Worst pun ever (thanks Tumblr). But seriously, folks…. Are neighborhood cats using your vegetable garden as a loo? Are you look for a (somewhat) humane, non-toxic way to get them to stay away? The answer is Liquidambar seedpods. They are prickly and spiky and cats, with their sensitive little paws, hate walking on them. Just sprinkle a few around your beds between the plants and watch the kitties find somewhere else to do their business.
Liquidambar trees are pretty common around town and they shed their pesky, spiny seedpods like crazy. By keeping an eye out, you should be able to harvest what you need. If you can't find any, come visit us at Acorn where we have a small stash of them to give away to anyone who needs them. Just ask.
What else are Liquidambar trees, also known as Sweetgum, good for? Well, they are tall, elegant trees often used as street trees (despite the fact that they can have troublesome roots). They have maple shaped leaves that turn crimson red in the fall giving us Californians a taste of the fall color more common on the east coast. The seedpods are a bane to pedestrians, home owners and businesses in the vicinity, but at least you can put them to good use in your organic garden. Click on the image below to see the gorgeous fall color.