Okay. I have a raised bed with cantaloupes and nasturtiums planted. Also, I heavy mulched the bed. Now since I did that bed, local stray cats think thats the public restroom area for them. I had a freind tell me to use mothballs, didnt work; but the yard smells like my grandmothers house. Aside from the memories of my late relatives, what can i use to deter the cats and save my plants? I'm tired of empting the 10 foot long "litter box".
I had fair luck with grinding ry Thai chili peppers in a coffee grinder and scatering flakes and dust. MIND THE DUST! I made my kitchen a bio-hazard zone for days.
But even light rain reduced the effectiveness.
I laid chicken wire over the top of the beds an weighted it down with a brick in each corner. I thought aggressive, energetic squirrels were trying to eat the bulbs. Then I realized from the "presents" left behind that it was lazy, easy-to-deter cats.
When seedlings started coming up, I propped the wire up with soda bottles cut like cloches. Then I removed the wire as plants started to get tangled in it. The cats seemed to respect the plants and stayed away after that.
Funny, mothballs have worked in my moms roses ~no cats there, while the pepper did not (not alot of rain here Either we tried thaat first. For my luttuce and chamomile I have laaid out cuttings from the palm trees randomly through out the bed, and its worked so far know on wood.
Pepper will draw ants, repel fleas, make it fresh and replace constantly, I don't like mothballs because of the chemicals they leave behind, but if cats are a big problem, or armadillos, squirrels, possums-? We plan our beds with a wire panel laid an inch or two off the ground and left permanently, usually animals prefer the fresh turned ground- they are less apt to dig in hardened soil
For mothballs I poke a few holes in a plastic bottle (water, soda or whatever) then I put the mothballs in and put the top back on. You can tie it to something and the smell gets out but the chemicals stay in, for the most part.
i appreciate all the ideas, and so far everyone is agreeing with covering the box with a fine wire mesh fence. I think that'll be the best solution. My poor cantaloupes are turning yellow from the constant digging these cats are doing. Thanks a lot folks!