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Herbs: Herbs to repel rodents & cats?

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thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

May 12, 2009
3:04 PM

Post #6538613

Hi there everyone,
I have raised bed gardens which are great because they do help repel the most troublesome of catepillers, etc. but they put the food at eye level for rodents and cats. I love herbs, and so does my cooking and olfactory sense, so I wondered...aside from chemical repellants or a fence, which encloses all but one older bed, are there some especially good herbs which will keep the large rodents and cats from getting any indellible urges? If so, which work best, are least invasive, and--dare Ii ask--are perennials or, if they mostly fit into the first two categories, I would love to know how to keep the critters from crawling on my potential food and, worse still, devouring it for a midnight snack! Thanks ever so much!

Sincerest Thanks,
Thor
cando1
Ozone, AR
(Zone 6a)

May 13, 2009
5:52 AM

Post #6541994

Hi Thor, I scatter Egyption walking onions through my raised flower and herb beds seems to work so far. I live in a forest with plenty of critters and my DD next door has 4 cats. I also grow marigolds with my tomatoes and peppers but they sure don't repel those nasty green horn worms.
I sometimes wonder if the reason i don't have animal problems is because there is so much other green stuff around to choose from.
thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

May 21, 2009
3:36 PM

Post #6578942

Thank you ever so much! My Stepmother sent me a few bunches of those tiny bulb-lets last fall, but we didn't live in the current apartment and,so, had NO access to either deep raised beds, regular gardens, and they freeze-dried in the window box!! So, they went to waste! :-( I would now do just about anything for some of these onions but to hear my Stepmother tell it, she can't send some to me now, because they have already formed roots, but I'm not sure if that's sure or if it was horse-pucky. LOL At any rater, I would love some of those to plant in several squares in my raised beds as I hear that they also deter flea beetles that have made a mockery of my black fabric Mulch. Oh, well...I, btw, have quite a tradelist! :-) Here is a good (well, relatively anyway, picture of my LITTLE garden. You may not notice or be able to see it in the picture, but it is at a 20 Degree Angle down to the right. It makes the work tough since I have 5 artificial joints, and Degenerative Disk Disease in my Neck and down through my Lumbar Spine so I am constantly twisting my ankle but...someone visiting us yesterday said that it is part of making my ankle muscles stronger, but I don't know...LOL ::smile...smirk::

Volunteers anyone? Just joking! (chuckles!)

Sincerely,
Thor

Thumbnail by thethorinator
Click the image for an enlarged view.

marsinger4
Atlanta, GA

May 22, 2009
3:21 PM

Post #6582953

For rodents, you can sprinkle dried blood on top of your garden--it works on chipmunks and bunnies, at least! Your garden center probably carries it in the fertilizer section. I use the Epsoma brand and it works, but you have to keep doing it, once a week or so.
For cats--I haven't found anything that works! I have cats, and they munch on most of my plants. I've tried cayenne pepper, turmeric, curry, garlic, and combinations thereof with very little effect. However, if you spray your plants with water mixed with a bit of dish soap, they don't like that very much! Plus, it helps control aphids, and dish soap is instant death for ants. Also, my cats don't like the strongly aromatic herbs like thyme and eucalyptus, so you could consider planting some of those herbs throughout your beds.
thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

May 25, 2009
10:04 PM

Post #6596751

Thank you very much Marsinger!! I wish I had some--or could afford for that matter--some Lemon-Flavored Thyme as that is both very aromatic, spreads fairly quickly as ground-cove and, I don't know if any Eucalyptus can grow in Zone 5a with any success, though I do know cats HATE Eucalyptus and that is why it is almost always found in Floral arrangements that include cat-friendly flowers, greenery, or grasses as well as dried arrangements for the very same reason.

I am growing produce this year to provide fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to the local HIV & AIDS Service Agency's Food Pantry as their only "fresh vegetables" are store-purchased potatoes (Russet--not my fav.) and, sometimes, onions. Everything else is non-perishable; canned or prepared foods to last through someone's possible illness, etc. but clients have been begging for fresh produce to add to their diets since the prepared food is not full of the same levels of vitamins and nutrients as fresh veggies and fruits. I have 4 raised beds, a patch of (apparently) highly productive Potatoes outside the apartment here...which will be red potatoes and higher in several nutrients not found in the standard Russett and also will be a welcome change. A town away, I am able to use a strip of land which is--in total--a blessing of 400 sq. feet 4'x100' with a 7' High Trellis made of heavy-duty garden netting which is also used, in some yards, to keep deer, birds, rodents, and cats away from crops like berries, fruit trees, etc., so I know it will hold up the squash, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Scarlet/White Runner and other pole beans, Peppers, Eggplant, Cucumbers--including a few very compact, bushy ones, some for pickling (since a friend donated a water-bath and a pressure-canner with 3 dozen jars with new lids, funnels, and all the acoutrements), Siberian Watermelon, Canteloupe, Israeli Musk Melon, Banana Melons and of course several varieties of Winter Squash including several heirloom varieties. Of course, along with all of these things, I have many flowers for the bees, butterflies and other beneficials plus to repel insect garden enemies. We will see how all this will work out, but I know that having nutrient-rich produce is great for the immune systems for those with or without HV & AIDS and, a project which I led last year raised a grand total of 2100 lbs of fruits and vegetables on 1/8th of an acre, which you can actually look at on this article if you are interested at all at this webpage: [http://www.wickedlocal.com/littleton/homepage/x65832991/A-garden-blossoms-on-Great-Road]. I hope that the link is clickable, but--if not--you can copy and paste it in your browser window and click or hit your "Enter" button to go there. This year, I am on my own so am happy to be getting some friends to help me with some small but appreciated donations either in funds or in Lowes/ACE/or Home Depot Gift Cards if they don't know me too well, but want to help the cause. I will report back to this area as well as a few other forums on the DG site with progress and pictures. I figured I'd just introduce what is having me ask such a funny question in this forum! (Big Smile!) Off to water the rasied beds since they seem to dry out quicker than in ground ones. Take care and feel free to DG me if you were to want to do so.

