Fall is a great time to plant in Richmond, with its mild weather and higher than average chance of rainfall to help your plants to grow. If you have dogs, you will want to choose hardy plants that can stand up to them, and protect the plants from the dogs until they are well established.
Pick Dog-Friendly Plants on Sale
Select plants that are not as easily damaged by your dog. These plants will probably be on sale during the early fall months, which makes this a good time to plant. Ground covers work well since they are durable as well as attractive.
Ornamental grasses can be used to keep dogs out of certain areas without being a danger to them. Bamboo is also a safe way to keep your dog away from new plants, according to Right at Home.
Cool fall temperatures allow plants to require less water during this time of year, and they can focus their energy to establish root systems. Woody plants spend their energy on root systems as well, so they will be well established before the ground freezes.
The shorter days in the fall keep many sprouting weeds at bay, so they won’t compete as much for water. Bulbs that flower in the spring should be planted in the autumn months in Virginia. Crocuses and crown imperials are two bulbs that benefit from fall planting, states GardenGuides.com. Make sure you choose bulbs that are not toxic to dogs, in the event they dig them up.
Summer bloomers need to be planted in the fall. Vegetables that grow their best when the temperatures are below 70 are grown in Virginia from September into the first killing frosts. Be sure that when you select hardy plants, that they are not poisonous to your dog.
Protect Your Plants
Protecting your new plants from your dog, until they become established, is a task tackled by many home gardeners. Watch the routes your dog takes around the yard when he is running and playing, and avoid those areas when it comes to planting. If he gets into your new plants and makes a complete mess before you have your protection plans implemented, he may benefit from a visit to a specialist in pet grooming in Richmond, VA.
Planting robust outer plants around your new plants will help in protecting them from your curious dog. You can also build wood or bamboo supports that protect the plants from your dog and give them a structure on which they can grow more easily. Coated metal works well for plant supports, since plastic may not deter dogs enough, says Gardening and Dogs.
Circular grid patterns with attached legs can protect your new plants from your dog. They are basically semi-circles with legs. The supports can remain in the ground even after the plants are established.
You can lay wire fencing around new plants, and they will be able to be watered and harvested without moving the wire. Livestock fencing can also be used to keep dogs away from tender, young plants. It will teach your dog the places you would prefer he not dig and play.