Cats and Puppies
in the Garden
I've been receiving a lot of emails asking
for more tips on keeping cats, dogs and especially puppies out of the
garden so I've been doing research. As far as personal experience we've
had one cat who wouldn't stay inside and one who does. The only time I
had problems in one of the beds I put in some short pieces of chicken
wire and screen where he was using it as a litter box and he stopped.
I've also read that you can put anything that is scratchy or
pokey-broken sticks, plastic spikes etc. in the bothered beds and it
will help. If you have any thorny stems of raspberry or other berry
bushes these will work great too!
By Brenda Hyde
Another important, but certainly not
easy, solution when they are your own pets and not strays is discipline.
From the start you need to use a firm voice, shaking pennies in a can,
using squirt guns or some other noisy alternative for you to show them
they cannot go in the garden area. You can't let up at any point.
Everyone in your household should help with this and be on the lookout
for the times they do venture into the garden. Also, have some type of
visible barriers where you have flower, herb or vegetable beds. Use
landscape timbers, brick, fence etc. as long as it can be seen so it
gives your pet something they can eventually understand as the
"stay out" area. For easily damaged plants you may have to get
creative until your pet learns and use fencing to keep them away.
Plastic or cardboard as a mulch will help
some to keep cats away, plus you can lay twigs around the areas where
they are digging. If they do leave waste pick it up and discard into the
garbage as soon as possible. They also don't like wet soil, so water
during dry spells. Though there really isn't any evidence of this
working every time, many gardeners will plant alliums, chamomile,
marigolds or rue in the beds where cat are digging.
A PLANT TO KEEP AWAY PETS?
I was in one of our local garden centers last week looking for a few
bargains and I saw a plant called a Scardy Cat plant. Its proper name is
Coleus canina and apparently it's been known also as "dog be
gone", "bunny be gone" as well. Does it work? Well, I did
some checking and it works for some people and not for others. Various
sources say it is "scentless" to humans. Not true--it did have
a scent a little bit like marigolds---in fact, some people insist they
will do the same job and are easier to grow. I also saw a lot of
descriptions bragging about the blooms and the foliage. It wasn't like
your typical coleus in appearance. It reminded me a little of a mint
plant. This coleus can withstand very high temperatures, over 100, and
it can survive down to about 30 degrees. It spreads by runners and in
warmer climates can be invasive if not watched. Plants can reach
12" - 18" in height, but they can be cut back shorter to form
From what I read the smell only becomes
strong enough when they are established, which explains why some people
try them in pots and they don't repel any of the animals it claims to.
But, I read of some really good success with the plants when they are
located at the corners of a garden and planted in the ground. My
opinion---if you can buy the plants at a good price and have room to add
them to your landscape they would be a nice addition, and if they live
up to their reputation, a great, all-natural deterrent.
VISITOR'S KITTY TIPS
I have one cat I've called
"Moses" who loved " parting" my flower beds on his
daily rounds until someone suggested diluting some "DETTOL"
with water and spraying it where he loved to make his daily blessings. I
can assure your readers, this is the best idea I've ever come across. No
more problems. My flowers are great, but my carrots in the garden have a
brown hue to them. LOL ~Walt, Canada (Note: Dettol is an
antiseptic-disinfectant in concentrate form)
We have successfully managed to keep the
cats away by scattering prickly Mahonia leaves around their digging
Where I work stray cats hide under our
front porch/deck. They use it as a bathroom and a place to fight and
spray. We toss moth balls under and around the edges. The mothballs
smell too but the cats soon get the message and don't come back so we
usually only have to do it once. ~Sandra
The vet suggested spraying the areas
affected with vinegar about once a week or respray if it rains. ~Joyce
Keeping cats out of flower beds, the
garden, etc. Poke plastic forks, tine side up, at various intervals
throughout the flower bed. Works like a charm. ~Carol Fulton
For pests in the garden: spray coyote
urine. Sounds disgusting, but if the pests smell evidence of a predator
in the area, they won't stick around. It's available in garden stores
and it WORKS!! ~Jennifer
About the author:
Brenda Hyde is a wife and mom to three living in the Midwest United
States. She is also editor of http://www.OldFashionedLiving.com.
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