Keep out dog and cat - Knowledgebase Question

Southwick, Ma
Avatar for jannvb
Question by jannvb
October 22, 2010
My dog loves to dig in my gardens and lie down under the bushes. My cat digs and a little hole and does his business. Any ideas for keeping them out? Any chemical repellents safe for them and the plants? I found one but it had to be kept a foot away from the plants which is impossible in my gardens where the flowers are closer than that?

Answer from NGA
October 22, 2010
I'm not aware of anything you can spray on your garden and plants that is actually effective in keeping dogs and cats out of the garden. Training is about the only way to keep them out. Cats like to dig in nice soft soil and they visit out of habit. If you make it uncomfortable for them, they'll find another place to go. If you've already planted the bed, the best deterent is to drive stakes around the perimeter of the bed and string nylon fishing line between the stakes, criss-crossing it so there's no more than about 8" inches between the lines. Keep the line about 6" inches off the ground and the plant leaves will disguise it. Cats won't be able to walk or dig in the soil and will find another litter box. If you have beds that are not yet planted, you can lay crumpled chicken wire over the soil and cut holes in it for planting. As the plants grow, the leaves will cover the wire and you won't notice it. Or, you can spread a 3" - 4" inch layer of mulch material over the soil. The larger the material, the less likely cats will want to dig in it. Try rose canes, the largest size of landscape bark, or the longest straw you can find. I'm not sure these deterrents will work for your dog, so you may need to place a temporary fence in front of the bed. When your dog jumps the fence, you'll need to discipline him until he gets the message that the gardens are off limits. Wish I had more ideas to share. Good luck with your project!

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