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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tried a container herb garden on my deck and it was attacked by squirrels and one of the stray cats that seem to like hanging out in my backyard. :mad: Is there anyway to keep those pesky critters away? I dont want my herbs ending up as a litter box. Id like to take em inside but don't know if I have enough still for a window box or even if I want one with two little babies and a 5 yr old running around. :( Plus my deck is the sunniest spot I found.

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Shawyty cat, I remember when I first went to the States I was so much enchanted by those creatures I knew only from Disney cartoons...
I couldn't understand why everybody hated them

Leave them please... It's the economy of nature :)

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Somewhere in hunting supply catalogs either bear, mountain lion or tiger urine is sold as an animal repellant. Otherwise, apply a strip of tape that's sticky on BOTH sides to the herb container. Cats hate it.

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Actually, if you can keep the cat in your yard, it will keep the squirrels away.

It's most likely the squirrel which is digging in your soil. Cat's tend not to like herbs unless it's catmint.

What do you have planted in your container? There may be one particular variety which is attracting them to your container.

if you can keep the cat in your yard, it will keep the squirrels away. It's probably the squirrel which is digging in your soil. Cat's tend not to like herbs unless it's catmint.

Squirrel Deterrents:

* Use pepper spray on the plants you want to protect.
* Trim your tree branches.
* Lowe's, Walmart and any garden center should carry cedarcide. It is great to use to keep the squirrel's out of your garden and flower beds and this will not harm them.
* Fox Urine (similar to kokopuff's suggestion) found in organic nurseries. plastic pill containers with small holes in the lids
* Use a rock mulch.
* "Deer-Off" also in nursieries.
* "blood meal" great for your garden, deters animals.

I highly recommend deterring the squirrel instead of the cat because I doubt it's the cat and this may be more than what you need but someone else may find it useful. Here are Cat Deterrents for your Garden:

* blood meal fertilizer
* coffee grounds (highly recommended)
* black pepper
* aluminum foil
* cinnamon
* bramble cuttings
* heavy bark mulch
* water bottle on "stream"
* motion sensor sprinklers
* chicken wire
* gutter covers
* rose bush clippings
* crushed rock
* donate catnip into your neighbor's yards
* citrus peels
* cedar compost
* liquid manure
* dog
* river rocks over the exposed soil
* garlic
* squirt gun with water
* six-inch bamboo skewers (pointy side up)
* black plastic forks (tines up)
* toothpicks
* short twigs throughout the planted area about 6" apart
* thorny berry, lilac, hawthorn, clippings
* holly leaves
* Essence of Orange. Essence of Lemon, Lime, Citrus Essential Oils...
* pinecones
* lavender
* keep your area damp, they like dry soil
* 'Carefresh' - "recycled" wood pulp
* chili powder
* spray on your leaves (not the cat): fill a spray bottle with 1/2 t chili powder, 1/2 t cayenne pepper, 1 t dishsoap and water
*cayenne pepper, red crushed pepper (not recommended), it gets on the cat's paws then they wash themselves and they get it in their eyes, beware cats have literally scratched their eyes out because of this
* moth balls (not recommended), avoid these in your garden because they are highly toxic

Give them their own areas (to keep them out of where you don't want them):
(if you don't mind them protecting your garden from other critters)

* give them their own areas to dig in: loose soil and mulch like small bark mulch
* give her her own plants - ie., pots of grass for her to chew on and a place in a large planted container on her balcony with some miscanthus grass in it (the cat likes to curl up in that for some reason)
* pick the cat up and bring it to eye level with the plant to see and smell it up close. She noted that once her cat has seen and sniffed at the plant, she usually doesn't bother with it later.
* purple foutain grass
* Barley Grass
* Oat Grass
* Wheat Grass
* Flax
* Wheat Berries
* Catmint cultivars
* Carex elata 'Bolwes Golden' but put it in some shade
* Valarian
* Jacob's Ladder
* Lemon Grass
* Striped Ribbon Grass (can be invasive)
* Cat Thyme (Teucrium marum)
* Silver-vine (Actinidia polygama)
* Mints
* Sweetgrass
* Various Varieties of Cat Mints (Catnips)

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok Ill leave the cat alone. I didnt get mad at it until I thought it was ruining my herb garden. Its been offering me mice and I actually liked having it around. (love mousers) Ill have to get it a treat to make up for the blistering lecture.

As for the pesky squirrels, this is Jersey, Id have to cut everyones tree down. :rolleyes: Ill try your list of deterrents cchiu. Thanks. And I was trying to grow thyme and oregano. My two favorite herbs, since I use them all the time. Wonder if I can put garlic in with those two?

