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Category: Pets & Gardens

  • Free Gardening with Dogs Seminar

    July 29, 2016

    Need help gardening with your dogs? Or, thinking of adding a garden or a dog or both to your life? Then don’t miss Robin’s free gardening with dogs seminar entitled Gardening with Your Canine Companions at Molbak’s in August.

    Updated August 2017:

    Back by popular demand! Robin will be sharing even more tips for successfully gardening with all kinds of canine companions at Molbaks on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 10am. Even if you attended last year, join us to get even more great gardening, training and pup-a-riffic insights at Molbaks’ annual dog days of summer event!

    It’s FREE!


    well behaved dog in garden

    Learn to enjoy your garden & your dog together!

    Molbak’s is hosting a day dedicated to Fido, and Robin will be offering up her tried and true solutions to many common challenges gardening dog lovers face everyday. Having lived and gardened with many dogs throughout her life in many different settings, Robin’s tips will help you and your pup grow beyond that ugly, spotty lawn, those trampled Costa fortuneiis, icky-poopy paths, hole-ridden borders and much more. People, young pups and old dogs can all learn new tricks to co-habitate happily in a garden of just about any size!

    Have a pup-related challenge you’d like Robin to address in her talk? Add it to the comments below, and she’ll do her best to be prepared with suggestions at her seminar!

    Where: Molbak’s Nursery, Woodinville, WA

    When: August 12, 2017, 10am-11am & August 13, 2016 10am-11am

    Cost: It’s Free!

    dogs in the garden

    From herders to doodles: every dog has the potential to be a great gardening companion!

    Don’t have a dog but beginning the journey to invite the right one into your world? Pet adoption agencies will be on site all day to help you on your journey.

    Already have a best canine friend and want to bring her? Well behaved dogs on a leash are welcome at Molbak’s and might just get a special treat from one of the dog product suppliers who will be on site from 10am-3pm.

    Get more information on this & other events at Molbak’s here.

  • Dog and Garden Can Grow Harmoniously

    March 20, 2015

    Think your dog and garden can’t grow harmoniously? Think again!

    It’s true that dogs can be incredibly destructive to our gardens. Some dig holes in all the wrong places. Others prefer to poop exactly where we walk. Some will tumble and roll over our tender blooms. Many will chew exactly what they shouldn’t – like irrigation heads. Marking males love to lift their legs to squirt burning pee all over our favorite shrubs, leaving them browned and dead on at least one side. Both boys and girls will dig, pee and poop lawns into patchwork quilts. And, those are just a few of the worst dog offenses we tolerate, with dismay, from our canine companions.

    Flat coat retriever dog & labradoodle in garden

    Given a good environment, attention & training, dogs won’t destroy every garden. Here, an antique cauldron does double-duty as garden art & as a target for a big leg-lifting retriever.

    I’m not here to wave a magic wand that makes your dog’s area of the garden look as fantastic as the areas Fido can’t forage. But, I’ve lived with a lot of dogs in a lot of different garden spaces in my life, which has helped me develop quite a few tricks and tools to buy that might help your garden survive some of the worst poochy offenses.

    Puppy chewing on sticks in the garden

    Young pups are easy to train, but don’t believe the lie “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

    (Qualifying purchases made through affiliate &/or sponsored links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors.)


  • Why Scoop Dog Poop

    November 07, 2014

    Why spend an entire blog post discussing ‘why scoop dog poop?’

    While there are many kinds of animal poop that may augment  your garden, dog poop isn’t even close to being one of them. In fact, dog waste houses some nasty, toxic, sickening stuff. Even if it doesn’t manage you make you sick, it can leach into storm collection systems and streams, leading to their contamination. So, if you’re planning to add a pooch to your garden, be prepared to be a vigilant pooper scooper, please!

    Scoop Dog Poop for Playful Pups

    Giving dogs a sanitary yard to play in is one reason to scoop your poop!

    Recently, I was quizzed by a new homeowner about ground covers. Turns out, he was asking because he wanted to install said ground cover in a small, tucked away area of his yard where he would train his dogs to do their business.

    Okay, that’s a great idea. Ground cover instead of lawn for dogs. Installed in a tucked away area. Investing time in training the dogs to use the area.

    Except his plan didn’t end there. The next part of his reasoning made me little ill. Besides tucking his doggie toilet away so he wouldn’t step in the dog’s nasty business, his ultimate goal was to “let the rain and elements wash away the waste.”

    Not a good idea.

