Stacey Mollus is a humor columnist who believes laughter is the best form of exercise. She is a gardening diva who hates worms, but loves to get her fingers in the dirt. Besides gardening, she loves her family, chocolate and clothes that are stretchy. You can find her personal blog site at "queenofchocolates.com ", and tweets at “queenchocolates”.
 

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Overcoming a Gardening Challenge- living with a spunky golden retriever!   (2 comments)

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Overcoming a Gardening Challenge- living with a spunky golden retriever!
by Stacey Mollus - posted 03/17/13

Last year, we brought a redhead ball of fun named Lucy, home to live with us. Having raised two other golden retrievers, we knew that it takes those big clowns a lot longer to mature than other breads of dogs and we were ready to take on that challenge.

We know that fighting thru the chewing, digging, and stealing of your underwear when you are in the shower, was a small price to pay for all of the love and laughter these great animals provide.

Here was my greatest obstacle to totally embracing my canine bestie. Lucy apparently is a closet vegetarian, because last year she ate all of the vegetables right off the vine! Every tomato, watermelon, cucumber and even radish ended up in her belly. She either ate them or made them into a spherical play toy, which in her defense, most did look like a tennis ball.

So now is the time of year I begin to dream about what I'm going to plant. I have been pacing around my backyard, looking at destruction that Lucy has left in her wake over the winter months. Even though the little stinker is an indoor dog and she only goes out to potty and burn off energy, she found a great winter hobby to keep her busy if she became bored while on her potty break. She has dug up all of the weed mat from the bottom of my beautiful raised vegetable gardens. The gardens I have spent years building.

Now please know, she is already 60 pounds. That means, as she dug out the weed mat she also moved the cinder blocks that surrounded the perfectly placed gardens. It looks like a bomb went off in our backyard! Technically, a bomb did go off. A bomb named Lucy.

Knowing that I am a species of higher intelligence than a dog, I knew I could figure out a way to grow veggies without getting rid of the puppy that has stolen my heart. Then it hit me!

Since my dog is too spoiled to go into the dog pen that was custom built in our yard before we moved here, why not put my garden where the dogs never go. In that dog pen!

This pen is 30 feet by 20 feet, and it is surrounded by a 6-foot high, chain link fence. It is an area that is untouched, except by our mower and weed-eater. There is a tree on the other side of the fence, but I am convinced it will not interfere with the mandatory six hours of sunlight I will need to make my garden grow.

I can still garden while we walk through training Lucy to be more "garden friendly".

I walked around the pen and started to dream a gardeners dream. I get the privilege of building a garden from scratch, and I haven't done that in years.

I get to start up the tiller and break up the ground that has never been turned. I get to do soil sampling to find if I need to add something organic to make the soil more, "veggie friendly". I get to decide which direction I want my rows to go, and I am so excited I am almost giddy about looking thru garden magazines to find out if I want to add something unique to my new garden since my plantable space will increase greatly.

I will sadly, say goodbye to my raised beds. They have been wonderful and I have loved the convenience when weeding, but I am also kind of looking forward to spreading newspapers and straw between the rows of a much larger garden.

And the best part is? I will have the best protected garden in town! I mean seriously, who else can say they have a 6-foot tall protective fence around their cantaloupe? 

 

 

 

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COMMENTS

Christopher (Louisiana - Zone 8a) - 04/09/2013

Smart choice fencing in your garden. My friend's lab recently took to digging holes all over his yard. She isn't digging anything up or burying anything — just randomly making holes. He planted a large garden on his property this year. Half is fenced and half is not. Between the dogs and wandering deer, the fenced section will no doubt have less to fear from the animal kingdom.
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Stacey Mollus - 04/10/2013

Dear Design,
My yard looks like 100's of tiny bombs have went off, as my golden has also dug tiny holes everywhere! I feel like I need snowshoes so I can walk across my yard without spraining my ankle!
Now that my doggy is banned from the garden, I hope she will assist me in running off those pesky rabbits, who by the way, do not respect the fence! haha!
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