Gardening

Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Keeping Cats Out of Your Garden

novembre 14Yes, I know: you love your cat. It’s an absolute darling and would never cause any problems. Your neighbor’s cat, though, that’s a different story. It’s noisy, stinky… and somehow it feels your garden is the world’s very best litter box. And that is starting to make gardening very unsanitary.

But you can keep your neighbor’s cat out of your garden. You just have to think like a cat!

Cats love comfort and will quickly change their minds about a litter area if it no longer meets their requirements. Here are some tips for making your garden less cat-friendly:

• Keep the spot very wet by watering repeatedly: cats hate getting their paws wet;

• Cover their favorite haunt with chicken wire. Cats can’t scratch the ground when it’s covered with metallic mesh, nor do they even like walking on it… but plants will grow through the mesh as if it weren’t there;

• Cover the spot with dog hair: Kitty won’t like that one bit! If you don’t have a pooch, ask a dog grooming salon for a couple of handfuls;

• Cover the spot with rough or even prickly mulch: bark, pine cones, spruce branches, prickly rose clippings, sharp gravel, etc.

You see: you can live with your neighbor’s cat! Now if only they kept their pet anaconda indoors!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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