Gardening with your dog

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by bellapup, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. bellapup Well-Known Member

    I'm getting ready to put in my veggie garden, and seeing as this is my first year with a dog possibly roaming around, I wanted to make sure I'm keeping the yard safe for her.

    I heard somewhere that tomato plants aren't good for dogs, and of course onion and garlic plants. I normally grow tomatoes, but don't usually do the latter two, so I may have to figure out a way to fence the tomatoes separately if I really want to grow them.

    I have grown lettuce, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, swiss chard, egg plant, artichokes, and spinach. Should I be cautious of any of these for Bella?

  2. snooks Experienced Member

    Soooo many of the plants have poisonous foliage, roots, flowers, seeds that fall etc. and the fruit is fine then the other way around. I suggest googling some sites and/or asking the vet for a list of plants to watch for. Most vets just have a list of indigenous plants but many sites on the web are pretty comprehensive. The biggest consideration is that you can't use most insecticides on the plants so consider a few things. Netting that is fabric (this has less chance of choking your dog if he gets to it) will keep many pests off. Raising the plants on sawhorses or bricks as we did and tying the plants to stakes works well if your dog is reasonably trained or not prone to getting into things. We actually built tables to raise the base of the pot 5' off the ground. Fencing off a part of the yard is the safest bet. Many items in the soil like vermiculite and other moisture retaining material can swell if eaten and cause blockages or be poisonous so read about soil additives too. Fertilizers can also be very bad unless composted or some manure if processed correctly. This should not be an area you dog can dig or potty.

    Our best luck was raising the plants and using large pots which made tending them much easier and keeping the grass and soil below trimmed and dryer. We used fabric sun blocking netting secured to fence and garage with bungees and wrapped som over other plants and secured with bungees at bottom since we did have bugs. There are some safe insect deterrents that are pet safe but not as total as poisons but pretty workable like leaf waxes and oils. I didn't like poisons on edible plants anyway. Containing runoff to trays or saucers is also better for the area.

    Check the ASPCA's list of safe plants
    http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/
    http://www.thepetcenter.com/wai/poi_LG.html
    http://lii.org/pub/subtopic/3954

    What I would do now (in hindsight) is research each plant to be sure foliage, roots, flowers, and fruit are not dangerous. Onions are bad for dogs but see what parts and what times. Our Dobie never could resist my flowering Cirius cactus which bloomed at night with huge gorgeous fragrant 18" blooms. He would eat them before they bloomed and do just about anything to get them. So I moved them outside the fence. He also loved fruit so a physical barrier was needed for him where it wasn't for the other two dogs who didn't care enough to climb. I tend to be very much on the SAFE side but you can decide what is right for you. This is just a conglomeration of everything that worked or I came up against over 15 years of gardening with dogs. They will eat very hot peppers and thorny bushes so don't think surely not. LOL Hope this helps and minimizes effort. :dogrolleyes:

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