Garden, Garden Pets

Making your dog feel at home in the garden

Garden Dog

Dogs that dig, run, and chew are not often compatible with carefully plotted yards, but you can create a garden that is hardy enough for your dog and delicate enough to nurture your gardener’s soul. Follow these tips to help build an outdoor oasis for you and your dog:

Digging Cover

Digging Cover

  • Use chicken wire to prevent digging. Lay down a sheet of chicken wire over the garden’s surface and allow plants to grow up through it, preventing your dog from digging.
  • Eliminate urine spots. Because dogs tend to urinate in the same area, high levels of salts in their urine cause brown spots on lawns and gardens. Rather than watering the entire lawn, wash down your dog’s favourite locations every two to three days.
  • Don’t use dog poo for compost. Because diseases such as E. coli can be transmitted through dog poo, dispose of your dog’s waste in a sanitary landfill instead.

What about you make your garden dog friendly because if your dog lover then you will want to make sure that you enjoy your garden with your dog. If you don’t need regarding my dog then it means that there will be indoors and you don’t really want them indoors all the time because there’s not due to have them outside and enjoying life

 

Keep them off the flower beds though

 

Stockade

Stockade

Dog and cat repellents work with some animals, but not all. The most effective way to keep dogs out of gardens is fencing. It doesn’t have to be 5-foot-tall stockade fencing, and can be temporary if you are also willing to put in some training time. A 2-foot-tall fence is enough to discourage most dogs. You should be out in the yard with your dogs, so you can redirect them if they charge into the fence.

Also, make other areas of the yard more dog friendly, perhaps with a doggie digging pit, some interactive play with balls or other fetch toys, a kiddie pool, and treasure hunts, where you throw out handfuls of small food treats and let your dogs hunt for them. Find a good positive trainer in your area if you want to invest the time in boundary-training your dogs.

Garden, Garden Pets

How to stop dogs digging up planting beds

Dogs Digging

Digging dogs
Putting a dog together with the lovely loose soil in a planting bed often results in holes, uprooted vegetation, and hard feelings. You don’t have to choose between your dog and your daffodils; keep both by adding a digging pit to your landscape—a spot where Fido can satisfy his urges without destroying anything in the process.

A digging pit can be a simple depression filled with sand and soil and surrounded by low walls to keep in the debris, or a pile of sand where your dog can scrabble without disturbing garden plants.

Choose a good location.

 

Dogs Loves A Hole

Dogs Loves A Hole

One of the reasons dogs dig is to have cool soil under their bellies when they rest. That means you need to place your pit in an area that gets shade, at least during the hottest part of the day. Don’t put the pit near tender plants, since most dogs will manage to kick some sand out of the pit. Pick a location where the ground will not become waterlogged when you water the garden.

Make it the right size. The pit needs to be about as wide as your dog is long, and one-and-a-half times your pet’s length. These proportions give the dog room to manoeuvre comfortably, but keep the pit small enough so your dog can’t kick out excessive amounts of sand.

Build solid walls. Wood, retaining blocks, and cinder blocks work well as walls for a digging pit. If you dig the pit below ground level, use two rows of blocks surrounding the pit on three sides to trap the sand. Lay your blocks in an overlapping brickwork style. Unless your dog is really rambunctious, you won’t have to secure them. For a higher wall, lay cinder blocks in an overlapping brickwork style, and then pound rebar (reinforcing rods available at lumber stores) down through the stacked holes of the blocks and into the ground. This will hold your walls in place. Fill the pit with a mixture of about three parts sand to one part soil.

Do some training. Once you’ve built your digging pit, you have to convince your dog this is the one and only place to dig. While it may take time, it isn’t difficult. First, bury favourite toys or biscuits your dog will be happy to find in the pit. Take your dog with you to the pit and make a big show of digging. Get excited and play with a toy you uncover. After a minute or two of play, bury the toy again while your dog watches. Dogs will often dig where you’re indicating, especially when they smell the toys or biscuits. When that happens, praise the dog extravagantly and play again when the toy is unearthed.

Control those cats.

 

Dogs Vs Cats

Dogs Vs Cats

Gardeners don’t like finding “presents” left behind by a cat. There are solutions to this problem, though it may take experimentation to find the one that works best for you.

Educate The Owners

Educate The Owners

Educate the owners. If the cats aren’t yours, and you know who the owners are, try a little education. Cats left free to roam outdoors often fall prey to dogs, disease, and cars. It’s far safer for felines to stay indoors—and away from your gardens.

Add a feline playground. If you don’t know the owners of the cats, try adding a “kitty corner” away from your favoiurite plants to keep the cat busy. Fill this area with sandy soil, and plant around it with catnip, mint, and grasses. This will entice cats to remain in this location instead of in the rest of your garden.

Look for deterrents. Rue (Ruta graveolens) is a well-known cat repellent, used through the ages to keep cats out of gardens. (Some people develop a rash when handling rue, so take care.) Commercial repellents have varying success. Some cats flee; others don’t even acknowledge the products. Many cats dislike the scent of citrus, so try scattering citrus peel around your gardens or using a scent nebuliser (available at health-food stores). Rain and wind gradually wear away the scent of these products, so you’ll need to replenish them frequently.

Sprinkling Device

Sprinkling Device

Get ‘em wet. An automatic sprinkling device called the Scarecrow releases a burst of water when anything moves in its coverage area. A quick spritz is sure to make Kitty think again about a future visit.

