How to address garden pests, part three: cats and dogs
Few things disrupt the beauty of a garden and the pleasure of a warm summer day more than the discovery of pests. From large animals to tiny insects, pests pose problems that range from minor annoyances to serious damage, and the everyday gardener may not always know the best way to deal with specific nuisances. We’re here to help with that.
In Part Three of our series we’ll showcase ways to deter the most common household pests for Atlantic Canadian gardeners: cats and dogs.
Keeping cats out of the garden is a topic we get asked about a lot, in store and in our comments section. We’ve heard your concerns and are more than happy to suggest a few ways to make your garden cat-free!
Cats have sensitive noses and can be warded away from your garden with the use of certain aromatics. Lavender is not only an indispensable herb but an effective deterrent to cats with it’s iconic aroma. Cats will also stay away from strong citrus scents – placing lemon and orange peels around your garden will discourage feline trespassers.
If you’re in the market for a fast acting solution, Get Off My Garden repellent is our recommended go-to. The repellent contains modified water crystals that emit a strong odour which confuses a cat’s sense of smell and makes your garden very unappealing to them.
An alternative approach to get cats from visiting your garden, is to make a separate cat-friendly garden! Catnip and mint are loved by cats and can be utilized as incentives to draw curious cats away from your more delicate plants.
While dogs are great companions, they aren’t always the best gardeners. Dog’s can be very disruptive to a garden, either by digging up your plants or taking naps on your flower bed.
Physical barriers can be implemented to get dogs from coming into your garden. One trick is to keep the branches of your roses after pruning and strategically place them around your garden. The thorns will make dogs reluctant to dig up your soil as they’ll want to avoid getting pricked. A small fence around the perimeter of your garden can act as a reminder for your dog to stay away, and if you catch them in the garden they are more likely to learn from their intrusion then a cat.
In regards to repellents, Critter Ridder is a cayenne pepper based product that will irritate animals once they come into contact it and makes them think twice about coming back. It works on dogs, raccoons, skunks and cats as well.
For the caffeinated gardener, coffee grinds can be used a deterrent to keep nosy dogs at bay. The bitterness of the coffee isn’t appealing to a dog’s sense of smell and the grinds double as a fantastic fertilizer!
Hopefully this article will help you address your garden’s troublemaker - whether it’s the neighbor’s pet or your own.