I’m going to be trying an old gamekeeper’s trick

SOUTHSEA GREEN: With Irene Strange

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I’ve finally ignored my imminent financial meltdown and bought a lean-to greenhouse to accommodate seedlings and to house my salads. Hopefully they will be protected from the local cats (no-one wants lettuce laced with cat deposits).

Last weekend I cleared out my old greenhouse and placed it on Freecycle for someone else to patch up and make use of. And this weekend I’ll be attempting to put up the new one with the minimum of bad language.

One News reader wrote recently to the letters page suggesting that I could have made a greenhouse from old plastic bottles, like the pupils at Lyndhurst Junior School have done.

I spotted such a greenhouse at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales last year and had investigated the possibility. However, space is in short supply in our garden and we’re not huge consumers of fizzy pop or cheap cider.

I’ve discovered another use for these old plastic bottles. A recent trip to the pub with some friends revealed that one of them had a cat deterrent technique that he’d been keeping from me.

‘Half fill plastic bottles with water’ he said, ‘and leave them around the beds’.

Not sure whether he was pulling my leg or not, I investigated further and found out that this was indeed an old gamekeeper’s trick.

Apparently the light reflection is supposed to deter the cats. I’ll be trying this out this weekend and I’ll report back with the results.