Benny
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Starting a Vegetable Garden... Around a 25lb Dog

Hello All!
I'm planning a new garden in my back yard and have a few ideas but need some advice. I was thinking about making a raised bed out of some railroad ties. Right now the are whre the garden will be is just grass. I also have about a 25 lb. dog that I need to keep out of the garden. Does anyone have some suggestions that would make a good setup?

Also, Since there has been no progress made yet and is already July woud it be better for me to wait until spring to start planting? I know some things I would like to grow but I don't know what I still have enough time for. Any good reading on the subjectwould be apprecieated! Thanks! :D
I'm betting that I'm just abnormal enough to survive.
- The Tick

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hendi_alex
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Plan and arrange garden. Perhaps a tasteful fence enclosure would be appropriate if you think that the dog will take ownership of the space. Fill raised beds with augmented soil or what ever will be used. Then maybe consider some less challenging late summer crops like field peas, summer squash, cucumbers, and then later plant some some true fall crops like arugula, kale, turnips, collards, or whatever else suits your fancy. No reason to take a whole year waiting when so many things will grow well as a late summer garden and/or fall garden.
Last edited by hendi_alex on Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Newt
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Hi Benny,

Some great advice already! I have dogs and built a fence around the garden. It wasn't anyhting fancy, just posts and pickets. The pickets are spaced just enough to allow for air circulation yet keep the dogs out.

I would suggest you NOT use railroad ties, especially for a veggie garden. I don't even recommend using preservative wood. From [url=https://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/quickref/vegetable/intensive_veg_gardening.html]this site with lots of other helpful in[/url]fo:

The sides of an enclosed raised bed are often made of treated wood. Green pressure-treated lumber, has been treated with cromated copper arsenate (CCA) or ammoniated cooper arsenate (ACA). These two preservatives are the safest for the garden because of their very low tendency to leach into soil. Research studies have shown that there is very little chance of ingesting arsenic in vegetables near treated lumber. Because of the arsenic in the wood, however, wear rubber gloves and a dust mask when sawing the lumber. Avoid using creosote-treated railroad ties. Freshly treated creosote lumber can leach into the soil for several years and continues to give off vapors over a seven to nine year period.
More info on pressure treated woods.
https://www.taunton.com/finegardening/how-to/articles/are-pressure-treated-woods-safe-in-garden-beds.aspx
https://www.taunton.com/finehomebuilding/how-to/articles/new-pressure-treated-wood-decks.aspx
https://www.epa.gov/oppad001/reregistration/cca/


You might want to have a soil test once you select a site and add your soil. I would suggest you add a ratio of 40% compost to 60% soil to help make your plants happy.

Another thing you can do is lasagna composting aka sheet composting over the winter once you've harvested your fall crops. That will help your crops for next year.
https://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1999-04-01/Lasagna-Gardening.aspx

Your local extension service should have some helpful info on veggie gardening in your area.
https://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/index.html

Yup, found it. Here's info on planting a fall garden and more.
https://apps.caes.uga.edu/urbanag/Home&Garden/indexFS.cfm?section=Vegetable%20Gardening

Newt

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hendi_alex
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I meant to include that caution about railroad ties but got in a hurry, thanks for the heads up post. I do use pressure treated wood for raised beds but only if the beds are on a surface like concrete or have some kind of bottom liner. I then also use a 3.5 mil liner of plastic across the bottom and up the sides, to ensure that only minimal compounds could have any chance of leaching into the soil. Finally, I renew the soil every few years such that no accumlation of bad compounds might take place in the soil. Another thought about those railroad ties. The railroad company has a pretty vigorous program of spraying all kinds of toxic substances on the right of ways. I'm sure some of that gets absorbed by the ties.

Benny
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:( So what would a good alternative to the RRTs be? Should I just put up a little fence and not worry about raising it? Keep in mind that I'm poor! :wink:
I'm betting that I'm just abnormal enough to survive.
- The Tick

Newt
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Benny, you can make raised beds without using anything to hold the soil in place if you like. A bit of mulch or dampened newspapers held in place with twigs or even popsickle sticks will help to keep weeds down.

From that first site I gave you in my first response:
Raised beds are generally 8 to 12 inches high and as long as desired. The width should be no wider than 3 to 4 feet so you can work the bed without actually stepping in it. To create a raised bed, use topsoil from pathways and add organic matter. The raised bed does not have to be enclosed or framed. No support material is needed for shallow beds, those less than 6 inches tall. To prevent soil erosion, gently slope the sides of the bed.
At this site old logs were used. I don't agree with their suggestion of railroad ties though.
https://www.wikihow.com/Construct-a-Raised-Planting-Bed

Maybe some of these topics will be helpful with ideas.
https://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_design_raised_bed/

You can use scraps of untreated lumber. Know anyone who built a deck out of Trex or similar materials and has leftovers?

