You have to sacrifice a lot of things when you have a pet. Time, money, nice furniture-they’re all collateral damage when you adopt a dog or bring home a kitty. One thing you don’t have to give up is gardening. Whether it’s your back yard vegetable plants or front yard landscaping, there is a way to have a happy pet and happy landscape. Actually, there is more than one way.
Keeping your pet safe should be priority number one. There are lists as long as your leg about what chemicals are safe to use and which ones aren’t. Checking every single one is unrealistic. And it’s downright negligent to not check when you have a pet running around outside. Before you panic, we should let you know that there’s a more simple way. It’s as easy as following a few specific guidelines. Some are common sense, and others you’ll learn as you go.
- Set aside a spot for your pet: If you can afford a fence, this is the best method to keeping your pet and garden at safe distances. Of course, if you did have a fence, you probably wouldn’t be looking for pet-safe gardening tips. So we’ll move on, just keep in mind that having any sort of a barrier is the best way to separate the two.
- Stay away from nightshades: They’re delicious and easy to grow… and also harmful for pets. No tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. Their foliage is not safe for your animal. So if you find yourself wanting for their offerings, it’s best to make the short trip to your local grocery store and pick them up there.
- Keep track of pet-friendly plants only: Much like the chemicals we talked about above, there are a million plants that are not safe for your pet. The list of ones that are safe is shorter and won’t have you feeling like you missed out on some of your favorite shrubbery. So, take a look at the pet-friendly gardening varieties and go from there. Forget about the rest!
- Create a digging area: Maybe you can’t afford a fence. You can still create a small barrier for your pet to play. At the very least, you can separate your two loves with a little bit of chicken wire. It’s hardly ugly and it will prove to be quite effective in keeping your animal out of trouble.
- Construct planters or containers: Raised beds are the way to go when you’re dealing with plants and animals. There are methods to making safe raised beds (which we will get to later), but for starters, hanging baskets and shelves will work just fine.
- Make it smelly: One tip you don’t often hear about is that strong, smelly scents will deter animals. A couple of good ones to try are dried mustard and crushed pepper. It’s better to have your planting section smell a tad bit than have your pet get into something that’s potentially dangerous for them.
- Make a perimeter: Dogs and other animals like to have work done for them. And in this case, that’s a good thing. Creating a dirt or mulch path allows your pet to roam in relatively safe areas-assuming you don’t place those thruways next to your precious plants.
- Avoid hard surfaces and ground covers: It’s okay to build some wooden planters to separate your gardening and your pet. Stone or brick structures should be avoided if you’re looking for a safer environment, however.
- Give them a mix of sun and shade: Just like humans, plants and dogs both need sun and shade. If you’re able to segregate these places, your pup will be much happier. Contain your flowers to just the front yard. Or, block off a section of property where your pooch can sunbathe and collect a little shade when it gets too hot. The key is not intermingling the two. Anyway you can find to separate your pet from the gardening will work. Green thumbs have a tendency to think of their flowers first, allowing them to take up the best real estate. So, keep in mind before you map out your planting section that Fido is going to need some property as well.