The Q&A Archives: Dogs and Garden in Part Shade

Question: I would like to plant flowers and vegetables in my fenced-in back yard; however, I have 3 dogs to contend with. I heard that vinca do well with the added acidity provided by dogs. Can you recommend others? The area gets 6 or less hours of sun, and the soil is partly sandy, partly clay.

Answer: Those of us who love both dogs and gardens have our work cut out for us! Your best bet is to plant in raised beds and train your dogs that the beds are off limits. Your vet may have other suggestions as well. The other advantage is that as you build the beds, you can mix any necessary amendments with the soil as you fill the frames. <br><br>No plant will long tolerate repeated "marking", so discourage such behavior with repellents (Gardener's Supply Co. has several options available - see their site:<br><br>Flowers for your part-sunny garden partial shade are astilbe, tuberous and fibrous begonias, forget-me-not, platycodon, snapdragons, violas, campanula, and gloriosa and shasta daisies. You can employ ground covers such as Vinca minor and pachysandra around the beds, and the latter should be pretty trample-resistant once established. You'll find all of these in the Burpee catalog. <br><br>Locate your "fruiting" veggies (tomatoes, eggplant, cukes, etc., that set fruit from flowers) in the bed that gets the most light. Root and leaf crops can stand more shade. Choose disease-resistant and quick-maturing varieties to make the most of the limited light. Hope this helps!

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