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Back to Home Depot for fresh potting soil or maybe Ill just get some small pots for the upstairs kitchen counter. That's sunny too. Will let you know how it goes. Can't believe Im missing all this good rain! So frustrating. :mad:

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Have you considered a hanging basket? You can hang it off a curtain rod in front of a window if you're limited on space. It will keep it out of the young one's way too. Your thyme and oregano should eventually trail over the sides of the pot depending on the varieties you have.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great idea! Cant believe I never thought of it. Definately gonna try. Should I just try the garlic in a separate pot? Just wondering now if I can just plant an old garlic bulb instead of throwing it away?

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11,768 Posts
Depends where you buy your garlic. A certified organic garlic might grow. Most garlic in the market is gassed to retard sprouting.

You might also try garlic chives as a deterrent?


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Yes, I'd stick to the real "garlic", though I think it's more of a cat deterrent than a squirrel deterrent but it won't hurt to try. Also, if you're wanting to grow it as opposed to just deterring anything, yes, try your local nursery or garden centers. Many of them have garlic and onions, etc right now. Though I have heard of many people having success with grocery store varieties, some of them can be hybrids which won't grow true to the parent.

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Cats and squirrels? No, my pets, as Easter approaches, the grounds of Dear Abby's home estate are overrun with rabbits.

Abby's long-time gardener, Angus, is in complete agreement with Abby that residential gardens should be as free of pesticides as possible. He also shares Abby's deep respect for wildlife. However, the little bunny rabbits are devouring Abby's expensive landscape every night!

Angus has a degree in horticulture, yet could not solve this gardening dilemma. Abby's conscientious butler, Hughes, who manages the household accounts, soon became concerned over the mounting expense of replacing annuals and perennials - or "gourmet rabbit food", as he now calls Abby's flowers.

The last straw was when the beautiful new pansy beds were ravaged overnight, right down to the roots! Clearly, something had to be done!

Dearest Hughes, ever the picture of British reserve, surprised Abby when he opted for a fast-and-fatal solution. Hughes suggested Angus not dally about with humane traps, but instead, poison the rabbits -- or just shoot them!

This upset Abby's tender-hearted gardener, so Hughes said, "Never mind the poison, old chap; I have a bloody excellent idea! Wait and see. By Monday morning, our bunny battles shall be history, and without ever firing a shot!"

Early Monday, as Dear Abby sipped her coffee and Chef Henri prepared breakfast, the gardener stormed into the kitchen demanding that Hughes and Abby come with him to the reflecting pool garden. Henri came also as well as Raul, the pool boy, and Gretchen, Abby's secretary that week.

"Hughes, you miserable old scoundrel!", cried Angus, as we followed him to the garden, "I labor constantly to maintain this landscape without chemicals and you know it! But despite promising an organic solution, you sneaked out here last night and used a powerful chemical repellant on my pansy beds! Oh, don't bother denying.... I have proof! Whatever poison you used did not kill the rabbits, but look what happened... your chemical made all of their fur fall out! Pathetic! Cruel! Well, Hughes, I hope you are pleased with your wretched self now!"

Dear Abby inspected the pansy beds. Sure enough, scattered among the perky pansies were large clumps of fur! Oh, the horror! Your Abby was aghast at the thought of the poor little nude bunnies shivering somewhere amongst the shrubbery! Suddenly, Hughes began to giggle, and then laugh heartily. Abby was appalled at her butler's callous disregard for the hairless hares!

"Oh Madame, forgive me, but this is beyond comical!" said Hughes. "This is most assuredly not what it seems, Madame -- not at all. Please, look closely at this 'fur'."

Angus, Henri, Raul, Gretchen, and Dear Abby stared solemnly at the flower bed. All but Gretchen, who was not quite as bright as one would hope, began to laugh at the same time. Those little bunnies must have been unusual indeed! Some had gray hair, some brown. But others had longish black hair or curly red hair. Evidently, one of them had been a California blonde -- with platinum highlights (probably foils)!

As it turned out, Hughes had heard that human hair was an excellent natural repellant for rabbits. Hughes had asked his barber to save the hair for him when the salon floor was swept.

Abby still cannot decide which gave more relief -- the realization that there were no pitiful hairless bunnies, or the reassurance that Hughes does not have a malevolent bone in his old British body!

Sadly, this was not a long-term solution to the bunny invasion. Following a Spring shower, Abby's gardens were once more an all-you-can-eat bunny buffet.

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