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Discussion Starter #1
I have what, is likely, a strange question.

I have a half dozen or so semi-stray cats that live in the woods behind my house. Last year a built a raised garden in my backyard...first year I have had one. I kept it covered during the gardening season with a netting I purchased. It kept both the birds, deer, and cats out of the garden. When winter came along, I removed the netting...didn't see a reason to keep it up. Well, the cats decided it made a good litter box. Question is, with all the cat leavings, do I need to replace the soil in the garden, or will it be fine? Thanks in advance.
 

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Strange question indeed. It would be easy to tell you, dig it all out because I won't be the one digging it, but, if it were me, I wouldn't bother.

I would however, take a dirt rake and rake off the top 2 inches and see what you find. It's not like they bury it below scratching the surface. I doubt that you will find much, but your problem may be worse than I think.

Cats have been sneaking in my beds for 30 years and making a deposit. What I've learned over the years is that if there is plenty of mulch material on top, they won't bother it. If the beds are bare, freshed tilled soil...that just calls them by name. That is what attracts them.
 

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If you have been around cats it is very possible you have had toxoplasmosis, did not know it and are now immune.

Good suggestion about actually checking for pooh and only removing what is necessary. Those stray cats probably catch voles and other critters that would eat your garden. I am a big fan of neutering the strays. TNR, trap, neuter and release programs are popular. Possibly one might be in your area?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Strange question indeed. It would be easy to tell you, dig it all out because I won't be the one digging it, but, if it were me, I wouldn't bother.

I would however, take a dirt rake and rake off the top 2 inches and see what you find. It's not like they bury it below scratching the surface. I doubt that you will find much, but your problem may be worse than I think.

Cats have been sneaking in my beds for 30 years and making a deposit. What I've learned over the years is that if there is plenty of mulch material on top, they won't bother it. If the beds are bare, freshed tilled soil...that just calls them by name. That is what attracts them.

It's actually not that big of a garden. IIRC, 32 square feet, maybe a foot deep of soil..can't remember right off. It wouldn't be THAT much work to remove the soil.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you have been around cats it is very possible you have had toxoplasmosis, did not know it and are now immune.

Good suggestion about actually checking for pooh and only removing what is necessary. Those stray cats probably catch voles and other critters that would eat your garden. I am a big fan of neutering the strays. TNR, trap, neuter and release programs are popular. Possibly one might be in your area?
I have no snakes, despite plenty of rocks and timber. Never had mouse one in my house...no droppings, no nothing rodent wise. Problem with getting the cats fixed is catching them. There's one or two that I can actually pick up...which are both tom cats. The females, can't catch a one of them. Doesn't do me much good to fix the two males I can catch because more males will just show up to ummm take care of things.
 

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It's actually not that big of a garden. IIRC, 32 square feet, maybe a foot deep of soil..can't remember right off. It wouldn't be THAT much work to remove the soil.
By all means, remove that foot of soil, if it makes you feel better. My point was that you may be overthinking this. I've learned in all my years of worrying about something, 99.9% never came to fruition.
 

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If there is a TNR program you can use, the cats are trapped humanely, often in loaned traps. Taken to be neutered then brought back and released. Easy peasy. Through the years I have had many toms and many females spayed at my expense. Neutering toms is cheap as my large animal vets do it onsite. They remain a bit territorial and help keep other toms away. The females are more expensive, sigh. Alas, I have had and have many lovely barn cats (and house cats).

My house cats catch snakes that find their way in the cellar. Dh about has a hernia when he sees one, dead or alive. I had six squirrels that were raiding the bird feeder. I now occasionally see one. I did see one of my barn cats eating a squirrel.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck with the issue.
 

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As you are starting out, you may eventually want to setup raised beds for an assortment of herbs.

I would recommend that you consider producing some anti-parasitic herbs like anise, barberry, berberine, black walnut, clove oil, curled mint, goldthread, goldenseal,
grapefruit seed extract, propolis, oregano oil, Oregon grape, and wormwood.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As you are starting out, you may eventually want to setup raised beds for an assortment of herbs.

I would recommend that you consider producing some anti-parasitic herbs like anise, barberry, berberine, black walnut, clove oil, curled mint, goldthread, goldenseal,
grapefruit seed extract, propolis, oregano oil, Oregon grape, and wormwood.
I made the "mistake" last year of planting two, yes only two, cucumber plants. Those suckers took over my entire garden.

I'm actually planning on making another garden the size of the one I already have. I had some left over lumber from a garage project, so last years garden, and this years potential garden, won't cost me much in the way of $$$. I will likely plant the cucumbers in one garden, and plant other things in the second garden. I have some planters that I grow tomatoes in.
 
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