Monday, June 29, 2009

Urban gardening and 4-legged pests

I’ve been gardening in the city for the past 3 years now, and have formed a strong opinion on squirrels, cats, dogs, and their, ahem, “relationship” with my garden. (I have opinions on bugs and slugs too, but those are easier to trap with beer.)

Let’s start with squirrels (who seem unaffected by beer – bummer.) Our esteemed next door neighbor has a squirrel feeder, which provides them with a constant supply of peanuts – and me with a constant supply of squirrels burying peanuts in my garden. It’s like a video game – squirrel gets peanut, squirrel comes over fence to bury said peanut, garden owner must chase squirrel off before it succeeds. Extra points for hitting squirrel with a jet of water! I wish I could designate a squirrel digging area – DIG HERE, AVOID SEEDLINGS. On the other hand, my husband enjoys laughing at my outrage, so there’s that.

Then there are cats. Honestly, I think cats are worse than squirrels. I prefer what squirrels bury to what cats bury. Coming across a peanut in the dirt? No biggy. Cat by-product? Yuck! We have two lazy indoor cats, who posture amusingly on windowsills when they see the outdoor interlopers. I encourage them to act as “guard cats”, but so far, chicken wire over my garden beds has proven to be more effective. It gives me a whole new appreciation for indoor cats – I think everyone should have them. Think of the gardens!

Lastly, though this is a rare problem, there is our neighbor’s dog. He’s usually very good, and doesn’t come dashing into my garden much. But he is large. And enthusiastic. And – well – there goes the lettuce, replaced by a filthy, squeaky toy. Sigh.

I can count my blessings, though. I have yet to see deer or rabbits. And I don’t live near a bar.

Chani West-Foyle, Marketing Associate

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