The Hypertufa Gardener - Deter cats from the garden

You Need These Helpful Hints – #4 Really Works!

Rain and Humidity – Yep, It’s summer!

Here in Ohio, it has just rained and the weather has been so hot and humid, day after day, and all I can do is look outside to see all my garden, well watered, but probably on the verge of drowning.  I know my pots and hypertufa troughs will be soaked through, but they need to have the opportunity to drain and dry out!  Hopefully my gritty soil that I have used is letting most of the moisture out so those roots can breathe.

But let me get on with my gardening hints and tips.

#1 Deadhead for lasting beauty all season


Almost every one of your flowering plants is best deadheaded. This means pinching off the flowers as they die, sometimes pinching back to the closest set of leaves, so that the spent flower head won’t use its energy to make seeds. We want it to keep flowering. There are very few plants that won’t do best if deadheaded.

For instance, you would not ordinarily pick off the spent bloom of the hydrangea. They are beautiful in bloom but also beautiful dried on the plant. But a lot of perennials will bloom for weeks and months if you keep them from setting seed.

And as for your peony, these will need to have the blooms cut off back down the stem, and you have beautiful foliage for the rest of the year.  Nothing ruins the look of your plant than those leftover “star balls” sticking up all over. I think the dark green peony foliage is a beautiful backdrop in the garden. Clean her up!

#2 Just clip the grassy edges

Company coming and there is just not time to mow the yard?  Hey, just get out the trimmer and whip the edges nearest the garden beds and sidewalk and that will make it look neat enough.  That will help make time to get that special salad ready or time to arrange some cut flowers from the garden. You can get by with it this easy.

#3 Earwig traps with an old garden hose

Love those earwigs out in the garden? Sometimes they can seem like they are everywhere. I like this idea to get rid of a few and maybe keep the population down somehow.

Take an old garden hose and cut it into small sections. I use about 5 pieces which are each about 6 inches long .   I scatter these pieces of hose on the deck and porch area in the evening.

Next morning, with gloves on, careful but quickly pick up the section of hose and drop it into soapy water. The critters will have crawled into it because they like dark and tight places. Now they will drown in the soap.

If you only get 5 or 10 earwigs per section, that will cut down on the population. Imagine how many you get rid of in a week!

#4 Orange Peels To Keep Cats Out

Do you have cats getting into your garden? Do you feel like your garden is the Potty Place?  I don’t have cats myself, but neighbors have cats and I just prefer that my house not be their bathroom facility.

Orange peels to deter cats

The only thing that I have found that seems to keep them out are orange peels. When I eat an orange  I save all the peels and stringy things and pull them into pieces and just scatter them into the garden beds in the open areas which seem to be the prime chosen spots.

I have seen a decrease in cat visits as the peels seem to dampen the cats desire to potty here.  Hey, they can use their own litter box, right? And the orange peels hurt no one and will decompose in the garden.  Try it and see what is does for your cats ( or the neighbors.)

#5 Soak veggies in salt water for worms

Bringing in your cabbages and broccoli and other vegetables is a wonderful thing, but we don’t want that little dose of extra protein in the form of a worm. I don’t want to eat them, and I don’t even know if I could eat them if I were on an episode of Survivor!

(I might reconsider if I were three days without any food on the island, but not right now.)

Soak the greens in some salty and slightly warm water for a while and then rinse thoroughly and all of the worms should be gone. The slightly warm water should “relax” the little critter and the salt is irritating to them and should get them out of all the crevices……hopefully.

What’s the worst thing about finding a worm when you’re eating your veggies?

Finding only half a worm!   Ewww!

Enjoy your day! The weekend is almost here!

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