Search This Blog

Friday, April 30, 2010

Nassella and the Cats

Nassella tenuissima (Mexican feather grass) is grown in my garden for its fine texture, beautiful seed heads that glow when backlit, and wonderful movement in the slightest breeze. The neighborhood cats (the ones that never leave their owners' yards) favor this plant as a bed. After repeated cat naps, the clumps of grass become squashed down, pretty much eliminating the previously mentioned positive qualities of the plant. At this point, it is good to cut back the Nassella, pull out any dead portions, and start over. That is, short of caging the cats.

Is N. tenuissima invasive? It self-seeds readily in the garden; often found growing in pavement cracks as shown here. It is also very easily pulled out. On the other hand, given the prodigious amount of seed it produces, very low percentage of those sprout in the garden. Maybe combing and discarding the seed before it ripens would cut down the self-sown numbers even more.


Anonymous said...

how about a few shish-ka-bob skewers stuck in each clump of grass as a deterrent for "the cats that never leave their owner's yards" to discover?

vanessa cardui said...

Well . . . you can see how cute this particular cat is. The other two that have been frequenting my garden aren't especially ugly either. Not really the cats' fault, but I worry about the western bluebird pair nesting on our place and their young when they fledge, not to mention all the other birds that consider our yard a haven.

We are looking into various deterrents to discourage the cats.