Credit Crunch Catnip 128 June, 2009
Here’s my practical nod to the credit crunch: grow-your-own catnip.
I spend a fortune every year on searching out the finest and most potent catnip in the market. So I decided to see if growing catnip would save a few pennies.
This kit comes from Canada, and can be bought from purrsinourheart, a pet charity. It consists of a packet of seeds, and more importantly, a little compressed peat pot, so you don’t have to muck about with bags of compost. All you have to do is rehydrate the peat pot by soaking it in water, then removing a little peat, sowing the seeds, and covering them up with the peat. Then place in a sunny spot and wait, for about 10 days.
For those cats who can’t wait, the kit comes with a little packet of catnip, for instant gratification.
This is not my first attempt at growing my own catnip. Many years back I bought a catnip plant which I transplanted into a flower bed. It was quite bushy and perky. A few days later, all that was left was a few battered stalks and some mushy leaves. I suspected slugs, but later caught Teddy sitting on the same spot the plant was on, an expression of bliss on his face. Yes, the plant had suffered death by squashing.
The following year I tried to grow catnip from seed. It worked until the slugs found the baby seedlings in the pot and all that was left was a few spindly stalks.
This year I’m growing from seed, but starting from indoors. Once the seedlings have reached a reasonable size I shall transplant into pots and grow them on until they are young plants. I’m still working on how to protect the growing plant from premature death by cats. As for the slugs, I’ve spent a fortune on nematodes to annihilate them.