Barn Cats, Free Garden Security

Mice, rabbits, voles, squirrels, moles, and other creatures can be a plague upon the backyard garden, destroying plants and stealing harvests.  Sure, you can complain a lot, or devote lots of time and money trying out one quick fix after another.  Chances are that you will be outwitted, however.  Just ask Mr. McGregor.

      Some gardeners have discovered that barn cats don’t need to be hated or considered pariah.  Instead, they can be a free security force patrolling your garden at all hours.  This is especially important for the larger survival type gardens for which elaborate fencing is much more difficult compared to small patches.  Besides, who wants your garden to look like a German Stalag or Russian Gulag?

   Cats won’t typically kill adult rabbits, but they have ways of making them feel unwelcome.  My garden and environs used to be a haven for bunnies.  Cute for kids and visitors, but trouble for edibles.  When barn cats started hanging around, they would pounce on the rabbits, who were half-heartedly trying to stand their ground.   Before long, fewer rabbits were seen, then none at all.  The same for squirrels and other looters.

       At one point, squirrels in the barn decided to eat up my shade-producing burlap.  Mice would tear open any seed packets.  No more.

Gardens and accompanying sheds will have fewer rattlesnakes because their food supply is diminished. Territoriality also counts for a lot in the animal kingdom.


One man (John) had this to say:


Rabbits are good eating. Easy to raise, easy to hunt. Can be taken with a cheap bb gun, so ammo and noise are not a concern.  Pests in the garden though. I found that hanging drier sheets and spreading a thin line of laundry soap around the perimeter of my yard keeps out all but subterranean pests. Racoons, skunks, rabbits, even the deer stay away.
The cats take care of the rats and mice, and once you’ve shot a few squirrels the word seems to get out and they stay away.  But I sometimes think I am driving away a lot of useful meat.

[forwarded by a Black Hills gardener]


Miss Gardening? Grow Green Beans Indoors This Winter


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For gardeners who just can’t stand to keep their hands out of the soil for any length of time, growing food indoors in containers can be a great pastime during the winter months.


Green beans are a relatively quick-growing vegetable that can be grown inside your home and also look quite beautiful, as well.


Plants that you are growing indoors can be started any time of the year, but you still need to remember that they have certain environmental requirements. Green beans need plenty of light, so you will need to place them in a part of your home where they can get a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day. Alternatively, grow lights can work if you do not have a window that gets enough sun.