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Having four dogs running around my garden, I found that the best way to avoid the trampled plants, bent branches, and other fun stuff that happens in a garden when pets run rampant is to work out where they like to run and make them their own racing track. Most dogs love to run along fence lines to see the outside world and an easy fix is to stake a length of cheap wire (chicken or strands) about 12 - 18 inches from the fence line. You probably won't need to do too much, just where there may be more delicate or precious plants. It's not very visible and saves a lot of stress on you!
Another idea is to make stepping stones as a path where they run. Get the kids involved and collect some flat pavers or bricks, etc. and lay a track in and around your plants for the dogs to use. Maybe glue and grout some colorful tiles to the pavers (the kids have a great time helping make original works of art!) and it has the added bonus of adding lots of color to the garden when the flowering season is over.
By vicki57 from Queensland, AU
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Here are questions related to Keeping Dogs Out of Your Garden.
Do marigolds and coffee grounds keep dogs away from the garden? And what else can I put down or do?
By Liz B from Mexico, ME
By Robyn 04/19/2013
I like to put temporary chicken wire or a temporary fence around the garden with temporary green metal stakes. I can move these at will.
How can I keep our new puppy out of my Hostas? We tried a wire fence, but he laid on it and flattened it. We also tried a granule from the pet store, but that didn't affect him. Any ideas?
By Lisa from Silvis, IL
A fence is about the only option that will work. You could try a stronger fence that he can't knock over.
How can I protect my plants from my 1 year old dog? I cannot plant in the ground because he digs them up. He has destroyed my tomato plants, which were doing so well! He pulls plants out of pots if they are too low. I have come outdoors to find my plants all over the yard, big palms, ivy, anything.
I do not want to plant anymore if he will take them out, but I would love to start my veggie garden, in pots right now, before the heat really comes in. And because of the heat, my dog stays inside, so I want to take advantage of this to plant. Please help.
Hardiness Zone: 9a
By Isabel from S. TX
By Jackie 05/28/2011
I put cayenne pepper around my plants after planting. Seems to work, until it rains that is!! I also heard that dogs don't like mint. I am growing some peppermint so I took some leaves, broke them up and scattered them on an area that I had just seeded. I can't guarantee that that's what worked but our puppy didn't dig them up as she had before. I also heard that you can put branches from rose bushes on the ground to discourage animals from digging. It didn't help with our chickens though.
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Holly from Richardson, TX
This question comes up a lot. Here are some ideas:
Talk to the owners-If the dogs invading your garden are not your own, have a talk with their owners. Gently remind them of local leash laws (nearly every city or county has them), and that you would really like to avoid having to call animal control.
Citrus rinds-Grind them up and spread them over the soil. Apparently, dogs (and cats) don't care for citrus.
Calendula (pot marigolds)- Planting a border of Canendula (assuming you have the room) supposedly repels dogs.
Prickly branches-Scatter the trimmings from prickly canes like roses, holly, raspberries, or blackberries around the garden. Dogs are protective of their paws and don't like walking on thorns.
Pepper repellent-Grind up an assortment of fresh black peppercorns and dried hot peppers and mix them together in a plastic bag. Then spread these on the top of the soil around your garden. Dogs use their sense of scent to determine where to go to the bathroom. Once they get a whiff of the hot peppers, they are more likely to move on.
Garden hose-Use a strong spray from the garden hose to modify the dogs' behavior each time they go near your garden to dig or do their business. This method works best with your own dogs, since you are around to monitor them when they are in the yard. Motion activated devices are also available that sense approaching animals and scare them away with a short, strong burst of water.
Wire clothes hangers-Cut some old wire hangers on one side of the hook. Unbend the hanger and stick the straight side into the ground so that the hooked remains at a height low enough to make it difficult for the dog to navigate around it. (In a similar way, plastic silverware stuck in flowerpots will act as a deterrent for cats).
Commercial products-There are several products available in garden stores, as well as on the web, designed to repel dogs. Some are in spray form, and others come in the form of pellets.
Border fencing-You don't always need a big fence to keep dogs out. Try small, collapsible border fencing. You can usually get a 20 ft roll of 14" high fencing for under $10, and the small gauge of the wire won't take up any of your valuable planting space.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
Dogs really like the smell and taste of certain fertilizers, (my dog seeks out blood and bone). A liquid fertilizer might be less attractive to your dog. (03/13/2008)
By Denise W.
How can you keep dogs out of the garden?
Hardiness Zone: 3a
By Dorothy M. from Derwood, MD
I have a pest that keeps getting in my garden. It is an 8lb longhair miniature dachshund. No matter what I do to fix the gate on my fence this pest keeps getting in. I have heard there is something that can be sprinkled on the ground that when he smells it he will not try to get in. Anyone know what I can do?
Hardiness Zone: 9a
By Slingshot_317 from TX