Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 5/13/2019

Are you trying to keep cats out of your garden to protect your birds or to stop them from defecating in your yard? Or perhaps to keep wandering cats from mingling with your cats. Whatever the reason, with the correct approach, you can successfully keep cats out of your garden for good and stop them from using it as their private litter box.

1. Preventative planting with chicken wire

Place chicken wire down on top of your soil or mulch, across the garden bed before you plant. Cats dislike walking on the chicken wire, so this will keep them out. Using your wire cutters, you should be able to open up pockets in the chicken wire sufficiently large for your plants to grow.

2. Cat repellent plants

Some plants give off smells that repel cats. One good example is the plant known as scaredy-cat plant. Other plants that work just as well at keeping cats away are rue, lavender, and pennyroyal. You can plant these and also the other plants in your garden for all-around effectiveness. 

3. Ultrasound devices

Some ultrasound devices function on a high frequency that is imperceptible by humans but is rather intolerable for cats. You just position the device so that it faces the garden. A motion sensor detects the intruder's presence, and the device gives off its high-pitched sound, frightening off the cat. 

4. Smelly substances

Cats apparently don't like dried blood as is present in blood meal fertilizer, or citrus scents. Place peels of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit in your garden to repel stray cats. You can also use mothballs or cayenne pepper flakes although they sting.

5. Keep your yard, garden, and property clean. 

Clear gardens decrease visits from all stray and wandering cats. Be sure to avoid feeding your own pets outside as the food odor serves to attract other animals, including cats. You should also keep your outdoor grill and any other outer eating areas clean to prevent food smells. Secure your trash bins so cats cannot gain access. If you observe urine spray on your garden walls, wash them with odor neutralizer to stop the cats from returning. 

If your community has laws, ordinances, or homeowner association restrictions, that prevent you from taking any of these steps, you can ask what can be done legally to stop wandering cats.




Tags: how to   garden   cats  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mary-Lou McDonough on 9/19/2016

Cooking with fresh herbs is infinitely better than using the dried out flakes you'll find at the grocery store. Not only are they packed with much more flavor, but they'll also save you money in the process. Sure, there are some herbs you probably won't use very often and should just keep a small jar of them in your pantry. However, certain herbs are so useful that it's worth having on your window sill to pick from when you need them. If you're thinking about starting an indoor or outdoor herb garden, here are the best herbs to put in it that will spice up your recipes and save you money at the checkout line.

Basil

Number one on our list is sweet basil. Basil can be chopped up into sauces and salads, or it can be used whole on pizzas and sandwiches. For a great snack, toss some olive oil with chunks of tomato, mozzarella, and chopped basil. It's the perfect combination of tangy, sweet, and refreshing. Basil is also great for making tea and has a strong and pleasant aroma. If you start running low, you can start a new plant with clippings from an old one. As you pick from the plant, be sure to remove the leaf node (the stem part of the leaf) fully so your plant keeps producing more leaves.

Parsley

A good herb to pair with basil is parsley. It goes great with pasta dishes, sauce, pizza, or eggs. Like basil, parsley can be harvested as needed. Simply cut the outermost leaves for use and leave the inner leaves to mature. However, parsley is also easy to dry and store. To dry parsley, hang it up in a warm place that has plenty of shade and ventilation. Test it by seeing if it crumbles in your hand. Once it does, crumble the rest up and store it in an air tight jar.

Thyme

Arguably one of the the prettiest herbs on the list, thyme fills its long stems with small flowers and fills the air with a pleasant scent. Thyme goes well with many vegetables and types of seafood and is also common in many teas. If you live in a temperate climate, you could also try growing some thyme as an ornamental and aromatic shrub in your yard.

Mint

As you would suspect, mint smells and tastes...minty. To impress everyone at your summer cookout, place some mint leaves from your garden into their ice cold drinks. Like many other items on the list, mint is also great in tea and can be paired up with basil, lavender, and many other herbs to make a great herbal tea concoction.

Lavender

Lavender is another pretty flowering herb. However, due to its size, it's best grown outdoors. You can make several homemade items from lavender including soaps, fragrance sprays, tea, and more. However, be sure to read up on caring for lavender plants as they require a lot of sunlight and well-drained soil. To make use of its size and aesthetics outside, you can plant lavender along walkways in your yard or garden.




Tags: gardening   home   garden   mint   herbs   herb   herb garden   basil   parsley   thyme   lavender  
Categories: Uncategorized