Using Holly to protect plants – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

After last weekend’s little mission to get the raised bed ready to become a cutting garden using the no-dig method (more on that in the post below!), I was not particularly delighted to see that the neighbour’s cats had decided that it would better serve as their personal litter tray.

In the past, I have covered empty beds with netting, or prodded short lengths of bamboo in the soil in a bid to deter cats. However, a friend recently mentioned that holly works quite well so I thought I’d give it a try. After Storm Alex passed through there is no shortage of fallen holly sprigs, so I gathered some up and have scattered them across the surface of the new bed. So far, so good. No evidence of cats. Phew!

I happened to mention this to my mother, and she told me that “I’ve been doing this for years, Darling!” Apparently she has been using holly sprigs to keep pigeons off brassicas too (she says they don’t like landing on the beds if there’s lots of holly prickling their feet), and also slugs! I have yet to test this out myself, but who knows, perhaps she is right. I’ll definitely give it a go…any organic methods for deterring slugs and pigeons are always welcome!!