Attack of the Effie

Megan Mahaffey - Guest Blogger 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010

Just for the record, dogs really like digging in soft garden soil.

Dogs that want to dig will disregard your carefully staked out construction fencing.

Dogs digging in your wading pool garden is not the best thing for your plants.

Once I got through a series of several rainy days (and one night with a frost advisory) I finally felt like I could get my plants put out. I carefully drilled several holes in the side of my wading pool, each about an inch in diameter, and 2 or so inches from the bottom. I then lined the

 perimeter with some strips of landscape fabric so that excess water could drain out without taking all my soil with it. Finally, a mixture of garden soil, potting soil and peat moss was poured into the wading pool. Plants were laid out, then planted.

The next day, my year-old golden retriever ... Retrieved them. Sort of. She seemed to mostly be interested in playing in the dirt. I ran her off, re-staked my fencing, recovered my plants and tried again.

With the same results. The next morning, she was proudly sitting in the middle of the pool when I walked back down from the bus stop.

It was officially time for a change in location. You see I had started out placing my garden container inside my fenced-in backyard because we have a number of deer in our area. I knew the dogs might pose a challenge, but had hoped that the temporary construction fencing would suffice. Clearly that was not the case, so we decided it was time to move outside the fence, and hope that the presence of the dogs would keep the deer at bay.

So far so good. My 6-year-old daughter and I used a bucket brigade to remove the soil from the wading pool (we filled another small raised bed that we decided to add with it), and once we were at a manageable weight, my husband helped me bring the wading pool out to the new space. New garden soil, potting mix, peat moss, and then I planted (for the fourth time) my poor plants.

I started this adventure with 14 plants. I located 13 after the Attack of the Effie, and a couple of those are on life support, I'm afraid. I'm holding out hope, though! It appeared that much of the root systems of the plants I recovered were intact, and it's early yet. I'm determined to nurse these babies through this little issue, and still be seriously successful at gardening.

I'm just going to do it where the dog can't dig.

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