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Pet-friendly Fertilizers to Use on Your Garden

One of the most common causes of concern among pet owners is whether or not the fertilizer they are using on their garden is safe on their pets. More and more pet owners are going for natural lawn care products because they know that they cannot always control their pets in consuming some grass or other munchies found in their garden. No matter what, choosing pet-friendly fertilizers is essential. Just admit it, your pets are part of your family. You want to make sure that they are well-protected at all times just like any family member that you have. What follows are some tips on choosing pet-friendly fertilizers and some examples of them that you can use on your own garden.

Before choosing any fertilizer to use on your garden, if you have pets, you should pay close attention to choosing only eco-friendly fertilizers. Every year, thousands of poisonings have caught the attention of animal poison control centers from mishaps in the garden associated with fertilizers, pesticides, weed killers, and toxic plants. You can prevent the potential dangers such as stomach upset of the fertilizers that you will be using by taking your time to read the labels found on the packaging. Most fertilizers that are semi-hazardous or hazardous come with warning labels for children and pets.

When you use eco-friendly natural fertilizers, you should not be worrying about these issues. Nonetheless, you must still read the labels provided by the manufacturers of the fertilizers for any warning. Keep in mind that just because a fertilizer is natural, it does not mean that it is free from possible harmful ingredients. Here are some natural pet-friendly fertilizers that you can use on your garden.

• Manure: Both manure and manure tea are considered as some of the best natural fertilizers to use as top dressing on your garden. However, their odor may be too attractive on your dogs that they will be rolling around the scent as much as they like. Of course, this fertilizer is a hundred percent safer on your pets. However, you just have to give your pet a good bath first before you will be inviting them back inside of your home.

• Corn gluten: Corn gluten is not just an effective fertilizer but also an effective herbicide. It is a byproduct of corn starch and corn syrup. Most garden supply stores sell them in 40- to 50-pound containers. You can get them in granular or pellet form. It has nitrogen content that is an essential component in the growth of plants where it is slowly released by the fertilizer giving your plants a steady supply of it.

• Kelp and fish tea: Some organic fertilizers are comprised of kelp. Kelp is a kind of seaweed that contains several nutrients like enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. As a matter of fact, it has been shown to be one of the best ways to improve your overall garden or lawn. If you live near the ocean, you can easily pick kelp up and make a kelp tea from it or add it to your compost pile. Kelp tea is the water that remains after you have soaked a smaller amount of kelp. The water will be able to release nutrients after a couple of days where you can proceed to use the water as some form of fertilizer for your garden.

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Common Garden Elements Posing a Danger to Your Pets

Gardening is one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable things that you can do in your life. Taking care of pets is also one of the things that you can do that will let you enjoy your life more and consider it more fulfilled. However, owning a garden can put at risk the safety of your household pets. There are actually certain garden elements that pose a danger to your pets. For instance, some plants and materials found in your garden can be toxic on your pets causing them to get sick and worst die. In this post, you will read some of the most common garden elements that pose a danger to your pets. If you are taking care of both pets and your own garden, you should be aware of these things.

• Fertilizers: Though fertilizers are good for your soil, if your pet will consume them in great amounts, they night suffer from some stomach issues. While applying fertilizers or immediately after applying fertilizers, make sure to not let your pets into your garden. Once your fertilizers will be dissolved into your soil, they will no longer be harmful to your pets.

• Cocoa mulch: Cocoa is sweet-smelling. This is one of the reasons why most pets are easily attracted to them. However, if your pet will be consuming too much mulch, they could suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, and seizures. In terms of mulches, you can choose shredded pine, cedar, and hemlock bark that are all harmless to your pets. They can be safe to use around common household pets like cats and dogs.

• Poisonous plant species: Sago palm, rhododendron, and azalea are some of the most common toxic plant species when it comes to common household pets like cats and dogs. The cycad family of plants is also known for causing kidney failure among pets. Pets can also suffer from heart problems when they ingest oleander, azalea, lily of the valley, rhododendron, rosebay, foxglove, and kalanchoe.

• Insecticides: Chemical sprays, granules, and snail baits that are typically used in gardens can be hazardous to the health of your pets and sometimes can cause their deaths. They comprise chemical components that are not just harmful to pets but other living organisms. Thus, make sure to keep trac of your pets.

