This month we are going to look at two very important aspects of happy gardening, one involving man’s best friend and your fellow housemates (the four-legged ones) and the other involving your planting environment or soiling as you might know it.
The safety of your animals is obviously very high on your priority list if you are anything like me. How many of us think twice before bringing a new plant into our home. As lovely as it might be lighting up a dull corner or how magnificent it looks on the windowsill, some of these beauties are a deadly delight to your fellow housemates.
Sago Palm, Philodendron, Pothos, Peace Lily, Calla Lily, Dumb Cane, Arrowhead vine, Mother- in law’s tongue, Sweetheart Vine, Devil’s Ivy, Umbrella Plant, Elephant Ear just to name a few. Google can really be your friend when it comes to this important information.
Granted, not all animals chew on plants, however, due to the nature of their living arrangements, strictly indoor pets may develop this tendency, whether through boredom, if left alone for too long, curiosity or simply the body’s own craving for something green.
If chewing is the case, a well-maintained and stocked Catio / Dogio can provide alternative distraction for your beloved friend, and so you both avoid the drama and severe mouth pain, pawing at the mouth, drooling, swollen muzzle or lips and vomiting that is usually associated with ingestion of these plants.
Milk or yoghurt may help ease the situation but keep a close watch on them and if symptoms don’t improve, or they escalate then take your animal to the vet.
I always find that going into February there is such a wonderful tingle in the air… hot, dry and charged. After the usual settling down mayhem of January, February can reveal a clear path for the rest of the year, and you can get to the garden, with sunscreen on of course.
Planning for our different seasons, gardens and seasonal veggies can be a little daunting because we have such a huge variety on offer, in taste and size. However, even if you don’t get it right the first time, you will achieve much better success if you start with the right soil.
The soil is critical to your success as it provides a stable platform for root development and security, moisture retention and the supply of the nutrition which the plant needs to grow. Knowing what soil type, you have to work with first goes a long way to ensuring some success in your yield.
There are some simple home tests one can do which involve bicarbonate of soda and water (contact us for more information). From there you will know which fertilizers to introduce to bring the soil to the balance needed, and then of course there is Mulch -the ultimate secret weapon to success.
Your local nursery will stock a variety of options and choices and talk you through any questions you might have, including making your own, therapeutic, satisfying and nurturing creation.
For more gardening tips or to connect with me please visit my website or find me on social media.