Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cat Proof Herbs

I was growing my herbs in a triple terracotta pot assemblage but found even having sealed the pots inside, they still dried out too fast in the heat of summer. So when I saw this nifty plastic tub at MIFGS (Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show) I snapped it up in an instant. It incorporates a type of water-well system filled by means of the tube at the end (you can just make it out) and excess water flows out the weep holes down the sides. I transplanted what remained of my oregano and thyme and bought a new parsley plant to go in the tub. Carefully potted up and mulched with sugarcane I thought the cats wouldn't go near it. How wrong I was. Cats can smell potting mix through sugar scented mulch and they were instantly sitting on the pot and pooing in the pot after having scraped off half the mulch. I tried sprinkling the pot with a dog and cat deterrent - didn't work. I tried perching a plastic pot tray over the tub but the cat sat on it and knocked it off. I tried sprinkling the tub with orange peel - didn't work. In desperation I grabbed a packet of satay sticks and poked them all over the pot. Bingo! As long as I check it daily and make sure the cats haven't dislodged the sticks it is managing to keep them off. I also offered the cats some potting mix of their own mixed in with ordinary litter in their litter tray on the deck and they seem to prefer this. The photo shows a disgruntled Hazel posing to have her photo taken! Victory - fresh herbs outside the kitchen window not perfumed with the scent of eau de chat!


  1. Interesting idea -- I do the same with my indoor plants, sticking things up out of the pots. Outside, I've heard that coffee grinds help keep them out (and add nutrients to the soil as well). I grow my herbs and veggies in the backyards where the dogs are -- the cats stick to the front yard for their outdoor potty, and I don't complain too much, because it's better than indoor discoveries!

  2. I might just try the coffee grinds - haven't heard of that one! Thank you!