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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Dog-Friendly Gardening Tips

May 28, 2021 08:30AM ● By Brieux Turner
Important factors for dog-friendly garden beds include their location in relation to any paths or fencing, the plants chosen and path width and materials.

Landscaping: Paths of pea gravel can be set around the garden. Dogs find the gravel cool, and the larger size doesn’t get into their paws, as decomposed granite can. All planting beds should be spaced away from fencing, allowing creation of an "island" effect for the plantings so that the dogs don’t run along fences and tear up plants.

Plants: Use annuals such as African daisy (Osteospermum), marigold, nasturtium, snapdragons, sunflower, fuchsia and saucer magnolia. For herbs, try purple basil, dill, fennel, creeping thyme, pineapple sage and rosemary. Perennials might include coral bells (Heuchera), zebra grass, Phlox, autumn sage, candytuft and polka-dot plant (Hypoestes). Shrubs could be camellia, soft yucca or thornless prickly pear.

Training: For breeds more prone to digging, several methods can be used to help. With younger dogs, low (two-foot-high) fencing supported by steel rebar posts around the vegetable beds will work. After 2 years of age, many dogs have outgrown their digging stage, so the fencing can be removed once they have become less curious about digging in the landscaping. Those dogs that are more persistent can be repelled by filling in their regular areas with some of their own waste. Once covered with topsoil, most dogs will permanently avoid these areas.

Brieux Turner is a garden advisor at North Haven Gardens, located at 7700 Northaven Rd., in Dallas. For more information visit