These are Bum Spears.
They have a very useful purpose, all due to their spikiness. You see, cats have this nasty habit of using any bare, or nearly bare, dirt as a toilet bowl. A smelly, annoying habit at any time, but particularly distasteful when it also involves digging up a gardener's precious seedlings. They always seem to go for the carrots too - those teeny, tiny, delicate fronds just start to make some headway, then suddenly, a cat decides to visit. No more carrots.
Hence the bum spears. In actual fact they are kebab skewers, but my father-in-law has come up with this very original and most suitable of names for them. My mother-in-law has been using them successfully for years to ward off the neighbourhood pussies, so I figured I would have a try.
My last 2 carrot plantings have been covered with shadecloth until germination, then with bird netting until they are nice and lush and thick. At my parents I've been using bricks placed temporarily around silverbeet and celery seedlings...mostly to stop the blackbirds going to town and inadvertently upending my poor little seedlings. But we decided to give the bum spears a go in our own little garden patch. Sadly, only a few pak choy seedlings have survived. This, I hasten to add, is not due in any way to the performance of the bum spears, but rather a combination of sad little seedlings left far too long before planting out, dry weather, no hose, and my general neglect. I am disappointed, as it took quite some effort to kneel down to plant them (note to self: next time you are moving, don't even THINK about trying to look after seedlings at the same time - do it after you're settled!). Boyo dug the garden first, and probably got a bit of amusement at watching me maneovering myself and the growing bump that is Munchkin. After kneeling and rising a few times I concluded that my gardening days are done for the next few months! I wandered out today to see how our little row of carrot seed is faring, and was excited to see quite a number of seeds germinating - all without a single cat hole to be seen. They would have to be pretty game, considering I have an army of bum spears up either side of the row and down the middle!
So there you have it, bum spears. Just another original gardening technique, passed on from one gardener to another. What techniques do you use that are a bit 'out of the ordinary?'