Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Planning Ahead in the Garden - Critter Deterrent


You might be asking about now...

"So why is Mary showing us a bunch of twigs?"

Well, these aren't just any twig, that's why!

These are twigs with THORNS.

It's such a beautiful day - even though the cooler temperatures have already gone the wayside and things have warmed up a bit - yep, that's the south for ya!  Still, it's cooler and much less humid than it had been and a perfect day to catch up on some yardwork, so I got out and picked up previous trimmings from my rose bushes and finished trimming off the rest. But I don't throw them away.

Collect all of these trimmings in a corner of your garden and when it comes time for spring planting next year, you'll save yourself a few headaches when it comes to squirrels and cats digging in your garden.

Using these trimmings worked wonders for me this past spring, when I put up my first raised bed vegetable gardens. I discovered that the squirrels were very fond of that nice, new, soft soil, and kept digging in it to bury acorns.  My neighbor's cat made an occasional trip over the fence to visit too.

Well, I happened to have thrown a bunch of these thorny trimmings on the same wood pile where I save small branches that fall from the oak trees to use as kindling for the fireplace.  I decided to scatter those thorny trimmings all about in the garden where I had newly planted seeds or small, tender seedlings. The squirrels and cats avoided my garden once they discovered it was home to prickly sticks.

So when you get to trimming up any thorny plants or weeds, or happen to see your neighbor trimming their rose bushes, snatch up those trimmings and you'll have one more arsenal of weapons to use to keep the critters from digging in your garden.


  1. Well, that certainly is a fantastic idea!

  2. Mary, Mary,
    Quite contrary,
    How does your garden grow?

    With thorns and sticks
    to stop squirrels' tricks
    And make the kitties go!

  3. What a good idea!

    Stopping in from SITS.

  4. Now that's extreme green :-). What a good idea.

  5. oh, you are cruel... what about those little squirrel feet and cat paws... it hurts to get poked by a thorn... shame, shame..

    just kidding, its a wonderful idea, but i did think about their little feeties... :-)

  6. I never thought of this and two neighborhood cats are constantly in our yard! Great ideas!

  7. Oh that's so smart!

    One question -- do the thorns hurt when you're weeding? I always crawl through our garden to get at the weeds (on my knees) and if the thorns are enough to keep the cats out...

    Did you have that problem?

  8. It really does work y'all!!

    Penniwig, you are so silly, I love it!

    Hi Sharon!

    Yes, you would definitely have to move at least the thorny twigs from the area where you want to kneel and then replace them.

    I did raised veggie beds this year for the first time so weeds were not much of an issue. Very few weeds and you can reach everything from outside of the gardens. Wear thick gloves though because you will get stuck rooting around them - they definitely work!

    On the flat ground garden areas where I used these thorny twigs, I only put the twigs down right where I had a new planting, but not in the other surrounding areas of the garden. That way there was plenty of knee room around the thorns!

    Hope that helps - have a great weekend.

  9. Thats a briliant Idea! I live in alaska, now I just need to figure out how to keep the moose out, they ate most of my garden last summer :(

  10. Oh yeah... don't think I can really help with those moose but this will help with those pesky little squirrels and roaming cats! Now whenever I trim up my roses, I save all the clippings and just pile them up in a corner of the yard.


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