Sincerely,
Thor

Ps: I already have broccoli heads the size of quarters, I am sooooooo jazzed...oh and tomatoes raised from seeds that are blooming already!!
marsinger4
Atlanta, GA

August 2, 2009
3:55 PM

Post #6897577

Thought of something else...for cats and dogs, PetsMart sells a product called Repel, which is a granular thing you sprinkle on the lawn and garden to prevent cats and dogs from "using" it. I put it out it because my neighbors are really bad about picking up after their dogs, and it works IMMEDIATELY. I love it! And for rodents like bunnies, which my mother-in-law has a huge problem with, I finally suggested that she use a fox-urine or coyote-urine based product. Sounds horrible, but it doesn't smell to humans, and it is the only thing thus far that has worked for her to keep out the rabbits. Gardeners Supply (gardeners.com) sells a crystallized fox-urine based product like this. I'd hate for your awesome project to be eaten by furry creatures!
thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

August 4, 2009
4:46 PM

Post #6906264

Me too! I do have tomatoes whose main stems have topped out at 7' now and still climbing and is loaded with soft-ball sized beefsteak tomatoes which will be white when ripe. Thanks for the great advice. The only thing that I notice in my garden for pests are something, pretty sure that it's a rodent (or bug? If so, I can't find it!) that eats all the Brassica family, even Cabbage gets eaten from the outside to the inside of the outer leaves, Such an odd thing to deal with and have the Coyote Urine Crystals but it doesn't seem to be working. :-( Well, I guess it or they have to eat too.
LOL

Thor
NEILMUIR1
London
United Kingdom

August 5, 2009
7:31 PM

Post #6911151

In England I use a stuff called Renardine, which deters Foxes from Hen houses and most other things.
We normally use empty shotgun cartridges and fill it with the stuff, and place them in the soil, buried with just the tops sticking out!
Of course you could use the live cartridges on them, if your Neighbors don't mind!
I do not know if it is available in the States but here is the link!
http://www.badgerland.co.uk/shops/renardine/renardine.html

Regards from England!
thethorinator
Clinton, MA
(Zone 5a)

August 10, 2009
6:50 PM

Post #6930941

Ooops, Neil,
Turns out, that what would possibly have worked is NOW ILLEGAL TO PURCHASE...POSSESS...USE..OR SELL in England and in the US, I believe the active ingredient has been outlawed for over 2 decades, though I totally give you credit for such an ingenious idea (shotgun shell...who'd have thought of that except a Brit for the Badgers which I hear are a real terror over there in the UK!! Thank you for presenting what would have been, if not now banned, would have worked against rodents and cats) I checked and there are no similar substances available in the US and although being tested against Red Foxes in Ontario and against captive species elsewhere (in the UK), that they are not really effected in the long term because, although something may taste bitter or foul, if they are hungry, the need to eat will supercede that initial bad taste or urge to avoid it...even against badgers...which surprised the heck out of me, Neil. None of the active ingredients are available here because of the toxicity of the main ingredients: "The substance is bone tar oil dissolved in kerosene." (cited from Endangered Species Update, July-August, 2001)http:www.deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/39361/1/als9527.0018.004.pdf ) I hope that helps flesh that out and solve confusion as well as protect you from unwanted trouble, Neil as I guess there are criminal penalties associated with violating the ban (gulp!)

That out of the way, I have had dreams of visitng Merry Old England's gorgeous formal gardens and casual "kitchen gardens! Some day, if (this) disease and God graces me with some additional time to do so, that is on my short list of places I would love to visit. So, cheers to you as well Neil!

Sincerely Grateful for the Idea,
Thor

(Here is a picture of a few of my cherry tomatoes which are NOW starting to turn orange as they are of the Sungold cultivar and just as wonderful the 2nd year around--in other words--what the Plant Files purports about how this variety:

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

seems to be untrue as mine certainly did come true the second year and were not sterile whatsoever. Every saved seed from last year that was planted and labeled, "Sungold" germinated and I have two of the four, a fried has one, and the other is at another friends garden. Anyway, here's a rather interesting picture while these ones were still green.

Thumbnail by thethorinator
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