Gardening with Dogs Part I
It is a well-known fact that Aussies love dogs – according to the latest statistics there are about 3.4 million dogs in the country. The breeds vary from terriers, retrievers, poodles, spanniols, collies and pugs to rottweilers and German shepherds, and naturally, various crosses. While the love for man’s best friend has no limits, devoted gardeners tend to find gardening with dogs in the house rather challenging.
Before you start imagining the worst scenarios about what your precious garden will look like once you get a dog, allow me to sum up the top 5 problems, so that you can have a clear idea of what your are getting yourself into – besides the cares you need to provide.
The top 5 issues regarding gardening with dogs in mind:
1. Running through the garden (and knocking your pots, destroying garden accessories, making undesired “paths” and etc.)
2. Chewing on your plants and garden accessories
3. Cleaning after the dogs have relieved themselves
4. Digging holes
5. Using decorative water features to bathe in or drink from
How to reduce the damages from dogs running recklessly through the garden?
The number one problem with dogs in the garden is the amount of havoc they tend to wreck once they are unsupervised in the garden. Even worse, it increases when your neighbours also have furry friends in theirs, or a squirrel has decided to pay you a visit. While there is nothing you can do about wild animals (pests), there are a few options you can resort to when you want to separate your pet from that of your neighbour.
A privacy fence is the most reliable way to prevent the dogs from “playing” together. However, if that is not an option for you, planting shrubs and ground covers along the line of your property will usually do the trick – provided that they are high and thick enough, so that your dog can neither peak, nor jump over (or squeeze through) them. The good news is that both options won’t “inflict any damage” on your landscape.
Having reduced the “distractions”, you also need to protect your precious plants from getting run-over. In order to do so, you can add rock borders or create trenched gardens. When a dog isn’t distracted by eventual playmates, it is less likely to cross the borders you have created, and venture through your plantations, believe experts at gardening Melbourne.
However, dogs have little respect for gardening rules, and won’t always follow the natural paths you have in place to ensure your movement through the garden. If your dog has its mind set on using a short-cut that goes directly through your planting area, no matter how you try to fight it, you are most likely going to end up with a canine highway. The tactic, I find most useful in such cases, is to plant some robust plants that will hide the path from human eyes, so you can at least have the illusion of a perfect garden with a dog playing in it.
In the second part of the article I will continue revealing some of the neat tricks to successful gardening with dogs in mind, so stay tuned.