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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

7 Pet-Proof Garden Tips

7 Pet-Proof Garden Tips

Keep cats out of the garden by using chicken wire. Place the chicken wire down amid your plants, then cover it with a thin layer of mulch. Cats scratch when they eliminate and won’t like their claws catching on the wire.

If the problem is roaming neighborhood cats, you can repel them by scattering citrus peels around your garden. Cats don’t like the smell of citrus. Be sure to replace the peels periodically, and be aware that you will have to view the peelings in your yard and plants.

Try a new plant, Coleus canina. An annual through most of the country with attractive dark green leaves and lavender flowers, its scent is advertised to repulse dogs and cats.

Make one area attractive to dogs or cats to lure them away from other areas. For cats, plant catmint and the special grasses that cats like to eat (you can find those in pet supply stores), and scatter some catnip around. For dogs, plant the herb valerian in an area where a dog can dig. Many dogs like to roll on the roots.

For your own dog, provide a digging pit. It’s much easier to move a behavior to an acceptable area than to stop it completely. You can either dig an actual pit or build an enclosure and fill it up with a loose mix of sand and dirt. Bury some biscuits and toys, and encourage your dog to
dig there.

For cats and the dogs that don’t like to get wet, you can use a motion-activated sprinkler. Animals approaching a garden activate the sprayer and find themselves caught in a sudden downpour.

Use borders or raised beds, and teach your dog not to cross them into your plants. If you are not well versed in dog training, you’ll need to find a good trainer in your area. (Look for someone who uses positive methods.)

Good luck. If you have a good way to keep pets out of the garden, share it at our forum.

Contributed by Farmers’ Almanac Freelancer Cheryl S Smith.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.