Garden, Watering

Saving water in the garden

Saving water in the garden

With water efficiency being more important than ever this season, it is important to conduct a spring appraisal of the automatic sprinkler system. Here are a few tips on making sure that sprinkler systems are tuned up and ready to keep your landscape looking great without wasting water.

Survey for problems. Since it is best to water the lawn and garden in the early morning hours, a problem may not be discovered until it is too late. Turn on the irrigation system for 15-20 minutes and survey the landscape for any potential problems. Look for dry spots or puddles and adjust the sprinkler heads accordingly.

Adjust watering times.

Water In The Garden

Water In The Garden

Water long enough to saturate the soil six inches deep. Poke a screwdriver into the soil to see how deep the water is being absorbed. If the screwdriver meets resistance caused by dry-hardened soil less than 6 inches from the surface, then adjust watering times to increase soil saturation.

Repair parts.

Sprinkler System Install Repair

Sprinkler System Install Repair

Replace cracked, chipped or worn plastic nozzles. Nozzles and sprinkler heads are designed to withstand the normal wear and tear of irrigation, but are no match for errant lawn mowers, the neighbour’s dog, or even curious kids. A broken sprinkler can wreak havoc on lawns, gardens, and water bills, so it is important to check and replace them periodically.

Inspect heads.

Inspect Heads

Inspect Heads

Check for rocks, dirt, sand and other types of debris that may block the even flow of water from sprinkler heads, uneven distribution can lead to too much water in some areas and not enough in others, both resulting in a discoloured, unhealthy landscape.

Flush out debris.

Simply twist two sprinkler heads completely off and then turn on the sprinkler system for two or three minutes. This should flush out any debris that may have accumulated over the winter, and relieve air pressure within the underground pipes.

Replace the back-up battery.

Every 6 months, replace the back-up battery, and keep a copy of the watering schedule nearby. A power surge, or brief outage in the middle of the night could cause the timer/controller to reset and clear all of the pre-set watering programs, a glitch that may go undetected until the grass starts turning brown. A fresh back-up battery will provide enough power to keep the pre-set programs saved until the power resumes.

Garden, Wildlife

Attract Hummingbirds into the Garden

Hummingbird

Plant a flowering feast

If you have a flower garden, you already have some of what these little birds need. Hummingbirds depend on the quick energy provided by flower nectar to fuel their turbo-charged lifestyles. They look first for red, orange, and bright pink colours, but also take to blues, purples, yellows, and whites.

Red, especially, acts like a beacon to hummingbirds. A mass of red blooms in beds, baskets, or containers draws hummingbirds out of the sky. And once they’re hovering in your garden, they’ll probe every flower, from the flat faces of impatiens (Impatiens spp.) to the deep tunnels of the trumpet creeper vine (Campsis radicans).

To encourage hummingbirds to return to your garden, provide a succession of blooms from spring through fall. Plant hanging baskets and early-flowering perennials in the spring, followed by bright annuals and blooming perennials in the summer. In the fall, help hummingbirds build up a fat layer for migration with heavy nectar producers like orange honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa) and trumpet creeper vine.

If you’re new to hummingbird gardening, don’t try to do everything at once. Start with three or four flowering plants and add a few more each year. Hummingbirds look for clumps of color, since this tells them many nectar meals are available. You don’t need to set aside a great deal of garden space to attract hummingbirds. Several masses of color, such as a grouping of bright annuals or a long-blooming shrub, will attract them.

Choose natives to your region, since hummingbirds recognise them quickly. In addition, these plants are adapted to local conditions, and they host the insects hummingbirds are familiar with.

Use feeders as a supplement

Nectar Feeders

Nectar Feeders

Once you’ve planted a bright, blooming flower garden to attract the little birds, use nectar feeders as a supplemental food source. Feeders lure hummingbirds toward decks and patios, where you can see them better. And nectar feeders filled with sugar water can be lifesavers for early-spring and late-fall hummingbirds. (Disregard that old myth that says feeders left out in the fall prevent birds from migrating.)

Choose an easy-to-clean feeder with a clear plastic bowl or bottle that shows the nectar level. Take the feeder apart at the store to make sure you’ll be able to disassemble it at home for cleaning every few days, since cleanliness is the most important factor in hummingbird feeding. Buy a feeder without yellow parts, since yellow attracts bees and wasps.

It’s easy and inexpensive to mix your own hummingbird nectar at home. Just add 4 cups boiling water to 1 cup table sugar. (Never use honey.) Mix and store in the refrigerator until needed. In hot weather, clean the hummingbird feeder and replace the sugar water every few days.

Provide shelter, water, and insects

Provide Shelter

Provide Shelter

In addition to providing plants and feeders for hummingbirds, it’s important to meet their needs for shelter and security. Provide some evergreens for hiding and thick vines and shrubs for perching. Hummingbirds are such dynamos that we forget they spend about 80 percent of each day resting, perching, and surveying their territory.

Hummingbirds are too small to bathe the way songbirds do, but they like zipping through spray or “surfing” on wet leaves to remove sticky nectar from their feathers and beaks. Provide a recirculating fountain, a mist attachment on the birdbath, or a pond with a small waterfall.

It’s a little-known fact that hummingbirds have a carnivorous side. Small insects and spiders make up one-fourth of their diet. They also use spider webs in nest building, so don’t use broad-spectrum pesticides that kill all insects and spiders in your garden.

Once you have a garden that promises blooms from spring through fall (supplemented, if you choose, by nectar feeders), a water source for bathing, and trees and shrubs for hiding and resting, you’re almost certain to have small, whizzing visitors. Then sit back and enjoy some of the most dynamic birds on earth.