How to Pet-Proof Your Garden

Learn how to keep the peace between your garden and pets with these 9 simple tips.
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Master gardener Marianne Binetti shares ideas for keeping your pets from becoming pests in the garden.

  • To keep dogs from lying down in flower beds, simply drive some short stakes into the ground throughout the bed.
  • Keep pets out of freshly mulched or seeded beds, or soft soil, by setting some thorny branches in the ground at regular intervals.
  • Make a chicken-wire fence to protect entire beds. To keep it from being an eyesore, drive several tall stakes in the ground around the bed's perimeter. Slip a roll of chicken wire over an end stake. Unroll the wire and prop it up against the rest of the stakes when in use, and roll it up to when you don't want it visible.
  • Plant pungent herbs such as rosemary and sage to keep cats out of a garden bed.
  • An annual plant named Coleus canina was developed with a very pungent smell that drives away cats. Plant it under birdfeeders or wherever you want to discourage your cat from going.
  • Spread a layer of coffee grounds in beds to keep out the cats.
  • To keep cats from digging in bare soil spots (edges to narrow to plant seeds, for example) plant a brick in the soil. When they run into it, they will look for a different place to dig.
  • To keep dogs from digging in the garden, create their own play area in a bare spot of soil. Dig a large shallow hole and fill it with sand. Add some toys and your dog has his own sandbox.
  • And here's a gardening tip to help your pets: use cedar chips for pathways and in beds to help protect your pets from fleas.
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