Community garden

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Simple gardening solutions with dogs.

We are animal lovers, and owners of two big dogs, a 10 year old Labrador named Tessa and a 3 year old boarder collie named Ronnie.  We also have a black cat called Max, a little fat, round kitten called Sooty 7 chooks, a rooster called Bruce and a turtle whose name changes regularly.  They are much loved members of our family but as much as they bring us a lot of joy, they also bring the odd challenge.  The dogs being the biggest challenge.....Digging.

We love to garden, and dogs love to dig.  They especially love to dig in damp, moist, fluffy soil.  AKA where ever the best, most recently planted out, and freshly turned garden beds are.  Throughout our new garden we have watched where their favourite spots are and have brought in various different measures in which to combat this natural behaviour.  There is plenty of great space for them to dig, roll and do doggy things - just not right by the back door, in my veggie area or around my entertaining area. 

One solution is of course putting in a dog yard.  Which is not really our thing.  They are social, pack animals and we are part of their pack.  They love to be near us and greet us as we go out the door, and I like the added security of having them roam freely around the back of the house.  So instead we work with them, problem solving as we go along the way. 

We brought in a long raised bed to grow herbs in, and I have many big ceramic glazed pots which I have accumulated over time.  I can move these about if need be, well Grant can if I'm totally honest about that one.  I like to keep the herbs right near the back door where we pass all the time, semi sheltered from harsh wether and close to the tap for easy watering.  The tall beds prevent digging and damage as they are high, the dogs can't tread of them or bump them.



Another thing we have done is put a fence around what will be the veggie patch.  It has gates for easy access, but it will keep the dogs out of that area just fine.   

This weekends job was fixing a garden bed near the back door that they always dig in, it causes me great frustration as there is little point spending money on it or too much time as when we re-do the back end of the house it will be covered over.  So the solution has simply been to back fill the holes and mulch. 

This morning, much to my irritation, I woke to gaping holes with dirt flung in every which way, clearly they had a wonderful time.  Grant and I stood looking at it and pondering for a little while and he came up with an awesome solution. 



Weld mesh. 

He scraped out the top layer of soil, measured up the space, cut out a couple of pieces to make space for some pre-existing plants.  (now beaten and bruised after the last exuberant dog digging session....) and laid it down. 



We then dug up a big bunch of bulbs that had popped up in our lawn and were needing to me moved and we popped them in among the holes like so.....see the weld mesh near my hand?


After that we back filled it with the soil, mulched and now we have a dog proof garden for free.  They can walk on it of course, but if they try to dig they will soon grow tired as they wont get far.  We dragged a couple of old pots that were here to weigh it down, though it would be easy to peg it down also.



I think its a really great solution.  The weld mesh has holes suitable for planting seedlings in, or flowers and most plants will readily adapt to it.  The mesh is hidden so not unattractive and you would never really know it was there.  My little patch of civilization is in order once again.


I'll let you know how it goes, but its certainly a solution we will be doing again.  You can cut holes for bigger plants too very easily, and its a cheap solution that doesn't require a lot of structural work like raising beds can. 

Much love,
Emma
xx


9 comments:

  1. What an excellent idea, we might have to give that a go! We tend to surround plants with wooden stakes until they are big enough to deter the dogs from running through them/digging them up. Does make our garden look at bit odd though :) I'm impressed that your dogs have ignored your raised herb bed - we finished ours last weekend and came home yesterday to find soil & mulch everywhere, plants dug out etc. Now we are thinking that we might dig it all out and put weld mesh down......

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    1. Yes I do put in stakes too and it works well, though the children pull them out.....

      Hmm, I think from memory you have taller dogs? This bed is around their back level. If I was to put sweet plants in like strawberries or tomato the lab would devour them. Hence the reason I use them for herbs only.

      The weld mesh is an experiement. I have not seen it done before. The dogs can still pull plants out, or they can walk over it. For us the digging is the problem. :)

      xx

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  2. That's a great idea! My german shepherd got into an onion crate wicking bed last week and tore out some chilli plants, maybe the mischief is going around!

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    1. Ouch! I winder if he lernt his lesson from the chillies!

      xx

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  3. Animals in nature are fun to watch, except when we have to clean up after them, lol. We really have to get clever and figure out, how to outsmart them. This looks like a wonderful idea, and I hope they don't test your measures any further. ;)

    Your garden looks lovely by the way. Raised beds are also good on our backs.

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    Replies
    1. thanks! Well I'm sure they can test us any further in this little area, surely?! LOL!

      xx

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  4. Brilliant idea to use the weld mesh Emma. Your garden and back of house is looking so beautiful. I love your new blog header photos and format too. :)

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  5. Thanks Sally, it feel "wintery'. :)

    And patches of it look loved, and many areas still untouched. But that's a project for later.

    xx

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  6. why not make their own area of soft turned soil just for them in a nice corner of the yard away from your vegies patch & see how that goes? it will probably take a little retraining but i think they will go for it
    good luck & happy gardening
    thanx for sharing

    ReplyDelete

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