Ask the expert
Thursday, January 19, 2012
We have several stray cats that used our garden for a litter box last summer and probably are still using it this winter. I wanted to plant vegetables in this spot, but now wonder if I should.
Cat feces and vegetable gardens are not a very healthy mix. Try to find and remove any fresh feces and then deter the cats by placing crumpled poultry netting over the surface of the garden, or driving stakes around the perimeter of the garden and stringing fishing line between the stakes.
Keep the line about six inches off the soil, and criss-cross it so there’s less than 12 inches of space between the lines. You can plant between the lines, or cut holes into the chicken wire to place your plants.
Since we don’t know the degree of contamination, it would be best to put your veggies in another spot.
If you must use this garden plot, try to grow only vegetables that will not come in contact with the soil, such as peas, beans, and tomatoes. This season avoid growing root crops, leafy crops such as lettuce, or squash that may have to lay on the ground.
Celeste Lindsay is a WSU-certified master gardener. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.