How to Maintain a Pet Friendly Garden
Many people think that it is not possible to have pets and a beautiful garden; you need to choose one or the other. However, this is not necessarily true, as long as you know how to make your garden pet-friendly. Some of the common problems that pet owners experience would be their pets trampling their beautiful flower beds and seedlings and digging on dirt. These problems can easily be prevented by trying out some ideas and tactics that would allow you to grow a pretty and well manicured garden while enjoying the company of your pets. Here are some to help you get started.
1. One of the most important things that you need to make sure your garden has would be good design. Through incorporating the use of raised beds and defined pathways, you would be able to prevent your dogs from trampling plants and flowers. You can also put up fences and other protective barriers that would assign the space where your pets can roam free and where your plants can grow properly.
2. Aside from planning the design of your garden, you would also need to make good plant choices. Instead of choosing fragile and delicate plants, you might want to go for plants which grow up arbors or trellises, as dogs and cats are less likely to trample these.
3. You also need to observe the habits of your pets. For instance, if your dog loves digging in a certain spot in your garden or yard, you could place rocks or rough mulches on it. Now, if there is an area that your pet usually sits or rests on, you could just avoid planting anything there to save you the hassle. If you have a pet that is just into walking around your lawn or yard, you just need to make sure that you would be leaving a space between the plants and the fence you would be putting up.
4. You should remember that you should not just set up a garden which your pet would not hurt; your garden should also not cause harm to your pet. The first step in making sure that your garden is pet-friendly would be to minimize the use of chemicals. To lessen the need for chemicals, make sure to weed early on before they spread. Use organic fertilizers and plant products such as compost as much as possible. It would not only be better for your pets, but for your plants, as well, particularly if you are growing a kitchen garden – in which case choosing organic products would also be healthier for you and your family.
5. Aside from avoiding the use of fertilizers, insecticides and other chemical-based products, you should also avoid planting potentially harmful plants to your pets. Some of the common outdoor plants which have been studied to be poisonous or harmful to household pets such as dogs and cats include Sago palm trees, some mushroom varieties, rhododendrons, azaleas, foxglove, rosebay and lily of the valley. To make sure that you would only be planting pet-safe plants and herbs, you can try researching online for a complete list of plants which may cause harm to animals.
6. It is also important to keep your gardening tools and equipment away to prevent potential injury not only to your pets but your small children, as well. To make sure that they would not be posing any hazard, store tools like rakes, hoes, tillers, mowers and others in a shed or an area which your pets and your children cannot access.
7. If you have a lawn and your dog or cat urinates on a specific area a couple of times, you may notice that spot turning brown. This is actually caused by the high nitrogen concentration of dog or cat urine. To solve this problem, you could just water the area or dust it with gypsum.
8. You should also make sure that you always place a bowl of fresh water in an area in your garden which can be accessed by your pets. Also allocate a shady area where they can rest. If your pets are too active and you want to have a designated space where they can roam around freely, even when you are not around, you can just build a fenced-in space which is big enough and offers a shady place at any time of the day.