Water and Dog-wise gardening

I’ve been working at the blasted wasteland that is our backyard, and changing it from what Brendon calls the “dog habitat”  into a garden.  There were enemies above and below the ground.  Below the soil lurked cut worm  that killed everything I planted.  Plants that survived the cut worm were chewed, dug up, peed upon, stepped, rolled or sat upon by Anna and Pippin.

I dealt with the dogs by fencing off areas of the (already very small) garden. Pippin did not approve:

I dealt with the cutworm by putting out some poison – which I will never, ever do again. Pippin decided that bright blue pellets must be a special treat, and pushed his nose past the fence. I don’t think he actually ate any but he spent the rest of the evening being forced to drink vast amounts of his absolute favourite – yoghurt (I had no milk) and being allowed to sleep in our bedroom – a previously unheard of liberty. He was perfectly fine, and I learnt my lesson.

Below are some before pictures.  As you can see, the fences are terrible, but they do the job.


About a month later, and all the plants are still surviving:


Can you see the top part of a buried bottle in each “after” picture?

This is a technique I learnt from Richard and Katherine; deep watering with a sunken bottle.   The bottle has some small holes, and the water drains out below the surface of the soil, minimising water loss through evaporation.  We’ve had lots of rain so far this spring, but the sun is already fierce.   I’m still figuring out if its better to keep the lid on or not.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nhnursery
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 16:32:00

    Pippen looks as if he wants to garden. I also have 2 dogs and they want to taste and get their noses into whatever I’m doing. But they are so much fun to have around. As you have demonstrated, you don’t need a large area to garden but you do have to be careful about what insecticides or pesticides you apply for children and animal safety.

  2. mashadutoit
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 19:09:49

    Its true! My dogs love being around when I garden, and are so interested in whatever I do. My other dog, Anna, once spent ages watching my father put in new plants. At one point he had dug a hole for a fairly large plant and went off to fetch it. When he came back, she had placed her new pull toy – a tennis ball on the end of a rope – carefully on the edge of the hole so that the rope end was dangling down inside it. “I also want to play this game” 🙂

  3. Trackback: Gardening with Dogs 2 « Masha

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