Monday, April 02, 2007

Not a Potty-ger

I love my kitties, but they do tend to use my garden as a litter box. Keeping them inside is not an option; we enjoy our time together outside too much. They also do a fantastic job of rooting out moles. I’ve learned to endure them occasionally powdering their noses in the flower gardens, but absolutely no pottying can be tolerated in the potager. After I prepared the soil for my veggies in mid-March, I found signs that my cats had found the fluffy dirt irresistible. I needed to cat-proof my potager.

I’ve read a number of good suggestions for cat-proofing gardens on GardenWeb. Although sticking prickly rose cuttings in the dirt like little booby traps seems mean, I have to admire that gardener’s resourcefulness. The most humane, easy, and cost efficient method I read was to cover the soil with wooden lattice. The lattice acts as a mulch, planting guide, and kitty deterrent. I didn’t have any lattice, but our house did come with a big roll of rubber-covered wire fencing. I think it is actually superior to wooden lattice because it leaves the earth exposed to rain.

After buying some heavy-duty wire cutters, I cut the fencing into lengths that would just cover the planting areas on either side of the lavender. I pegged the fence down with U-shaped wire stakes made from coat hangers. (We have tons of coat hangers thanks to Mike’s dry cleaning.) The project didn’t take more than 45 minutes and, ta-da, my potager is a litter box no more! (And those little squares really DO make a nice planting guide!)

It's been two weeks since I laid down the fencing and not only has the bed remained fertilizer-free, but my seedlings are emerging unscathed by scratching kitty paws.

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Blogger Jenn said...

Fantastic arrangement! Lovely reuse of the abandoned material.

4:59 PM  
Blogger LostRoses said...

You clever thing, you! Not only for the play on words, but the way you foiled kitty. And it looks darn good! Imagine little squares to plant in, who would have thought.

8:59 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Great idea for keeping the cats at bay! I wonder if that would work with my big, brown dog ... he would probably ignore the wire or just step on it.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

Great idea. I just found your blog thru afavorites link. I saw your attempt at crocuses and thought you might enjoy one of my posts.
How do you like those crocus!xuccd

10:41 AM  
Blogger Christine of Epiphany said...

I use bits of broken pottery~ not sharp, but with edges sticking up out of the soil.
It works, and the terracotta apparently works as moisteners/ mulch factors, shading the plant roots and storing water.

12:46 PM  
Blogger IBOY said...

Very slick!

6:58 AM  
Blogger Yolanda Elizabet said...

What a good idea to keep cats from using your kitchen garden as their toilet. Like you I have kitties too but all are litterbox trained and do not use my garden. The only ones that do, are other people's cats. Not so nice.

Found your blog via old roses.And if you're interested, all my kitties are to be admired on my blog.

8:35 AM  

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