Friday, February 13, 2009

Keeping Critters out of the Garden

You have plans to plant a nice garden this year..but you find yourself between a rock and a hard place as the neighbors cat has been known to ...well..use your yard and planned garden space as a great big kitty box. Or perhaps deer or rabbits roam around your to enjoy them from a distance, and keep your yard/garden space at the same time from being chewed all up?

Here are a few ideas:
*Invest in a motion detector sprinkler.

*Mulching in flower beds ..using large pieces of bark or rocks. Cats prefer a smooth material to paw through.

*Laying chicken wire down over the ground.Then cutting areas in the chicken wire to plant in. Cats do not like walking on chicken wire.

*Sprinkling of chili pepper flakes every few days in the areas the cat goes.

*Plastic forks with the tongs stuck up..cats don't like having to dig around them.

*Ground up orange peels are supposed to deter cats.

*Scatter prickly type pinecones in the areas the cat is using.

*Install an electric wire fence.

*3 plants that supposedly cats and deer both do not like are:
rue, lavender, and pennyroyal
*For the most part rabbits do not typically like the taste of tomato plants,. corn plants, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, or peppers. So you could make sure that you plant these type of plants on the outer borders of your garden area.They do go after things like beans, peas, beets ,and lush greens.

* Construct a 2 foot high fencing around the garden.Make sure that the fence is either buried about a few inches or is tight against the ground.

*Sprinkle dried blood meal around the border of the garden, or fox urine.

*Human hair sprinkled around the border of the garden ...ask for some at your local hair salon.

* Corn cobs soaked in vinegar...resoak after about 2 weeks.

* Plant a clover patch especially for the rabbits, they'd rather eat clover than your garden.
* least 3 ft. high or higher.

*Invest in a dog. Dogs and deer do not mix.

*Here is another method I came across:
Mix 2 ½ pounds of bloodmeal (half of a 5 lb. bag) into a normal size bucket that's about half to 2/3 full of water.
Stir well.
Add 1 cup of ammonia and keep stirring until mixed.
Now, cut green florist block into big cubes and place each cube on a three-foot tall stake. Dip the staked cubes into the bucket and let them soak for awhile to get really saturated. Then, place the stakes about six feet apart around plants you wish to protect. Re-saturate the cubes every couple of weeks or after a really heavy rain.

* Grated Irish spring or Ivory soap sprinkled around the garden.

* Human read right.

*Plant chives around the garden..but you'll have to keep them thinned as they can take over the garden, apparently deer don't care much for chives.

* Plants that deer will not eat can be planted around the borders of your garden. Try the following:
Annuals :
ageratum,snapdragon,salvia,nicotiana,petunia, alyssum,marigold,begonia.

columbine,coreopsis,foxglove,aconitum,lavender, salvia,nepeta,daffodils,hyacinth,rudbeckia,beebalm,babysbreath.
Good Luck!...and may you have a critter free garden this year.

~Happy Gardening!~

Understanding Your Seed Catalogs

The seed catalogs are starting to pour in and the excitement is in the air to get growing. But...when you look at the catalogs you see a variety of seeds ..some marked hybrid, some marked open pollinated, some marked organic, and some marked heirloom.

Just what is the difference here?
Hybrid seed is seed that is derived from mixing different traits from various plants to come up with a new/unique variety. Alot of times when seed is planted from this type of may/may not grow true to the parent plant.
Open pollinated seed means the seed is allowed to grow as nature intended...all heirloom seed is open pollinated seed.Open pollinated seed is then classified as both heirloom seed and open pollinated if the strain of seed has proven to grow "true to type" for 50 yrs or better.
Heirloom seed is seed that has been passed down from generation to generation and is seed that is at least from a 50 to 100 year strain of seed that has proven to grow "true to type" meaning that what you plant seed wise will look like the parent plant.
Organic seed does not necessarily mean that you are getting an heirloom variety of simply refers to the methods/practices by which the seed has been grown..usually with minimal chemicals. Both hybrids and heirlooms can be grown organically.
~Happy Gardening!~
p.s. check out the Heirloom seed available at
We have okra, tomato, lettuce, radicchio and more to come.