As warmer weather approaches, we’re all looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors. Taking a pleasant stroll outside with your pup is one way to get some exercise and enjoy the sunshine. But what about enjoying some time in the garden?
Whether you have an acre to work or just one window of your apartment, you can enjoy growing plants and herbs for your enjoyment.
There are many plants your dog will love and some you should avoid. Today we’ll give you some ideas and tips to help you out in the garden with your dog.
Gardening and Health
The first thing to note is that gardening is good for you. It’s good not only because you make something beautiful, but there are also health benefits to gardening. In a study co-authored by scientists in Japan and the UK, there was a strong link between gardening and overall well-being.
One of their most significant claims is that gardening is a great way to fight what they call “lifestyle diseases.” These illnesses include things like heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes and obesity. The authors’ point is that a push toward more gardening can be a way to make a better world while also allowing gardeners to feel the positive benefits. Gardening can help reduce your risk of stroke and dementia, improve your immune system, and relieve stress.
Gardening for just one hour can burn more than 300 calories. While that might not be as good as a hard session at the gym, it’s pretty close. For those looking for a way to get their exercise during a stay at home order, gardening can be a great workout.
Gardening in Small Spaces
You don’t need to have a huge backyard to start up a garden for yourself. A sunny window, some soil, and time are usually all you’ll need. You’ll need some small pots for your plants as well, but you can repurpose containers you might otherwise throw away. A gallon of milk with the top cut off is a perfect makeshift pot for your veggie garden.
If you are growing your garden in a small space, you’ll want to look up compact or dwarf varieties. These plants only grow to be so big. This means you can likely have multiple dwarf variety plants rather than one larger plant. This can help you get a variety of veggies or flowers, even in a small space.
Even if you are not so confident planting fruit or vegetables in your small space, you should look to herbs. Herbs like basil, cilantro, or chive can be a great way to spice up your cooking and will add a nice touch of color to your dishes.
If you have the benefit of gardening in ample space, you’ll have a few more challenges when it comes to keeping your pup out. Even with dog-safe plants in the garden, you’ll want to make sure they’re not digging up all your hard work.
If you’re worried about your plants, you can consider fencing the area off so your dog cannot access it. You can even try to use large pots and place them high so your dog can’t reach them. You can also consider using hanging planters to keep your plants out of reach. A fence is an excellent choice if you’re planting directly into the ground. You get the bonus of keeping other wildlife out of your garden too.
Many gardeners choose to make their garden part of their landscape as well. If you are adding ornamental rocks or mulches, make sure these products are also pet safe. Cocoa bean mulch or cocoa shell mulch are two examples you’ll want to avoid as these can be toxic for dogs to ingest. Cedar mulch is a great choice that can help reduce fleas in your backyard as well.
Dog Safe Gardening
If you’re ready to jump into some gardening this year, here are some plants you can trust will be safe even if your dog gets into them:
These plants will add beauty to your backyard or windowsill garden. But there are some plants you should avoid if you are worried about your dog getting to your garden. To grow a dog-safe garden, avoid these plants:
- Aloe Vera
- Jade plant (also called Chinese rubber plants)
- Alliums (Garlic, Onion, etc.)
Another thing to consider is how you will feed your plants. The best choice, if you are going to add anything to your garden, is to make sure it’s organic. Organic compost is the safest bet to feed your plants. If you’re dealing with bugs, try diatomaceous earth. This will dry bugs out but is harmless to your dog.
Gardening with your dog can be a relaxing experience that can improve your health. If you’ve never tried it before, now is the time.