• Gardening tools with sharp edges: There are several tools that are commonly used in gardening. Most of them come with sharp edges. When it comes to this type of tool, specifically, make sure that you properly stake them so your pets will not get injured by them. If your pet will get hurt by tools that are rusty, they might suffer from tetanus. Thus, make sure to store your garden tools properly.

• Insects in your garden: There are all sorts of insects that are roaming around the plants in your garden. Some of them are beneficial to your plants and are no harm to your pet; however, you also have some that though they are beneficial to your plants, they can be harmful to your pet. Furthermore, there are insects that are both harmful to your plants and pets. Fleas and ticks are some garden insects that can be harmful to your pets. An insect infestation or bit may cause your pet from losing hair or getting fever, scabs, scratches, Babesia, and Lyme disease. To avoid these insects, ensure to keep your lawn well mowed.

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A Guide to Making Your Garden Pet-friendly

A lot of home owners assume that you can never take care of pets and take care of a beautiful garden all at once. You either choose one option from the other and vice versa. But then, this does not necessarily have to be true. All it takes is for you to apply some pet-friendly gardening tips for you to take care of your own garden as well as your own pets. There are common issues that most pet owners face when taking care of their own garden. These include their pets digging on dirt and trampling on their garden beds. These issues should be the least of your worries if you know of some tips to make your garden as pet-friendly as it can be. Below is a guide to making your garden pet-friendly.

1. Create a good design for your garden. Incorporate defined pathways and raised beds to prevent your dogs from stepping on your flowers and plants. You can also set up some protective barriers like fences to separate the space where your plants can grow properly and the space where your pets can roam around free.

2. Make good plant choices. Avoid filling your garden with delicate and fragile plants. If possible, you should go with plants that grow up trellises and arbors so your dogs or cats will not be easily trampling on them.

3. Take note of the habits of your pets. For example, if your dog loves to dig in a particular part of your yard or garden, make sure to place rough mulches or rocks on it. If there is a particular area of your garden that your pet loves to rest or sit one, save yourself the hassle by not planting anything there. Again, you should create a barrier between your plants and the space where you will be putting up your fence if your pet just loves walking around your yard or garden.

4. Besides setting up a garden that your pet will not hurt, make sure that your garden will also not be harming your pet. To make your garden pet-friendly, you should avoid the use of chemicals around your plants. To avoid using chemicals, weed as early as possible before they spread. If possible, you should only use organic plant products and fertilizers like compost. This will not only be better for your pets but your plants as well, most especially if you are picking your own vegetables and fruits for the entire family.

5. Avoid planting plants that can be potentially harmful to your pets. Some common outdoor plants noted to be harmful or poisonous to household pets like cats and dogs include some mushroom varieties, Sago palm trees, rhododendrons, foxglove, azaleas, lily of the valley, and rosebay. Do an online research to determine which plants and herbs will cause harm to your animals.

6. Keep gardening equipment and tools away from your pets and small children. This helps prevent your pets and small children from suffering from possible injuries. To ensure that these gardening necessities such as hoes, rakes, mowers, and tillers would not be posing any hazard to your pets and children, store them to an area that they could not access such as a shed.

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Top Pet-friendly Snail Control Tips

Growing plants like vegetables and fruits can be one of the most fulfilling things that you will be doing in your life, more so when you will be getting delicious rewards, literally. However, growing a garden has its many share of challenges. For starters, there is nothing as frustrating as finding out that half of the tender plants and vegetable seedlings that you have planted have been eaten. Slugs and snails that pester your plants during the night most especially after watering or rain are one of the most time-consuming and costly problems you will ever encounter in your garden.

Fortunately, there are now several measures that you can use to take care of these snail and slug problems. One of the most common snail control measures are the snail baits that you can immediately purchase in your nearby local gardening store. Snail baits contain certain poison that kill snails by attracting them. This may seem ruthless; however, if these creatures are the number one enemy of your plants, then you may have to result to these measures. However, there are always other ways that you can use for your garden minus the poison that will still help get rid of these snails. Keep in mind that using poison in your garden might end up harming your children and household pets. Other insects that are beneficial to your garden might also be exterminated with the likes of beetles, earthworms, and birds. In addition, you might be poisoning your ponds and waterways if you lay your bait too close.

