Guest Author - Charity Armstrong
Rose gardening has its challenges. Rose gardening for dog owners however, can create additional issues. By changing a few of your gardening habits and accounting for how your dog behaves in the garden, you can make the garden safer for both your dog and your roses.
Chemicals in the rose garden become more of an issue where all pets are concerned, not just dogs. If you have any type of pet who utilizes your yard youíll want to carefully consider and read the labels of any chemicals you apply. One choice is to consider an organic approach. Often just researching your rose purchase to make sure youíre choosing a disease resistant rose and then ensuring your roses receive adequate sunlight can go a long way toward preventing disease. Stores today are carrying a wider range of organic fertilizer and safer garden treatments and chemicals to help you combat rose disease with both your pet and the environment in mind.
If you have a pet and organic rose gardening isnít for you, there are still safe ways to work in the rose garden with your dog. Every time you apply chemicals or fertilizer you should make sure your pet is either in the house or unable to access the spray, sprayed plants or fertilizer. It only takes a second for a curious puppy to gulp down a mouthful of something poisonous. Spray treatments that are applied to your roses can drift even though the wind is calm. Pets are extremely sensitive to chemicals. Itís best to simply have your pet in the house until youíve applied the spray treatment and itís completely dried. While youíre at it, put the chemicals away on a high shelf before letting your pet back into the yard.
Instead of spraying your roses with fungicides and pesticides there are newer products that work by being diluted with water and then poured at the base of your rose plant. This helps to harness the damp chemical in one place and takes less time to dry so you can have your dog out of the house and into the yard quicker. Many of these soil treatments are very effective since the rose takes up the chemical as it takes in water.
Itís fairly obvious that sharp objects such as hand pruners or pruning saws can also be unsafe for a pet. A simple idea is to place all of your sharp tools in a tool belt, apron or in a bucket or container. This will keep you from accidently leaving a sharp object lying in the lawn where it could damage your dogís paws.
The final tip for gardening with your pet is to consider the placement of your roses and rose beds. If you work with your dog in a gentle and consistent manner you can often train them to stay out of your flower beds. However, there will still be the occasional neighbor or squirrel that makes it impossible for your dog to resist jumping in the rose bed thatís against the fence. If this has been an issue for you, consider making your new rose beds raised and leave a space around the fenceís perimeter for ďpatrolling.Ē This will make both your roses and your dog happy garden partners.
Gardening with a pet can be a little more challenging than without one. I however, canít imagine not having my best gardening pup out there in the yard with me. After all, someone needs to keep those squirrels in check and keep me company while I prune.