    In fact, here in Seattle, his plan is actually illegal. Even on your own property. At a minimum, you could be looking a fine of around $100 for not picking up your dog’s waste every 24 hours. And, in some situations, you might be in for bigger issues and fines (see section 9.25.081) if it is determined that your poop accumulation poses an unsanitary living condition for your dog.

    Chocolate lab & golden lab

    Giving your dogs a healthy outdoor space will help them live happily into old age.

    So, how would the city find out and give you said ticket?

    Despite the amount of rain Seattle’s famous for, it isn’t likely all that poop would just wash away (into storm systems, which it would likely contaminate). Rather, much would languish in place — especially during winter when the poop would freeze and rats would eat it. Yes, rats will happily munch on dog waste, which might reduce the size of your canine poop pile. But, it would also mean helping increase the population of disease-spreading rodents, too. And, then in summer, when our natural drought period hits, and it’s hot, and your neighbors are outside trying to enjoy their garden – what then? Why that mountain of crap would stink to high heaven, which might just get you reported by the disgusted people living near your craptacular garden of doody.

    Small old guard dog

    Even little dogs and puppies produce problematic waste.
    Tiny turds aren’t an excuse to leave it in place!

    So, scoop your poop. Bag it. Trash it. Be a good neighbor and a good pet parent. And don’t grow a garden of poo.

    Never put it in your yard waste pick up. Don’t try to recycle it in your worm bin or compost heap. And, never, ever put it in your food garden.

    Learn more about pest waste disease issues, management and regulations here.

  • Kid Garden Party Ideas

    June 09, 2014

    Need the best Kid garden party ideas? Need some pruning done too? Want to wear out your Border Collie and entertain your adult friends at the same time? Well, look no further than these simple ideas for a party all the young bucks will be braying about for the entire summer. Kid Party games, food & fun

    First the games! Put your Border Collie in charge of the entertainment by using her natural instincts to corral all the kids into a corner of the garden that needs some pruning.

    Kid pruning and eating Akebia

    Goats love to eat Akebia as we found out at our recent garden party with a bunch of kids that were just learning to browse.

    Let’m butt heads, kick up their heels, and have fun along the way ’cause when they arrive at (let’s say) a fence over-run with Akebia, it’s snack-time!

    Apple the Goat eating Akebia

    We couldn’t get Apple to stop eating the Akebia, but that’s okay. It needed pruning.
    (The strawberries, which she also wanted to mow, did not need her attention.)

    While the kids are chomping away on delicious vines you need cut back, run inside and pour yourself a cocktail. Don’t worry, that Border Collie will keep an eye on things while you’re away. If the dog starts barking, don’t worry too much. It just means she’s telling those kids to stick to the pruning (game) at hand, to leave the strawberries, raspberries, and limes alone. Heck, if she nips a heel, those tough little kids will butt her right back. It’s all fun and games at this Kid’s party!

    Goat wearing Raspberry Cane

    Apple was our best Akebia pruner. She also had a taste for Raspberry & Tayberry, so this unwanted runner became her winner’s laurels.

    Once you’re back, ask the dog which kid did the best pruning job (or just decide which one you can’t tear away from the well-munched vines), and award that cute little Doe with a prickly laurel of raspberry leaves.

    Napping kid in lap

    When the kids stopped their antics, these sweeties would crawl into our laps like any baby for a cozy, warm, cuddly, snoring nap.

    And, after an afternoon of crazy kid fun in the garden, enjoy a rare, quiet moment cuddling with an exhausted buck. But watch out, ’cause the minute he wakes up, he’ll be dancing on the tabletops and kicking over cocktails as one would expect from a young bacchanilian.

  • Gardening with Dogs – Diggers vs Invaders

    May 31, 2013

    A large number of my clients get in touch specifically for their gardening with dogs challenges. Seattle’s a city well-known for having more canines than children. And, we’re also known for being avid gardeners. Fortunately, dogs and gardens are two of my biggest passions, and I very much believe (and have proven) that you and your pup can happily co-exist in a gorgeous garden. It just takes a little work.

    Dog in Garden

    Would you tolerant your dog trampling invasive perennials or not?

    Consider today’s new client challenge: Her big mutt is a talented excavator, and it’s clear he loves to nap on some well-chilled and moist perennials to keep cool. His mom — that would be his human “mom” — doesn’t mind his antics.

    Would you?

    Consider the rest of the story first. (more…)

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(Qualifying purchases made through affiliate &/or sponsored links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors.)