Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bamboo vs. Cats

A mischevious puppy led to the construction of a bamboo fence around our small home garden. But nature abhors a vacuum. The exclusion of dogs is just fine with our two cats not to mention others in the neighborhood. The felines think the soft soil in the garden beds makes a great sandbox. Unfortunately, not only do cats disturb our vegetable seedlings with their scratching but the presence of their waste is a health hazard.

No fence will keep the cats out. But other exclusion approaches have been successful. Bamboo slats cut to span the one-meter wide beds can be laid side-by-side a few centimeters apart to prevent cats from settling into the beds. Spaces between the slats can be easily adjusted to compensate for growing seedlings. And for even better cat exclusion, plastic mesh with wide holes, supported by bamboo slats, can be laid across beds until seedlings reach heights greater than 2-3 inches. As a bonus, both the closely spaced bamboo slats and plastic mesh also help to protect tender seedlings from the mid-day sun.

The bamboo and mesh are only needed for awhile as cats tend not to venture into beds filled with closely-spaced, larger plants. I wish the same applied to snails.

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