This spring, plant a pet-friendly herb garden that you and your furry family members can enjoy! Here’s how.
Growing an herb garden offers plenty of benefits for both you and your beloved furry friend. Herbs contain a wealth of health benefits and provide beauty and life to your landscape. Check out these tips on how to grow a pet-friendly herb garden this year.
Choose your spot
One of the most important steps in growing an herb garden is finding the perfect outdoor location to plant. Herbs love sunlight but may get too waterlogged if left out in the open. Consider choosing a spot that is protected from the elements but offers access to warm sunshine.
Growing an herb garden in the ground is always an option, but you may find that your pooch likes to root around it in too much. Instead, plant in a raised bed with a small fence around it that will keep your pets (and other critters) out.
Other options include making a window or vertical herb garden that isn’t accessible to adventurous outdoor cats!
Add some soil
When it comes to soil, herbs are pretty forgiving. Pick up a bag of potting soil that has enough nutrients to last the entire season. Before laying the soil, make sure that the spot you’ve chosen for your herb garden is well-drained – keeping soil moist, but not too wet, is essential. If you add fertilizer to the ground, make sure pets stay away from the area to keep them safe from chemicals. You can also opt for eco-friendly fertilizers and pesticides.
Select your seeds
If you’re new to growing herbs, start with a wide variety of seeds to learn about what you and your pet like best. Some vitamin-rich herbs that are good for dogs and cats include alfalfa, peppermint, and dill. For yourself, choose varieties of herbs that you use in cooking and mix in a few new ones to mix it up!
Water and harvest
Watering your herb garden is essential if you live in a hot, dry climate. Check the soil and water as needed when it becomes dry to the touch, and keep an eye on the plants to make sure they aren’t browning or wilting. Some herbs need more or less water depending on the variety. Basil needs a more moist soil base, whereas lavender requires that the soil be dry between waterings. Be sure you understand what your herb varieties need by reading the label on seed packages. When in doubt, ask your local nursery!
To harvest your herbs, prune or pull off the fruitful part of the plant (the leaves or blooms, depending on variety). Research the kind of herbs you have and what techniques to use when collecting from the garden. Mix the pet-friendly herbs into your pets’ favorite food for an additional dose of vitamins and nutrients (and some flavor too!). Enjoy fresh herbs alongside your pet in your favorite dishes or alone as a flavorful snack.
Growing a pet-friendly herb garden is easy with these simple steps. Get a head start before spring starts to plan your pet-friendly herb garden for this year!