Thursday, 10 March 2011

Keeping Cats out of the Veg Garden

One of the worst problems with gardening near a town is the cats. Now, don’t get me wrong, delightful creatures which I loved when I was growing up. But they are terrible nuisances in the garden. They eat wild birds (which we like because of the singing), they poop in the most inappropriate places, and they dig up your garden.

Over the years we have tried multiple methods... the screaming incoherently with rage, the native dance, and our favourite...  the lion poop. Yes, we actually bought lion poop, on the theory that the smell would put them off.

It worked.

Of course, the smell also put US off, and although we grew quite a large crop of roses that year, for some reason we failed to smell them as regularly as normal. Plus the neighbours complained to the council, because they thought that a sewage main had burst.

Maybe the lion poop pellets are a better idea, rather than fresh lion poop from the Zoo? I always consider the money saving way better though.

One way that defiantly does work is large wire fences... but you end up looking like something the allies used to escape from in world war II.

We also invested in some kind of sonar device that was supposed to keep the cats away from the veg garden, which did not appear to stop the cats. Surprise, surprise, they just kept on going back. So, eventually our final solution has been a mixture of an old fashioned technique...

First, I have netted the plot. This prevents the cats from getting into the vegetable beds. And the second approach is to use the water hose. I made a nice empty bed for the cats... and they can use that bed. If they don’t they get the water hose pointed at them. I don’t actually drench them, just put it near enough that they can sense my displeasure.

 Although, the neighbours don’t like me so much any more.

Now, I am going to make a diversion... cat owners, it would be really nice if at this time of year you were to invest in a cat collar with a bell. All the younglings are going to be hatched soon. It would be nice if papa bird and momma bird didn’t get eaten by yopur cat. It also has a few other benefits too. 

Like, for example, the fact that there will be less dead mice left to you as a gift.

The weather report today... a little more windy than normal. It is starting to be a bit more cloudy, but I’ve been enjoying tidying up the winter bed... this bed has flowers like hellebores and winter flowering pansies which produce a bit of color at this time of year. It also has a huge number of pinks that have a delicious smell later on in the year. But, months of not really weeding enough makes it a little less tidy than you would hope.

Anyway, I’ve just been watching magpies having a play fight out from the window of the study I am writing from... noisy, unfashionable birds, that I still like.

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