Winterizing Perennials - Knowledgebase Question

Lockport, NY
Avatar for pug6580
Question by pug6580
October 5, 2001
A seminar at Arbordale on winterizing perennials said to mulch them in case of heaving etc. Instead of mulch, can I use clay(non-clumping) cat litter? My 2 cats generate a lot of it. I know it can't be used in a garden, but if I can mulch the plants with it for the winter, in the summer I can just dig it out.
If not, what can cat litter be used for??

Answer from NGA
October 5, 2001
Although it may seem like a good idea, it is never recommended to use used cat litter in the garden or compost due to the risk of diseases. The same would be true for using it as mulch. (It would not make a good mulch anyway because it will pack when wet, the clay holds moisture rather than air. The mulch material should be fluffy enough to hold air and serve as an insulating layer. Double shredded hardwood bark is my favorite in the perennial garden.) Unfortunately, and I know what you mean because we have a cat, but I know of no particular garden or any other use for used cat litter.

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