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Raised Garden Bed - No Longer a Neighborhood Litter Box!

By HeidiOregon
March 13, 2015

Our empty raised garden beds appear to be a favorite restroom spot for cats in our neighborhood (and there are many). Planting seeds or new plant starts is a crapshoot... literally! We came up with an easy, inexpensive solution.

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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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Mar 12, 2015 7:03 PM CST
Thanks for the great idea , I have 4 cats and sometimes Grumbling gardening can get frustrating . By the way pretty kitty Smiling
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Charter ATP Member Region: Oregon Farmer Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Mar 12, 2015 7:52 PM CST
Good idea. Be aware, however, that some of those plastic ties, zip ties, do not hold up in sunlight for more than one year. We found out the hard way.....
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.m...
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Mar 12, 2015 8:48 PM CST
Great idea, and nice explanation of the execution, too. I think I'd have to use a finer mesh than bird netting though.

Problem I had with bird netting is snakes. Our native (non-venomous) black racers have small heads and fatter bodies, and they were immensely attracted to the bird netting when I put it over my lychee tree one summer. They'd put their heads through a hole then get stuck when the hole was not big enough for the body. In 2 days I found two dead snakes and one I was able to save (but boy! was he mad!). I like having the snakes around as they keep the rodent population including the infernal squirrels under control.

Probably you don't have many snakes, since you have lots of cats in the neighborhood, but do keep your eye out for this problem? It's possible that a double layer of netting with the holes not aligned might keep them from pushing their heads through. I just had to give up on using the bird netting altogether. Even when I had rolled it up and put it away, another snake found it, but again he was easy to disentangle. Must be the smell of it or something .... ?

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad Birds
Mar 13, 2015 7:05 AM CST
That is so interesting Elaine, we too have had problems with black snakes and bird netting as have several of my neighbors. Now I am really curious what is attracting them to the netting.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Wichita, Ks. (Zone 6a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
Mar 13, 2015 8:31 AM CST
I'm going to try this with chicken wire to keep my big Lab from wallowing in my newly planted flower beds.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
Mar 13, 2015 4:12 PM CST
I use something similar, only I use treated 2x2's and a staple gun.
Name: Maggie Labouisse
Canton (Zone 7a)
Thank you, Nancy Goodwin!
Mar 14, 2015 11:45 PM CST
It sounds like that orange web flexible plastic that is called "snow fencing" or "construction barrier fencing" might serve as well if the fence posts would keep it taut. It's made with several different sizes of openings, and many are big enough to admit small critters, toads and snakes --- I love nonpoisonous snakes --- but would keep out adult cats. The only thing to worry about would be something small falling through the holes and not being able to figure out how to get out. I'm thinking of toads and kittens, primarily. Snakes and chipmunks should have no problem with the larger mesh sizes.
I Googled "snow fence" and only looked at one seller, but I saw enough to believe it would work. They even sell something called a "slotted T-post" which might do the job of the original chain link posts IF they are heavy enough to hold the mesh taut, and eliminate the need to tie the webbing to the posts. (I keep envisioning kitty trampolines, for some reason!)
The fencing comes with several size openings, in different widths (4ft and 6 ft) and lengths, and even in inoffensive colors, like black and green. So it would work with a bed four feet wide, but not three. Anyway, it's something to think about.
(I don't remember if I'm allowed to post a link, so if I'm NOT, please remove it.)
Maggie in the Oak grove in GA
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
Frugal Gardener Garden Procrastinator I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest
Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database.
Oct 28, 2016 2:50 PM CST
I've laid squares of chicken wire over recently-sown beds. I don't think cats like the way it feels on their feet, or they get tangled. I try to prop it up on the surrounding raised bed walls to keep seedlings from getting tangled. The bricks were intended to keep squirels out, but I think it only works if they have plenty of other things to eat.

Thumb of 2016-10-28/RickCorey/e59ea0

The holes are hexagons around 1" across, so maybe that would be too small to catch snakes?

I also tried laying down a criss-cross of thin bamboo culms and thorny twigs, but they were just decorations on the catbox:

Thumb of 2016-10-28/RickCorey/004483

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