If you’ve got seed catalogs showing up, you may be excited to start planning your garden for 2021. To keep things simple, you’ll want flowers, produce, and herbs that are pet friendly. The ideas below can add beauty to your yard without putting curious pets, especially dogs, at risk.
Creeping rosemary is a wonderful addition to an herb bed or as a filler in flower beds. While rosemary can always be used in the kitchen and as an air freshener in your space, it’s also a treat in the landscape. The fluffy fronds are interesting to study as they grow and smell wonderful after being brushed by your dog. This plant also releases a fresh scent that’s wonderful after a rain.
Purple basil is another plant that works well in the kitchen and the landscape. Take care to give this plant plenty of sun and water; it likes the heat but will need to stay moist or it will dry out and turn bitter. It’s a low-grower, so consider adding it to the front edge of a flower bed for a pop of deep color.
Other herbs that are safe for your dogs include dill and creeping thyme. Thyme is a lovely ground cover and smells great when walked on. Depending on where you live, plant dill in a container or a bed where it can take over and cut it back before it can go to seed.
Of the root vegetables, fennel is lovely in the landscape and yummy on the grill. This simple veggie grows in a round mound of feathery leaves that look a bit like dill. Carrots are also healthy to grow and completely healthy for everyone in the household to enjoy.
Cucumbers are safe for dogs to eat but you will want to keep your dog away from the vines as the fruits grow. Depending on the variety of cucumber, the leaves and stems can have a slightly hairy feel that can cause irritation to your dog’s skin, particularly on their feet.
Finally, both peas and green beans are edible for your dogs. Should your dog develop a taste for these treats, you may soon find yourself in the competition! If your dog is spending too much time munching on your garden, you may need to confine them until after harvest, or fence in the garden.
Pets like to play with what you like to play with, so if you plant flowers, prepare to have your dogs at least check them out. For their safety, stick with flowers that won’t put pets at risk. Camelia flowers are both lovely and safe. While they take a while to get established, these flowers will give you beautiful blooms for years to come.
You can add marigolds to flower beds, vegetable gardens, and patio pots alike. They’re lovely to look at and likely to drive away bugs, so fertilize them well and let them go to town! Finally, for a great visual treat, find a spot for some sunflowers. You can get varieties that can reach ten feet tall, feed the birds and the squirrels, and brighten your patch of earth.
4 & 5. Water and Waste Management
You may find that your dog likes to join you as you weed, plant, hoe, rake, and harvest. You may also note that they don’t mind going to the bathroom a bit too close to your garden. Depending on the layout, you may need to add a kennel with fake turf and an artificial grass drainage system to keep your dog away from your food, particularly things you will eat raw.
Of course, you will be working to pick up after your dog every day. If possible, getting your pooch out for a walk can reduce the concentration of urine in your yard. Finally, avoid planting your garden in a spot where runoff from the dog kennel will wash through your vegetables.
Take care to avoid planting flowering herbs where your dog can get to them. Seemingly beneficial plants, such as chamomile, can actually make your dog very sick and may lead to dehydration and heart problems. Garlic and chives can also be dangerous, so if you want a big vegetable and herb garden, make sure your fence.