Friday, October 12, 2012
How to Keep the Dog out of the Vegetable Garden
I had big plans for a small fall garden. With the help of my little ones, we planted garden peas, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, garlic, and green onions. We watered daily. Once a week, we poured a mixture of whey and water onto the seedlings. We weeded carefully and often. Our plants were flourishing, and the kids were learning a lot about gardening and responsibility.
It turns out that our puppy was just as excited about fresh-grown fall produce as we were. The first thing to go was an entire row of lettuce. Who knew that dogs were so fond of greens? The damage was devasting, but I was able to redistribute the soil and preserve what was left of our growing veggies. Evidently, puppies also like carrots, a lot. Unfortunately, the potatoes and garlic were in his way and also became casualties. We are now nurturing only a few pea plants and hopeful to eat any produce from our own efforts this season.
To protect our sweet growing peas, we've taken a few measures to keep the dog out of the garden. I love the dog and I love the garden, so I wanted to try as many means as possible to keep him out of the garden without harming either one. Everything we put on the garden was all natural, so we won't have to worry about a sick puppy or tainted fruits.
1. We erected a scarecrow: this was a fun seasonal craft that the kids enjoyed. We stuffed just a shirt with straw and set a hat on top. To make it a doggie deterent, we soaked a rag in vinegar that our scarecrow wears as a scarf.
2. We sprinkled a few spices: mustard and peppers deter pests, like our puppy, who find their scent rather obnoxious. Equal parts of the two were mixed together then sprinkled right onto the soil.
3. We recycled some coffee grounds: I collected coffee grounds for a few days then spread them evenly around the perimeter of the garden.
In addition to keeping the puppy out of the garden, most other pests are detered by the scent of at least one of these. We're seeing less ants in the house and hopefully keeping other animals out of the garden as well.
It's been three days without digging, so maybe something we tried is working. Our pea plants are still standing. Hopefully soon, we'll be eating those fresh peas instead of defending them from pests.
What's growing in your garden this fall?