Gardens, Dogs, and Toxicity…

We decided to fence our garden (but not fragment the deer trail!) It wasn’t because of critters in the garden; well, at least not wildlife. Some of our tomato, bean, and pepper plants were destroyed by “country dogs” (dogs with owners and homes but are allowed to roam.)

After cleaning up the fifth pile of poop for the day in our garden area, I thought about fencing. Besides poop, after all, we had destroyed plants. We are dog people so I panicked and told the dogs’ owners that their dogs may/may not have ingested poisonous plants in our garden.

We thought we would revisit a list of common poisonous plants, some of which are found in a garden. This list was composed by CCSPCA.

  1. Sago palm
  2. Tomato, pepper, eggplant, and potato plants (tomatoes were the only one listed, but the others are in the same nightshade family.)
  3. Aloe Vera
  4. Ivy
  5. Amaryllis
  6. Gladiola
  7. American Holly
  8. Daffodil
  9. Baby’s Breath
  10. Milkweed
  11. Castor Weed
  12. Azalea/Rhododendron
  13. Tulips
  14. Chrysanthemum
  15. Begonia
  16. Oleander

Each of these plants have different medical needs so before inducing vomiting, call your Veterinarian. Some Veterinarians are unaware of the toxicity of some of these plants so ask them to call ASPCA Poison Control. You can also call ASPCA Poison Control, but there could be a charge.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.

Grow what you sow.

Last year, 2020, seed suppliers saw a massive uptick in people buying seeds and gardening. It was a combination of people sheltering in place and others concerned about our food supply due to shortages at the grocery store.

We bought basic seeds, and we successfully grew tomatoes, beans, peppers, squash, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, and beets. It was enough to supplement our meals, and we were able to put some up as well. We scored a great deal on a pressure canner, too!

In December we realized some of our seeds needed to start mid-January (indoors) and so we bought our seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, American Meadows, and Michigan Bulb.

We are glad we did! Just yesterday we saw posts on social media from some of the seed suppliers talking about shutting down their websites for a few days to catch up on order processing. Other suppliers were already OUT of seeds for 2021. Others are out of pre-sale fruit trees and won’t have any until 2022!

The moral of the story, if you plan on growing what you sow…… find seeds now.

Sawing into the new year…

There wasn’t any rain in the forecast today so we started making the most of it. Besides adding to and turning our compost pile, we started building more raised beds.

The benefit of raised beds is that you can use whatever you want to build them (except treated lumber and some hardwoods.) We opted to use the trunks left from some clearing we did to improve wildlife habitat (more on that in another post later.)

Do logs break down? Yes.

Will they do so quickly? That depends on a few things: type, moisture, heat, location, age, health of tree, etc.

We chose the trunks because we had them on hand, and when they do break down, they will become part of the soil anyways. After some notches and planning, we started our first bed.

We will have several more along the way, but Andrew’s sinuses were congested making him woozy and cloudy. Safety first: no chainsaw work with THAT!

But we’re off to a good start!