Do the neighborhood kitties think your garden is their own personal litter box? Does your dog think you plowed up all that nice soft dirt just to make a great spot to bury her tennis ball? Here are some easy and time tested tips for keeping those otherwise adorable critters out of your garden, so your green peppers, cucumbers and beets actually stand a chance of ending up in your summer salad.
1. White vinegar: It's cheap, and dogs and cats do not like the scent, even after it has dried. Rags soaked in white vinegar once a week should keep them away. Place them all around the perimeter of the garden, or drape them over stakes in the ground. If they get wet when you water, you will want to saturate them more frequently.
2. Used coffee grounds: Cats do not like the smell of coffee either. Sprinkle them around the edges of the garden. If you don't generate enough through your own personal use, ask your neighbors to save theirs, or try a local coffee house. Many Starbucks stores bag up the old grounds and give them away for free.
3. Plant Rue: The blue foliage is attractive, but cats can't stand the odor and will make a wide berth around the planting.
4. Use Rose Stems: Thorny roses will deter cats and dogs. When you prune your roses, keep the cuttings and place them around the outside of the garden. If someone brings you roses, don't toss them when they are wilted (and you can probably get stems from co-workers who get flowers too). Neither cats nor dogs will want to walk over the thorny stems. If you don't have enough, check with a local florist for cuttings.
5. Citrus: Save your used grapefruit, orange and lemon rinds. If the peels are in large pieces, space them evenly around the garden. Or, chop them up into small pieces in your food processor or by hand. Spread these around the perimeter of the garden as they can make your soil a bit too acid if they are directly around the plants.
6. Cloves: Dogs do not like the smell of cloves. You can buy the oil online through Amazon.com and saturate pieces of cloth with it. Place them around the perimeter of your garden where they won't get wet from watering. You can also drape these over stakes (use a tack or small nail to hold the cloth on the stake) and place them around the garden where they won't get wet. Or put whole or ground cloves into cloth bags and do the same, or simply sprinkle on the ground.
7. Fence it off: You can staple chicken wire or window screening to evenly placed stakes or wooden dowels around your garden, high enough that the kitties won't be tempted to jump over.
8. Plastic bags: It may look tacky, but cats don't much like the sound and feel of bunched up plastic bags under their paws. You can drive a small stake or BBQ skewer through a balled up plastic grocery bag and place these around the outside of the garden. It is at least very easy, and very cheap.
Find lots more ideas for your organic garden and natural home on our website below, and create a safer and healthier life for you and yours. Happy Gardening!
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