Newt

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JennyC
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Thinking of cheap raised bed material. Concrete blocks? Stacked rocks? Old wire shelving from the thrift store? Visit a thrift store and look for inspiration? Kiddie pools are on sale at the stores now, too, and I've seen folks use those with holes punched in them for drainage. If you know a family whose kids are rough on their wading pool, you might even get one for free, with holes pre-punched :D You could start with an old pool and "pretty" it at your leisure with something like stacked rocks around the edge.

If your dog's a digger, you may have to do some sort of fence. We "cheap fenced" our yard to keep the dogs safe with electric fence. That should also keep your dog out of the garden part of your yard. The charger runs thirty bucks or so, but the wire and posts aren't much. If you're talking about something small, it may cost you less to do a conventional fence, but we've had good luck with our electric. A side benefit: once the dog learns the fence is there, you often won't even have to continue charging the fence. Only very stubborn dogs keep testing electric fences to see if they're still on. And the power usage is low, anyway. I haven't noticed a difference in our bill, and we have a lot of fence up -- several hundred feet of double wire.

I'm about 90 miles north of you, and I'm planting this weekend or next: Turnips, collards, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, and carrots. All this on the advice of my county extension agent; I'm learning all this as I go!

[Editing to add radishes to the list. It may still be too hot for them to do well, but radish seed is way cheap, and the plants act as bug traps even if you don't get radishes. You can also plant a few every two weeks and have a steady supply until it freezes.]
Jenny C

Benny
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You guys are great! I haven't had the chance to look over all the websites that were given to me but I'll get to them. I'm going to try to till up the space for the garden this weekend and try to find some kind of fencing/something to hold the bed together. Thanks everybody!

One more thing, I went looking for seeds and couldn't find any, Wheres a good place to get them?
I'm betting that I'm just abnormal enough to survive.
- The Tick

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hendi_alex
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I did the same today, with no luck at my usual local sources. Might have to visit a gardening specialty store, or be patient and order online and have the seeds in a week or so.

victoriam0212
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we have a few dogs too so we've put up the green plastic fencing and used pvc pipe to make the frame its inexpensive and works great. I wouldn't recommend using the wire kind...we started with that and one of my chihuahuas managed to get herself stuck and she got pretty beat up, tha'ts why we switched to plastic. hope i was helpful! :D
Vicky

mbaker410
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I have two 60+ lb german sheppards / Labrador mix puppys. My roomate had some metal "L" fence posts sitting at his parents house from a garden that they used to have. I am assuming the original use was for chicken coops and chicken wire fences.

My fence is about 4' tall and is meant to keep the dogs out and the rabbits from jumping over.

I bought my chicken wire from Lowes and and cost $30 for a 50' with 1" holes. They had a cheaper one for half that but looked like a smaller gauge wire.

I used zip ties to hold the wire to the posts and it only took about 30 minutes from the time I put the posts in till the wire was up.

Works like a charm.

Mike

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raaychill
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my neighbor and i both have dogs in our shared back yard. the two love to play together, and run down anything (or one) in there path. you mentioned you were broke.... I'm the queen of free stuff! i took some scrap wood, about a foot to 1+1/2' long, and farley narrow, staked um into the ground about 1+1/2 feet apart, then ties them together with some hemp sring, just went around the garden 3 times.
it really is enough of a physical boarder for them to recognize as off limits
may the wind always be at your back, the sun upon your face, and may the winds of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars

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JennyC
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They still have seed at my local feed and seed, if you have one of those. They may be out, but if they have any left, Dollar General is a source for really cheap veggie seeds. I recommend against flower seeds from there; I've seen my local DG selling things I know are invasive here. If you do find veggie seeds at Dollar General, plant extra; they won't all germinate. But at a quarter a packet, I figured I could afford to put two seeds in every hole.

Oh, and one exception to the no-flowers advice: marigolds. They're actively good for your veggies; I planted them along the edges of all my garden beds. Dollar General had those too.

This is not advice that many people here agree with, I think -- it's not as high quality seed as you can get from reputable nurseries, and I'm sure my seed was not organic. I think I overcame the quality issue by planting extra, but others may have different opinions, and I'd like to hear the reasons.
Jenny C

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Orenda
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A great thread with lots of tips and great links.....

many thanks ~ Orenda
:)

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soil
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any way to train your dog to be a good garden dog? i have a 65 lb dog that used to love to eat plants, dig holes and just cause problems. over a few months i trained him to not walk on the beds, not to dig holes in the beds. i still let him run around as much as he wants as long as he doesn't crush anything. i still let him eat plants too because he likes them i guess. i can now work without a care in my mind that he will even walk on the beds, the chickens even like him hanging around and he likes them.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

garden5
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You will sometimes hear that certain plants will keep pests out. Well, This may sometimes be true for insects, I've found it NOT to work on larger animals such as rabbits and dogs. If you don't want your dog in it, your best bet is to just put up a fence. It doesn't have to be some ugly chicken wire, either. You can make it as nice as you want.
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