Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gardening Review 2009: Furball Harvest

Not the harvesting of furballs, but the harvesting for furballs. Since I was disciplined this year (i.e. broke) and skipped purchasing annuals, I decided to plant some goodies for my feline friends. In this 2 quart enamel planter I have seeded catnip and "variegated cat grass" (Hordeum vulgare). The wire mesh cover is to keep nosey chipmunks and squirrels from burying their food in it, but it performs a valuable function when it comes to the "harvest". Planting was on June 1st... ....and by June 12th the grass is really taking off. The catnip was just barely emerging at this point, though.
The first harvest that Gizmo and Bentley enjoyed was on June 29th....


....as you can see, the grass is all they can reach. Catnip is growing well though, and the mesh is protecting it from premature harvest. (Not to mention protecting the grass from being uprooted completely.)
Second harvest was on July 12th, and again only the grass is accessible....


....though you can see the catnip is larger. Slowly but surely I guess.
See how nicely the grass is trimmed? Yet still firmly rooted and ready to bounce back.
Finally on August 7th the catnip is tall enough for the kitties to enjoy, though I picked it for them myself.
The third harvest was on August 22nd, when the boys enjoyed the grass.... ....and the nice tall catnip!
By this time, the catnip was growing so well, that I picked a couple handfuls for them again on October 28th. Then finally, despite some cold weather here and there, the cats enjoyed one more harvest on November 8th. Gizmo must have realized this was the "last hurrah", because he positioned himself over the planter as if to say "Mine!"


Based on this experience, I'd say there are 2 more gardeners in this household who are hooked on "growing your own". I guess carnivores can be enthusiastic farmers as well! =^^= Submitted to Friday Ark.

13 comments:

Cinj said...

What an excellent idea Lisa, Gizmo is so cute protecting his planter too. We tried to grow some last year but it was in our failed seed starting experiment in the failed portable greenhouse. I should try it again though I bet the girls would enjoy it.

lisa said...

Thank you! I think you should try again, this was planted out after frost danger passed and pretty much did its' own thing. This spot was mostly sunny all day, and the dirt was almost completely composted manure. Easy as pie! :)
BTW, I bet it could be brought in as a houseplant for continued harvest. I almost tried it this year, but I need to reduce my houseplant inventory first.

Cinj said...

Well, at least this would be a plant that it would be okay for them to eat. I should do that. Seeds in my past have done better when planted outside. I wonder if I have any seeds left of if I'll need to start all over again...

lisa said...

That's what I liked-giving my indoor only kitties some of their own greenery. Helps them leave my houseplants alone :)

chuck b. said...

Too cute! My cats like cat grass too. And lettuce and spinach and toast...

lisa said...

Spinach and toast?! LOL! That's awesome...Gizmo has demonstrated a taste for watermelon, and they both LOVE yogurt...

Anonymous said...

Cleo must be 'on the wagon' cause she won't touch catnip. I bet she'd love the cat grass though.
v.

lisa said...

Really? I've never met a cat that didn't like catnip...I bet she would like the grass though. The boys actually chewed on it before getting into the catnip when they had an option.

MrBrownThumb said...

Your cats look so cool.

I got some cat grass seeds from garden faerie that I plan on planting for the alley cats that run through the garden in the summer.

Admire your creative solution to several problems of growing it in a container.

lisa said...

Heh, I'm glad my cats can't read since they already act like they're too cool for me =^^=

How nice of you to help out the alley cats! Maybe it will encourage them to spend time in the garden areas where you want them (if it's an issue).

Thank you but I can only take credit for keeping the chipmunks out-the side benefit at harvest was discovered later :)

Esther Montgomery said...

It's extraordinary. It looks as if cats are as enthusiastic about sitting on catnip as they are in digging up seed beds.

Esther

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

There are a lot of plants cat like! I planted a garden for cats back in 2003--it was fun researching all the plants. I have cantip and catmint growing in a bed and the cats don't decimate too badly, though I like your container and mesh idea. I do grow them oat and wheat grass indoors this time of year. I keep it snipped back because they don't devour all of it.

lisa said...

Esther-I think these two are especially appreciative being indoor-only cats.

Monica-I just started some wheat grass the other day, I can't believe that I didn't do it last fall. After all, they need veggies year round like the rest of us.