7 Ways To Pet-Proof Your Garden

Are neighborhood cats using your flower garden as a litter box? Is the family dog digging up your carrots? Check out our top tips for keeping pets out of gardens.

Looking for ways to keep pets out of the garden? Try these pet proof garden tips:

1. Keep Cats Out With 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.

2. Scatter Citrus Peel

Mandarin - Peel

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.

3. Try the Scaredy Cat Plant

Dog - Stock photography
Coleus canina, also known as “Scaredy Cat Plant”

The Coleus canina, also known as “Scaredy Cat Plant” is an annual through most of the country with attractive dark green leaves and lavender flowers. Its scent is said to be skunky and will repel dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small mammals that might make a meal of your garden.

4. Plant Decoy Plants

Cat - Catnip

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

5. Create A Digging Pit for Fido

Dog - Puppy

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.

6. Set Up A Motion-Activated Sprinkler

Lawn - Dog

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

7. Plant In Raised Beds

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.)

Contributed by Farmers’ Almanac Freelancer Cheryl S Smith.

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