Good thing there are now pet-friendly snail control measures that you can utilize that will deal with your snail issue while makings sure that no life of any living creature will be put in harm. It is also a good thing that these environmentally friendly measures are also cheaper than the snail poison that you can get from your local gardening supply stores.

Now, before you utilize any of the below snail control measures, make sure to get rid of places in your garden that snails and slugs just love to thrive in.

• Utilize a barrier
Place lines of crushed nut shells, eggshells, or sawdust around the plants in your garden that need protection from these snails. Other barriers include sandpaper, salt, and hair. You can also use crushed lime as long as you do not place them around plants that require acidic soil. The use of a barrier means that you will not be needing to dispose a number of dying or dead snails.

• Utilize a snail repellant
Pungent herbs such as rosemary and mint an also be effective snail control measures. Just make sure to either shred or crush them and place them around plants that are vulnerable.

• Utilize friendly baits
Beer is actually effective in luring and killing snails that are ruining your garden plants. Snails often find the smell of beer enticing, and once they find it, they unexpectedly drown in it. However, you could be putting at risk your household pets from getting drunk. If this can be an issue on your pet, you can cover your beer with a cover comprised of ice cream container and the like.

• Hand picking
Though this may be least favored, it is actually very effective in reducing slug and snail populations. You may have to do this activity late at night though since snails and slugs are often active during the night. You just basically pluck each snail from your garden and then dispose them.

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Flower Gardening Tips to Keep in Mind

If you are thinking of doing your own gardening, it is important that you understand that there are different forms of gardening that you can choose from. One of the more interesting gardening forms that you can start on is your very own flower garden. Though starting a flower garden seems so simple to work on, you need to understand that flower gardening is one of the most challenging forms of gardening that you can start on your own. There are a lot of reasons why this is so.

For starters, flower gardening requires more knowledge about seeds and plants, planning, and maintenance compared with other gardening forms. Clearly, it is not as simple as just planting some seeds and sprinkling some water on them and waiting for them to grow on their own. No, no! You are wrong there. And in this post, you will learn some flower gardening tips to keep in mind.

Now, compared with owning a rock garden or vegetable garden, owning a flower garden has the main purpose of ensuring that everything looks attractive and beautiful at the end of the day. This means that proper planning of the layout of your garden must be done before you decide to start planting flowers. Furthermore, you should take note of some factors in growing your own flower garden. These include the amount of light that your flowers must be getting, heights of various plants, shades, and how you can effectively water them without killing them altogether.

You must make sure to establish a good knowledge base on the different flower species that you will be using for your flower garden. You should take note about how regular and how much you should be watering them before they may wither. Also, you have to take note of how they can thrive in terms of arranging them in your flower garden. This implies how livable these flowers will be if you put them at a certain distance with each other.

Nevertheless, after considering everything and anything that will affect your flower garden, there is just nothing short of satisfying once you see your flowers start to bloom. Once your flowers start to blossom, this is the time where you pay most of your attention to their proper maintenance. It is during this time that you begin to notice a significant increase of bugs buzzing around your flowers. This is the time where they will be destroying your flowers and will be taking a bite at their attractive petals.

To avoid this, you can use some chemicals on your flowers. However, you have to get some professional advice from your local gardening centers to ensure that the chemicals you are using will be safe for your flowers and the people around your flower garden. If you are not careful, you could not just be destroying the bugs but your flowers as well.

Ensure to practice safe flower gardening methods starting off with the proper use and handle of these chemicals. Before using any chemicals, make sure that you properly read their labels. Do not forget to keep a close eye for pets that are around your garden as the chemicals that you use might affect them negatively if you read the instructions and do the process wrong.

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Tips to Cut Down Your Household Expenses with Your Choice Garden Products

A lot of households until this day do not realize how much they spend on their overall marginal costs or simply put, how much their tiny costs add up into a huge one. So, why should you save marginally? If you save marginally, you are able to save some cash by cutting down the extra costs from your current expenses. Just think of it this way. If you have a leaky faucet that drips every few seconds, if you take each drop by itself, of course, it can just be so small leading you to think that only a bit of water is lost. However, try placing a bucket under this faucet. You soon realize that it will fill up eventually. Multiply the volume of water you have collected by 365 days, and you will be astounded by the amount of water that you have wasted.

