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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tomatoes and Cat Safety

You’re probably wondering how cats and tomatoes come together. In my brain it’s all a logical succession that ends with me hungry for tomato soup. Let me explain.

I love this time of year when the snow is gone and the weather bounces between those fresh cool nights that make baseball sound just awesome and the warm and sometimes rainy days that green up the grass and trees overnight. The one thing I really hate about this time of year is the return of the spiders and the fact that our house is somewhat of a magnet for them.

Last week, there was a huge one in the window. I’ve talked before about what a certifiable, clinical arachnophobe I am. I have a bottle of spider spray on each floor of the house. If I’m home alone, it takes a LOT of spray to kill one. If David's home, it takes a shot or two of spray and he squishes them. Last week, he was home, so when I saw it, I called him. I was just staring and terrified. It was on the outside of the window, but inside the screen.

He grabbed the bottle and opened the window to kill it. At the sound of the window opening, Kaline ran toward it. I grabbed her and held her while she was squirming to get down. You see, as much as cats love the open window, the spider spray is highly poisonous until it dries!

That got me thinking. I want to try my hand at growing a tomato plant this year. I’ve seen so many ads for ways to grow tomatoes and super tomato plants and the ads just make me hungry for made-from-scratch roasted tomato soup with fresh, and I mean fresh from the garden, tomatoes.

Spiders terrify me, but I have no problems with other bugs. I have some cool pictures of grasshoppers and inch worms from railfanning. I have no problem getting up close and personal with them. But I do think I’d have a problem with them getting up close and personal with my tomato plant. So, I’d want to protect my plant, but not at the cost of putting poison in the earth or on my food! Yes, I can wash it, but while Kaline and Baggle are indoor cats, we do get the occasional stray around the house and our yard is home to chipmunks, squirrels and a fat groundhog. If I put poison on my tomato plant and a stray cat shimmies by it, eventually he will groom and ingest the chemicals.

Organic pest control is the only way for me. I’ve talked before about Safer Brand products. They are OMRI listed and compliant for organic gardening, no chemicals, no poison! Safer Brand has a concentrated product, Bug Patrol, that attaches to your garden hose for use on the lawn, shrubs and garden to rid you of pests all over your yard without putting harmful chemicals everywhere. Safer Brand organic B0ug Patrol kills over 40 insects including ticks, which are arachnids, so I’m happy to see them go!

So, I’m thinking a bottle of Safer Brand Bug Patrol would protect my tomato plant and give it a fighting chance as my brown baking thumb learns to be green. It would also be good for the ornamental flowers and good for the cats in that maybe the cat nip will live this year, with no poison on it when we bring it inside!

Yanno, maybe it also just might kill off enough bugs that the huge spiders have nothing to eat and either move to another house or at least get a little smaller! I can dream, right?


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