Tag Archive: Dog

Autumn overhaul

The tidy up...

Although a bit later than hoped, I finally found the time to head out into the garden and give it a massive overhaul to prepare for the winter crops. I started by removing all the weeds and dead growth (mostly the remaining summer veggies). During this process I also found a group of parsnips that I’d completely forgotten I’d planted! Hidden harvests – always good….

I then turned over the soil using a fork and spade. For those of you who have clay soil you can sympathise with me for this part (for those who don’t – well it felt like the equivalent of digging up concrete…) I then added gypsum and mixed it in, followed by compost and mixed that in as well. Suddenly my soil had a new lease on life amd was ready for the next round of veggies.

Gypsum followed by compost

Gina helping me dig....

I planted an initial round of advanced winter seedlings including broccoli, red cabbage, wombok and celery (in random order – I don’t like to plant things in straight rows). I’ll be keeping them protected from snails with plastic bottles and copper tape until they’re large enough to fend for themselves. I finished the whole thing off with a thick layer of lucerne mulch and also revamped the dog run which wasn’t looking the best…

The dog run - before and after

Then all that was left was to head inside, bathe the blisters, massage the sore back and feet and collapse from exhaustion! A big weekend of work, but the finished garden is looking pretty great!


Companions in the garden

While I love my pets – Gina (a jack russell x sausage dog…. we think) and Lea (a small tabby cat) – how they see the garden doesn’t always align with my view. This year I have accepted it is not just my garden, it is theirs as well and have tried to adapt the space accordingly.


It was an easy solution for Lea. I could continue to have my plants squashed in certain pots that she loves to sleep in (I even tried skewers & sticks which she would also flatten and sleep on), or I could leave a few empty pots to keep her happy. Also I had to accept that any time I picked up the camera she would appear, wanting to be part of every photo.

Gina on the other hand, while small and cute – she’s quite territorial. Make that incredibly territorial. She guards our property from any dog who may walk past by running up and down the fence line reminding them of how big and tough she is (they are never fooled). After watching many plants become trampled and even setting up pots to try and break up her running (with mixed success) – I decided to make a formal dog run for her.

Creating the dog run

One of the hardest parts of the garden to get anything to grow has been the section directly behind the front fence. Gina had compacted the soil with her running and a large tree on our nature strip means little light ever falls there. To try and improve this I dug up all the soil, added gypsum (we have heavy clay soil here which I’ve spent a lot of time trying to break up), & compost and mixed it all in. I created a more formal dog run with small stakes and twine, and planted some shade tolerant plants in which have all taken off with great success! Gina no longer tramples my garden and she remains happy being the “big” guard dog. 

It’s lovely having the company in the garden – the pets supervise every planting and change made, and they have both really enjoyed what our front yard has become. They now spend loads more time in the garden than when we first moved in, enjoying all the new spots created by the new plants (e.g. lying in the shade of a pumpkin leaves) which is really a great compliment.