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Dog Design – Space Between the Paws

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Garlic harvest officially a success. In the picture above are a few of the plants, total harvest is over 40 bunches of garlic. An excellent yield considering where they were planted.

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It is always nice when an experiment works. With two terriers who love to tear around (and into) the yard, it is always a challenge to design planting arrangements that will stay intact. If there is soft exposed soil, they will dig into it with relish.. They are agile jumpers and eternally curious, so raised beds with exposed soil are just as vulnerable. Fencing off parts of the yard tends to be ugly, interrupting both visual flow as well as physical movement and access. My dogs are very careful about where they place their paws, however they aren’t so careful with their bodies…rather, if they know that something will give they have no problem crashing into it. They respect hard or thorny plants, but if they can crash and thrash through soft branches or leafy material, they will. Sam particularly seems to enjoy it. So, I had an idea as garlic planting season approached. Around one of my raised beds that I planted potatoes in, I dug up a border of soil and then as part of the border, I used broken concrete to create a bit of a mosaic. In between the cracks I placed garlic cloves. Even if the dogs wanted to walk on the border, they would not compact the earth any more than the concrete already would. They would keep their paws on the concrete and so the garlic would be able to grow up even if they walked “on” it. They would not break the garlic stalks because they would prefer to jump over the border rather than galloping on top of it. So it could handle both calm ambling dogs and hyper spazzing dogs equally.

Amazingly it worked. They often jumped into the raised bed avoiding forceful contact with the garlic when it was young. As the garlic grew older they avoided jumping over it at all since the bed itself was off to the side of their path and not worth the effort. Ironically when the border was first created, they were thrilled with their new and improved walkway. However, even with increased dog traffic, the garlic shoots came up unharmed. I don’t think I lost a single garlic plant to dog paws.

The bed of potatoes, on the other hand, was mostly destroyed. Little rascals.

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