Choosing The Right Tree For A Cat Friendly Garden

August 2, 2010

in Cats

Cats have a natural love for the great outdoors and a garden is a wonderful place where your cat can play safely. Therefore, should you be looking to make your garden cat friendly, what plants should you think about growing?

If you’re new to gardening, cat grass is an easy plant to start with and one that is particularly attractive to cats. The grass is grown from seed which is available from most garden centres or seed merchants.

Start by removing any large stones from the area to be seeded and rake the soil until fine and crumbly. Use a stick to create shallow drills about half an inch deep and 2 inches apart. If the ground is dry, water the drill prior to sowing the seed thinly, cover with sieved soil or compost. It usually takes about two weeks for the shoots to emerge, during this period, keep the ground moist. Cut the grass, when it reaches 6 inches high, to keep it tidy.

It’s reported that cat grass contains natural oils that is good for their digestive system.

Gardeners who are happy to tackle bigger things, a tree makes a good centre piece to any garden. Trees come in all shapes and sizes, so you’ll need to work out what’s going to be suitable for your garden. One of the most versatile types of tree is an apple, it’s simple to grow and available in sizes to suit any size of garden, even being small enough to be grown in pots! Commercial growers use ‘root stocks’ to control the ultimate height of a tree. “M27″ is the most dwarfing stock available, this is the one to look for if you want to grow your tree in a large pot, perhaps for a patio. “M9″ is the next one up for tree size, it can be used for a very small back garden, this grow to no more than 6 to 8 feet. “M26″ trees are ideal for most small gardens and grow to around 10 feet. “MM106″ is sometimes described in nurseries as a ‘semi-dwarfing’ root stock, this is ideal for the average garden with a final height of around 12 feet. “MM111″ grows to about 20 feet, so is only really suitable for large gardens.

Bear in mind that as the trees get more restricted in height, they begin to need more care and attention. For example, “M27″ trees will need careful attention to watering and feeding throughout their life. At the other end of the scale, a “MM106″ root stock allow a tree to thrive even in poor soils.

Even so, the major benefit of a dwarfing root stock, apart from their small size, is that they start fruiting much earlier. An “M27″ tree will start producing fruit within 2 years, but the “MM106″ trees can take around 6 years to fruit.

Whatever your choice, your tree will provide you with delicious fruit and be a great climbing frame for your cat!

Rob Tyrrell is cat owner who enjoys gardening, he works as an artist and specialises in pet portraits. For more tips on art or to commission a pet portraits from photos, go to his web site at www.robtyrrell-petportraits.co.uk.

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