Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Signature Dog Blog: DOG-SAFE GARDENING TIPS


This blog is inspired by all the early gardeners I met last week in Ocean Park who were already beautifying their (already beautiful) gardens for spring. 

If you have a dog or you are getting a dog (or you just care about the planet) here are some dog-safe gardening ideas: 

Garden organically (this goes without saying).

Raised beds will protect your gardens from scampering paws and rooting noses.

Digging pit make an area where your dog is allowed to dig without disrupting your beautiful garden.

Leave a plant-free patrolling area of your yard as dogs by instinct will patrol fence lines and cruise boundaries.

Be very careful with the nightshade family of plants (i.e.: tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant) as they contain alkaloids that are dangerous to dogs and even fatal. 

Avoid cocoa bean mulches and composts and even check your store purchased manure for cocoa bean content as the cocoa bean contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs.

Grape vines avoid these all together as grapes are toxic to dogs.  If you really want to see grapevines make a quick trip to many of the great local wineries in our very own Fraser Valley.

Walnut or Almond trees both produce nuts with tannin and this is yet another toxin for dogs.

Don't like snails (who does) but please DO NOT poison them with snail bait as the bait contains the highly toxic metaldehyde.  You could try copper barrier tape or do as I do and live with them.  Besides they make great snacks for the birds.

Stay warm this week and plan to prepare your plants for the cold snap we are expected to have later this week!