Friday, May 10, 2013

Natural Weed and Animal Prevention in Raised Beds-Burlap those Berries

Natural Way to Block Digging Animals

I only have one main issue with raised beds.  Cats and sometimes dogs.  Cats are thee absolute worst creatures on this planet.  Don't get me wrong, I google cute kitten pictures all day long.  When it comes to the garden they are my arch nemesis.  What I need is a natural way to prevent animals from digging in raised beds.  

No, the solution isn't to eliminate pets from your home.  If you do not have pets your neighbors will.  As much as I hate my kitties digging in my beds it is music to my ears when I hear my crazy neighbor yelling at my older cat to stop digging in his beds.  You all know that sort of glee that rises in your heart when you hear sweet, sweet revenge.  Who knew one super friendly cat could cause your most despicable neighbor so much chaos.  Yesssssssssssss.  I digress.

New Raspberry Canes
DIY Supply List-
Staple Gun or stakes
Razor blade, utility knife or Exacto blade

Burlap is an excellent choice as weed and animal prevention on garden beds where the plants are stationary and have a bit of bare ground around them.  Meaning that burlap is not necessary the best choice for a vegetable garden bed where you're constantly planting and harvesting.  It is ideal for perennial and ornamental beds that are home for your trees, shrubs and berries.  

Burlap is sold at most big home improvement stores for around $13 for a fairly large quantity.  Simply cut the burlap to the length of your bed.  If you have a wide bed you may need to cut a few pieces.  The point is to just make sure all bare soil is covered by burlap.  Lay the burlap over your bed and lightly tack down the burlap.    I say lightly tack it down because you still need to cut the holes in the burlap for your plants to come peeping through.  

Burlap and Mulched Perennial Bed

Using your utility blade cut a big X in your burlap and pull the plants through.  Make an X that is large enough that you can gently pull all limbs through.  You don't want to stress out your plants.  Once that is done tack down the edges pulling them tight and either stake or staple to the edges of your garden bed.  

Burlap and Mulched Perennial Bed

You can choose to place mulch on top of the burlap.  I bought a couple bags of cedar mulch from Fred Meyers for about $7 a bag.  It has the consistency of what I can only describe as wet Yeti fur.  Eeewwwwww!  It's awesome because the cats hate the feel of it.  I recommend mulch such as bark chips on top because it ties things together and retains more water during the summer meaning less time and smaller watering bill in the dog days of summer.  

The last piece I will add is that burlap will breakdown through the years and become part of the mulch.  Just keep an eye on it and replace when needed.

Wet Yet Fur-Jessie


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