (I use aluminum pie plates with string and sticks.)
Slugs can be dealt with by picking them off but I find burying an empty yogurt cup to the lip in the ground, filled with beer very effective. Also crushed egg shells around the base of the plants helps.
Moths -Row covers can be effective to protect cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. I get inexpensive ones at the dollar store.
Ants- Diamataceous Earth sprinkled around your plants (garden center) is a natural, food, and pet safe way to deter ants. Also crushed egg shells help.
There is something to be said for planting a barrier of flowers everywhere you can. Marigolds, zinnia, borage-these are all great for luring pests away from your veggies and bringing in beneficial bugs which will take care of the pests.
Colorado Beetles and Japanese Beetles are very horrible. If you have been plagued by them before, timing the planting around the life cycle of the bug helps, as does picking them off dropping the bugs into hot soapy water and crushing the orangish eggs that are on the underside of the leaves.
Deer are the bane of many gardener’s existence. I have dealt with them a bit at our market garden however I have found they dislike pigs, and our garden is near the pig paddock, so they avoided it for the most part. I know people who use electric fences, wolf urine, and human hair around the garden perimeter.
Grandkids will trample. I’m just teasing on this one but taking your planting too seriously will take away the joy of sharing the bounty with kids. Let it go, and plant extra.
No matter how you slice it, if something isn’t trying to eat your beautiful veggies, you aren’t doing a great job!