How To Keep Dogs Safe In The Garden
We love them. We dote on them. And we treat them as part of the family. Dogs (and cats) are a vital part of Americans’ lives, every bit as much a household staple as the backyard garden. It seems those who love their gardens love their pets, and those who treasure their pets also treasure their gardens. The lovable beasts can wreak havoc on plants, however. So how do we live with both?
Keeping dogs safe in the backyard – and keeping the backyard safe from dogs – can be a delicate balance between catering to dog lovers and catering to garden lovers. More often than not, they are one and the same.
Dogs love to run and dig and roll and romp, and their damage to gardens and lawns runs the gamut from holes to barren patches to trampled or chewed plants. The No. 1 home- and dog-owner complaint, however, is cleanup. Droppings are easily addressed, but the acid in dog urine can damage both lawns and the bark of trees and shrubs.
When males lift their legs against the trunks of trees, acid in the urine can eat its way through the bark and compromise the tree’s health.
Brown spots in the lawn, sometimes surrounded by a lush, green ring, indicate a favorite elimination spot; the urine contains high volumes of nitrogen. Nitrogen delivered to a small area can burn the grass at the same time that it fertilizes it – thus the brown spot where the nitrogen is heavy and the green ring where the nitrogen level is more dilute.
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