We have two small raised vegetable garden beds in our yard. Nothing fancy but they provide a little food for us throughout the summer. Unfortunately, even though we are in an urban area, we seem to have critters digging things up or taking a bite when things start to actually mature. I am not sure exactly what animals do the damage but I think recently it has been neighborhood cats using the fresh dirt as their litter box. Yuck!
I have purchased stuff designed to deter animals in the past but it washes away any time it rains and I hate spending extra money on these products. I also tried buying cayenne pepper at Big Lots this spring for $1 per bottle so not a bad price and seems to work OK, but once again it has to be reapplied every time it gets wet. Plus, June was the rainiest on record so any attempt at keeping anything applied was next to impossible. And it seems that the neighborhood cats must know to come on over after it rains because if I forget to reapply, the next morning these will be nice new heap of $hit in my garden.
I decided it was time to find a DIY, and hopefully cheap, way to keep critters out. After a little searching on Pinterest I came up with a solution: pine cones! Yup, you just put a layer of pine cones in the garden and animals will stop digging and using it as a litter box as they don’t like the feel of them on their paws. I happened to have 3 paper boxes full of pine cones that were leftover from my sister’s wedding in February so I didn’t even need to go scavenging for any. I put a layer around of all our plants and seedlings and voila, no more digging!
I am psyched that I was able to find a solution that not only worked, but also didn’t cost me a cent! A month later and they are still working. The pine cones will periodically open and close depending on the temperature so when the seedlings were still growing I had to periodically check to make sure new leaves are not getting caught but other than that it is worked really well. Now that the garden is maturing I can probably start to remove the pine cones and save them for next season. Yay for completely free solutions! Thank you Pinterest!