You wake up one morning to look out at your beautiful garden and admire your hard work. Suddenly you gasp in dismay — those beautiful flowerbeds and that stunning vegetable garden seem to have become a destination for the local pet population.
When your prized seedlings are dug up by curious puppy paws, or worse, you find that your new landscaping has become the toilet space for the neighborhood cat, it’s infuriating. You want to keep your garden safe from animals (both wild and domestic), but you also want to keep it safe for you and your family.
Fortunately there are a few tips and tricks the Homestead Gardens experts use that could help make a difference in your favorite green spaces:
Dogs despise the spice: Mix equal parts powdered mustard with crushed dried peppers. Then dispense around your garden beds and watch pooches disappear. (Works best during dry periods.)
Dogs and cats don’t like it bitter: Pups and felines don’t like bitter smells or flavors, so some gardeners add ground coffee and ground bitter orange peel around their beds.
Cat-repellent plants: Line your garden with plants known to be unattractive to cats, including lavender and lemon balm. The strong scent is a deterrent. There’s even the “scaredy-cat plant,” Coleus canina.
Decoys: Two small LED lights can look like the peering eyes of a predator to cats and dogs, who will be likely to cautiously avoid the space. Animal decoys are another option, too.
Motion-activated sprinklers: Both cats and dogs don’t like showers, especially when they’re a surprise. Set up a motion-activated sprinkler to deter pests while giving your garden a quick drink.
Visual warnings: Cats in particular are wary. A few pieces of old hose can look like a snake in the evening. A few CDs spinning in the breeze reflect shifting light and can look like eyes.
Barriers: Finally, sticks or other barriers that make the surface uncomfortable to walk on can be effective. Delicate paws don’t like to be poked. Just make sure it doesn’t make gardening uncomfortable for you.
Constant Activity: In addition to the obvious benefits of trying out a lawn mower you can control with your smartphone (a beautiful, carpet-like lawn without effort), Husqvarna’s new Automower® helps keep pets, rodents and other animals at bay due to its constant activity. The Automower® is pet safe and you have the power to create mowing zones. Set up a tight, constant pattern close to your garden to deter your pets from wreaking havoc in your freshly planted beds. Have a problem with neighbor’s pets? Widen the mowing field and keep the neighbor’s pets completely out! This new technology will be available for sale at Homestead Gardens soon – ask an associate for details!