The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How to prevent pet damage in the garden

Pea trellis

What do you do if your pets are scratching up your newly sprouted seedlings?  Here are the best options I've come up with:

Sticks deter pets

These tips assume that your pets are actually interested in the beds in question.  If they're instead running through your plantings on their way to somewhere else, you need to learn about nodes and natural pathways.  (See the June volume of Weekend Homesteader for more information.)

Another way of keeping your pets on the aisles and out of your crops is to figure out why they're messing up your beds.  (No, the answer probably isn't to raise your blood pressure.)  I'm pretty sure our cats dug up the carrots and broccoli because they thought the loose soil made a good litter box.  Maybe the permaculture solution would be to build them a sand pit so they could scratch with impunity?

Our chicken waterer solves the poopy water problem --- no more filthy messes for your hens or for you!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I had problems with the dogs getting into my raised bed to lay in the straw mulch early this spring, the dead branch trick did great!

One of these days I'll remember to snap a photo of my Egyptian onions, they took well and are about 1-2ft tall already! The 100 degree heat hasn't phased them a bit.

Comment by Phil Tue Jul 26 19:12:44 2011

So glad to hear your onions are doing well!

I've noticed that in cold weather, mulch is the animal's favorite, then in hot weather they want bare soil. Luckily, the branch trick works for both, as long as you pay attention close enough to know which beds to protect.

Comment by anna Wed Jul 27 08:26:05 2011

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