Watters Garden Center Classes
@ 9:30 AM
Feb 25 – Fragrant Mountain Roses
Beautiful roses are admired, but these roses will tickle the nose. Not only will you know which roses are most fragrant, but you’ll have all the insider tips the brings your rose to life with these season long bloomers.
March 4 – Spring Raptor Experience
We all love to watch birds in our gardens. This class will focus on attracting them with natural vegetation. Special guest instructors will be Anne and Paul Schnell, founders of AZ Raptor Experience. We will be flying large owls, eagles, and falcons through the greenhouses here at Watters, so bring the grandkids and camera, it will offer excellent photo opportunities. Donations – free to the public, but we will be asking for a free will donation to support more of AZ Raptor Experience educational programs.
Felines are unpredictable, so there are few sure-fire cat repellents. Here are some of the best approaches known to stop strays and family feline intruders from using your garden as their own personal litter box.
New Garden Beds – On newly prepared beds cover the soil in a layer of chicken wire to prevent cats from digging in the otherwise inviting loose soil. Bulbs and plants will grow through the wire, but cats don't like that it irritates their paws. Wire also is highly effective against javalinas.
Fence them Out – Cats can jump almost any fence, but not an electrified barrier. A 12-volt wire strung just 12” above the garden's soil thwarts not only cats, but rabbits and javalinas as well. Put the electric fence on a timer, and only have it activated dusk-to-dawn when most of these animals are on the prowl.
The Ultimate Cat Repellent – It's best to think like a cat and put yourself in the cat's paws. We know that cats are pretty fussy, especially about water. They hate getting wet! Getting wet seems to be a phobia in almost all cats. Play on that phobia in trying to keep cats away from where they're not wanted.
When you catch a cat in a forbidden area, hose down the intruder with a Super Soaker or similar water gun. Such action usually reinforces the notion that they are unwanted in that bed. If that doesn't work, go hi-tech. Devices such as Scarecrow Sprinklers detect an unwanted presence and fire a blast of water at it! Water is "Kryptonite” for cats!
Offend their Sense of Smell - Cats are equally fussy about how things smell. This feline characteristic can be used to keep cats away from where they're not wanted.
Watters has a highly effective commercial cat & dog repellent called “Cat & Dog Stopper”. An organic powder, it smells of herbs like castor oil and peppermint oil that cats hate to lick off of their feet. It's even safe enough to use indoors for mischievous kittens playing in your houseplants. Safe for birds, cats, and plants.
Plants that Repel Cats - Some plants naturally repel cats. Often recommended for keeping cats away from yards are: geranium, rue, lavender, rosemary, pennyroyal, castor oil, peppermint, and most other herbal plants. Coleus canina, is known by the name, "Scaredy-Cat Plant." However, as the Latin name suggests, it's also effective at keeping dogs out of the landscape. (I will be doing a separate article for keeping dogs out of the garden, so watch for more to come on that topic.)
Make Cats Pussyfoot - Cats don't like to walk on bristly surfaces. Cedar bark mulch, which has a natural repelling effect on cats and insects, can be made “bristly”. Simply add some sharp-edged pine cones to the mix and make those cats avoid pussyfooting through your garden.
Stone may be a less esthetically pleasing mulch, but it also is less attractive to cats. They much prefer to walk across fluffy soil than over gardens covered in stone. They would rather trespass where the digging is easier on their paws.
Catnip near a Sandbox - Sometimes a strategic plan provides the best solution to a cat problem. Compromise with your cats by planting a separate bed of catnip plants away from your display gardens. Most cats love catnip and will make a catnip plant their own private sanctuary and a favorite hangout, keeping them away from that new vegetable garden.
Better still, create a sandbox just for cats and keep it in close proximity to the catnip plants. You will have to clean the litter, but at least you'll know that they've NOT left their calling cards where you don't want them!
Irritate the Ears - Ultrasound devices such as PestAway Ultrasonic Outdoor Animal & Cat Repeller operate on a high frequency. The sound is inaudible to humans but unbearable for cats. Installation is easy; simply situate the device so that it faces toward the garden. The Pest Away motion sensor detects the intruder's presence and then gives off its high-frequency sound, scaring off the cat.
Fragrant Mountain Roses – A new supply has just arrived and is ready for planting. Also, Watters' free Gardening Class, February 25th @ 9:30 a.m., will be about which roses have the most scent and how to plant and prune rose bushes.
The Raptor Experience you just have to see to believe: Yes, we will be flying huge eagles, owls, and falcons through the greenhouses here at Watters. Bring the kids and a camera. There will be picture opportunities for some exciting selfies!
Until next week, I'll see you at the garden center.
Editor’s Note: Some of the images shown here may be published under the Creative Commons licensing. Images were possibly altered to accommodate the article. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/