July 18, 2017

My Empire Of Rocky Soil Under Attack

Our first ever garlic is looking good.

This is it - my summer domain, my playpen, my 8X16 Empire of Rocky Soil. And, as it turns out, my giant litter box.

In the spring, while seeds of peas and beans and acorn squash and such were germinating, what I mostly harvested from my vast track of land, was kale from a second year plant (they are biannual), and cat poop.


Acorn squash flowers are big and bold.

Every morning I went out to collect some kale for a green smoothie (not a brown smoothie), I would also find a smelly gift from a neighbourhood feline. Maybe it was a bobcat, which are common in Nova Scotia, but rarely seen. Either way, poop is poop, and it does not belong where I am growing things to ingest.

While cat droppings contain nitrogen, phosphate and potash, which are all primary ingredients of organic fertilizers, they also contain organisms such as the toxoplasmosis protozoa, and that can make you sick. They are little toxic bombs, and they have to go.


Pole beans are climbing the tripod I made out of sticks from the forest.

I had to defend my borders. I crisscrossed sticks between the seedlings. I kept the soil wet. After reading that cats don't like strong smells where they do their business, I spread bits of orange peel. I didn't want to go to the nuclear option of sitting out all night with a spray bottle of ice cold water. Or giant cymbals.


It won't be long before fresh peas are on the menu.

The deposits dropped in number, but still continued, as did my ritual of cutting kale, then searching for land mines. What did work, in the end, was having the garden fill in. The cat (or cats) have been crowded out, and moved on to a better box somewhere else.


Beans are just flowering now.

Now I wait for the next interlopers, perhaps some hungry caterpillars, or cucumber beetles, or powdery mildew. While the cats have given me a chance to pause for a while, and let my defences down, I must stay alert in order to (organically) guard the food growing in my little rocky domain.







3 comments:

  1. AnonymousJuly 19, 2017

    I can sympathise, my cat likes the scratch around in the garden too. I put a recycled fence around the vegetable garden to keep the dogs out, but the cat is another matter! In the past I have used old wooden lattice, and even old planks of wood across the beds. I keep these over the beds until the plants are big. Currently I'm using netting. The benefit of netting is that it stops cabbage moths too. Worth a go if you can get some pre-loved net!

    I know some people use a wooden frame filled in with chook wire and put that over the beds. When I get time I'm planning to dig a little bed that's just for the cat - hopefully then everyone will be happy!

    Madeleine.x

    ReplyDelete
  2. AnonymousJuly 19, 2017

    Your food garden looks lush and happy - it will make you and Linda the same! Happy organic gardening, Nova Scotia friends! - Erin

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my, this was a problem. Love how you solved it. Hope it keeps the cat going somewhere else. Keep us posted...

    ReplyDelete

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