Every drop of water that you have lost to a leaky faucet is like your marginal cost. Spending a few cents or dollars every day may not look that much. But then, as they add up, the volume of the additional cents and dollars that you have spent increases. Thus, saving marginally is one of the most effective ways for you to improve your entire household lifestyle.

Keeping this in mind, there are some things such as your appliances that may be more expensive initially but in the long run becomes more cost-efficient. These include your washing machines, stove ranges, dryers, and the like. And yet, if you do not cut down on your marginal cots, these objects may be out of your reach or may seem impossible for you to sustain some payments on. Therefore, it is highly advised to cut down on your marginal costs on certain products that can first replace with either homemade or cheaper options.

Now, there are some ways in which you can cut down your household expenses with your choice of garden products. Obviously, if you buy every pesticide, fertilizer, or weed killer that is currently trending on the market, you are not making a cost-efficient choice. The average cost of pesticide is $300, fertilizer $270, and weed killer $100. All of these expenditures not just happen one time in a year but can happen more than once. If your household is able to save more from costs related to spending on food you consume like vegetables and fruits, just think about how much you can save more with proper garden maintenance measures.

Coffee grounds, for instance, can be used as fertilizer that is cost-efficient. Each day, after you have made your morning brew, you can set in water your grounds and put them under the heat of the sun for a few minutes. Afterwards, you can proceed to pour them and use them as liquid fertilizer. Another part of any traditional breakfast is your eggs where you can use their eggshells by washing, drying, grounding, and sprinkling them to be used as fertilizer.

Meanwhile, vinegar and lime juice can be used as effective pesticides by spraying them on your plants. They will not harm your plants, are no harm to people and pets, and are a hundred percent natural. You can also use Epsom salts and sprinkle them lightly on your leaves as a natural pest control measure. Also, you can puree onion and garlic and wipe them on your plant leaves to kill bugs like aphids.

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Maintaining a Safe Garden for Your Children and Pets

If you have children or pests in your home, you have to think about them if you are going to come up with a new design for your landscape as well as if you are transforming your old landscape to a new one. You can include a jungle gym, a sandbox, or an open area that is grassy for some football or net games like badminton and volleyball. You can simply place a jungle gym or sandbox into a small area or corner of your garden. To reduce the impact of falls, you can simply add a thick shredded bark mulch layer on your ground for your jungle gym and other areas where a lot of physical activities must take place.

As early as possible, you should be introducing your children to proper yard and gardening maintenance measures so that as they grow old, they will develop a deeper appreciation and respect for your garden and plants. These learning sessions are a god start to teaching them more about plants in general and what you have in your garden and how each of them will grow up. In this way, you are also reducing their chances of ingesting any poisonous plants or portions of your plants.

If you have pets in your home, make sure to create a garden area where they can enjoy some play and run time. Avoid using gravel as this can be too irritating on their paws and can be very hot during the summer months. You can use shredded bark mulch instead for their play area that will also work great as their potty area. For your dog houses, make sure to place them in protected areas like near your garage or house or tucked into corners where you may have a fence for them to be provided additional protection. Wind and sun protection are two other key considerations for your pets.

When you have dogs as pets, for instance, make sure to be flexible. There are some dogs that just like to dig and dig around no matter what. With their digging behavior, it may seem impossible for you to be keeping certain plants. For instance, if you have just planted newly some dynamite crape myrtles, you might be surprised the next day to see your plants dug up and dried out. You may just end up replacing them with another set of plants, and the worst part is that your dog might have to dig them up all over again. Thus, to stop the cycle and avoid wasting more of your money, you can plant crape myrtles in some large containers with some few annuals inside. Sure, this might not be something you want your landscape to look like; however, if you have a garden gate, you can simply place them outside. Planting your plants in raised beds and containers is truly one of the best solutions for you to keep your plants safe from the ground and be dug up by your beloved dog over and over again.

Dogs are also well known for marking their territory on your garden; so, they urinate on both your small and young plants risking them to die. To avoid this scenario, around the base of your plants, make sure to sprinkle some cayenne pepper around the area.

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