By Michael Nolan
I was talking to Reggie a few weeks back and he shared one of his personal urban gardening dilemmas.
It made me laugh when I realized that it was one so many people have asked me about.
It is the old scourge of cats in the garden.
Now I know you’re probably laughing at this point, but our furry feline friends have a way of destroying weeks worth of gardening work when they get a bit… let’s say overzealous while they are using our carefully tended and well-dug gardens as their personal litter boxes.
It may just be the occasional gift or it could be much worse, such as when a rogue pussy from my neighborhood indiscriminately dug up six of my brand new heirloom tomato plants last week. It happens to a lot of urban gardeners, so when it does you should be prepared to dig in (so to speak) and go to war.
Here are a few tips to make your personal garden area much less susceptible to feline attacks:
1. When you find kitty gifts (that’s cat crap to most of you), you must remove them. Before I caught on to this, the cats in my garden routinely used my containers as their own personal toilets.
Now before I come across as a pussy hater, I should tell you that I have a cat and I love him dearly. That’s him in the photo — his name is Chance.
Chance lives inside. He eats aloe and poops on my kitchen rugs when he wants the litter box to be cleaned. Trust me, if you think cat crap in your petunias is bad, try squishing it between your toes as you reach for your first cup of coffee in the morning. Sometimes I want to love Chance to death.
2. If you keep the soil damp, they are less likely to mess with it. Cats hate water, see? I have had particular fun while using an inexpensive long range water pistol purchased at a toy store years ago and never given to the tot for whom it was intended. Did I mention that cats hate water? It’s true.
3. Cats also hate blood meal, and it is a great fertilizer. ‘nuff said.
4. Chicken wire or wire screening around the base of your plants will keep them at bay, at least in your plants immediate vicinity.
5. Plant a nice patch of catnip well away from your edible plants. The cats will love you for it and may even be nice enough to stop leaving you crappy gifts.
Anything you can do to cover bare soil — especially soil that is freshly dug, will keep them at bay. And by them I mean the cats in your garden, not the plants. You don’t want to keep the plants at bay.
What about you?
Do you have a favorite way to keep four-legged pests out of your garden?