Plant and Pets: How to Pet-Proof Your Garden
Those of us with animals know that, generally, a pristine garden and pets don’t mix. Whether your cat keeps digging up your flowerbeds to use as a toilet, or your rabbit has munched most of your plants away, it can be a constant battle to keep both your pet and your garden happy and healthy.
However, there are a few simple tips and tricks you can use to make sure your pet won’t harm your garden, and your garden won’t harm your pet.
1. Plant choice
Think about what plants are in your garden, and whether you’re attracting your pet into areas with plants they love to nibble or rub against. Remove any plants your pet likes from flowerbeds you want to keep looking immaculate.
2. Pet corner
Creating a “pet corner” in your garden can help attract them away from other areas. For example, planting the herb Valerian in this corner will attract your cat or dog; as planting parsley will attract rabbits.
3. Raised beds
Having raised flowerbeds and clearly marked paths helps pets – in particular dogs – stay in the areas they are allowed in.
4. Grow climbers
Climbing plants grown up fences and trellises is a good way to bring color to your garden without worrying about pets munching them, as most simply can’t reach! Foiled again!
5. Toxic plants
Know which plants are toxic to your pets and eliminate them from your garden – toxic plants won’t do anything to keep pets out of the flowerbeds as most don’t realize which plants aren’t good from them, and will happily eat them.
6. Mulch, gravel or chicken wire
Using coarse mulch, gravel or chicken wire on the ground around plants can help discourage pets from venturing in flowerbeds, as they simply don’t like the feel of stones, wire or mulch under their paws. However, avoid cocoa bean mulch as it’s exceptionally toxic to dogs (as with any chocolate product).
7. Flowerbed edging
Edging flowerbeds with log edging will help deter smaller animals from jumping into them, though if you want to ensure they stay out, chicken wire is the best option. It’s simple enough to create a removable chicken wire fence by threading stakes through the wire, so you can proof your garden when pets are out, but roll it up and remove it when they’re not.
8. Natural deterrents
Planting or spreading natural deterrents in areas you want to keep your pet out of can help dramatically. For example, cats and dogs despise Coleus Canina, and won’t go near it. Just make sure the deterrent isn’t poisonous – like citrus is to cats.
9. Avoid chemicals
Chemicals such as fertilizers and weed killers can harm your pet if they come into contact with them, so make sure whatever you use is non-toxic, and preferably natural and organic – and make sure if plant services are sourcing your new plants that they are kept informed of your requirements.
What tricks do you use for keeping your pets out of the flowerbeds? Do you have a tenth point for us? Let us know in the comments!
Image by: Jans Canon
Estelle Page is a passionate gardener, and also loves her animals. She provides tips on how to keep your home and garden in great condition, and recommends Ambius to help out with the greenery.