August 19, 2020 3 min read

Hello hoomans! It’s George here. With spring finally in full swing, you may be planning a garden in your yard. Maybe you’ve been gardening with dogs like me and Mozart for years—or maybe you’ve never attempted to grow flowers and veggies while also wrangling huge hounds. Either way, we’re here to help you find success.

Huge hounds might just eat anything we find in the yard, and that could include your fledgling plants. This could be bad for a few reasons: toxicity to dogs, digestive tract blockage, or just ruining your lovely garden before it has a chance to thrive.

These things could discourage you from planting this year, but before you give up on gardening with dogs, put a few of these tips into practice. You might be surprised how easy it actually is to garden with huge hounds around.

Train Your Pup

Look, Mozart and I don’t want to cause problems for our mom and dad, and we know your dogs don’t either. We want to be good, but you have to show us how. Train your pups to stay away from the garden with simple commands: stay, heel, sit. Believe it or not, you can still train older dogs with these commands, too.

Choose Plants Wisely

Dogs will be dogs, and that means sometimes all the training in the world goes out the window, especially if we see a squirrel. To make sure that we don’t inadvertently eat something we shouldn’t, consider planting things that won’t hurt us. Here’s a list of flowers and vegetables that are dangerous for dogs:

  • Aloe vera
  • Lilies
  • Elephant ear
  • Asparagus
  • Philodendron
  • Ivy
  • Jade

Be careful with the trees around, too. We can’t eat walnuts, pecans, acorns, or, well, most tree nuts. But that doesn’t mean we won’t try to!

Build Some Barriers

I can’t promise we won’t go crashing through a feeble fence during a particularly vigorous play session. However, barriers are a great way to at least let us know where we’re not supposed to go. Rocks, pickets, and wire are all good barriers when gardening with dogs. Sticks, however, may just encourage us to play more.

You can also protect some of the more delicate plants with sturdier border plants, like bushes, sunflowers, corn, or knockout roses. Even if we get into a tussle with one of these hardier plants, they’re likely to survive a broken stalk or branch.

Start with Mature Plants

If you want to give your flowers and vegetables every chance at survival, consider finding more mature plants. By choosing mature starters, you give them a chance to develop strong roots sooner, which means they’re more likely to survive while you’re still training your pups to stay away.

We’re also more likely to dodge a big plant while we’re chasing the ball or a squirrel. If we do happen to snap a branch when we’re running by, those older plants are more likely to make it through the trauma—just like the hardier border plants you’ll use.

Some additional tips to help you get that garden growing include some raised beds or even containers, though the super curious dogs could still create some problems. You can also use deterrent plants, like rosemary or sage, or scatter bitter smells throughout the garden in the form of coffee grounds or spices.

The real tip, however, is this: be patient with us. These tips will definitely help you when gardening with dogs, but don’t forget to laugh and love us if we mess up.

We’d love to know some of the methods you’ve used to successfully grow a garden with some huge hounds around. Join our Facebook group to share and learn from others!

Expect big things,

KAREN GWARTZMAN
KAREN GWARTZMAN


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