Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chopped Citrus Keeps Cats Away

We had a bumper crop of citrus this year.  Our 14 dwarf trees gave us about 26 dozen limes, oranges and grapefruit and we've been busy eating (and drinking) the fruits of our labors.
While most of my kitchen scraps end up in the compost bins I'm always open to other "green" ideas for getting rid of every day waste.
On a daily basis one of my biggest pest problems is the neighborhood cats who view my raised beds as their personal litter box.  Of course this leaves me worrying about the safety of the food I feed my family, especially the produce that doesn't get cooked like lettuce, radishes etc. I have an aresenal of weapons to deter the cats from using my beds including some plastic chicken wire that a neighbor was throwing out.

                                                            and thorny rose branches

It's a constant fight to make my beds as uncomfortable as possible and nothing gives 100% protection.
One method that has provided some help is chopped citrus rinds. The theory seems to be that the cats don't like the smell.
When I have a pile of rinds on my hands this is a quick way of disposing of them while sending the neighborhood kitties on to other pastures.

              I cut the rinds into fourths and give everything a few quick pulses in the food processor.

                             I sprinkle the course rinds around and between the garden plants. 

While the citrus rinds were fresh they gave the most protection and for over a week I didn't have any kitty problems.  The rinds were less effective as they dried out but no matter, the dried rinds decompose quickly and it's a quick and it's an easy job to chop and spread more,  Fresh juice (Mimosa's) anyone?
Be well and happy gardening!

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