A few years ago, I had a very large garden.We had just moved into our house and Mama had delusions of grandeur. For a few years, her garden of good intentions and poor execution was one of her proudest accomplishments. Then one year, under the gardeners cloth, in the dead of winter, the Earth took back the land. Mama uncovered it in the Spring to find the whole garden overgrown with dense strong weeds that were next to impossible to uproot. She abandoned the garden until such a time that the Daddy could rent some sort of robot-tiller (like the one they used in the Jetson’s movie when they tried to mill the Grungee’s home planet? You know the one.) It’s a good thing Mama isn’t holding her breath because she’d be dead by now if she was.
A small container garden was her only chance to grow something.Mama knew she wanted something edible, after all, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen together. She toyed with the idea of growing tomatoes, pole beans or peas, all of which do great in containers, but the Felix and I L.O.V.E. beans and would probably pick and eat them all ourselves. The Daddy loves peas, so she probably wouldn’t get a bite of those. She wanted something she might get a chance to enjoy too.
Mama decided to make a Dog Friendly Herb Garden.
If you’ve been hanging around Kol’s Notes for a while, you’ll know that we use a ton of herbs in our recipes. I don’t know about your house, but here, fresh herbs are worth their weight in gold! A small bunch can cost as much as $2.50. Luckily, it’s really easy to grow your own dog friendly herb garden, no green thumb required. (Seriously, even Grandma can grow herbs. Don’t give her a houseplant though. RIP Fig Tree.) Here’s what you need:
- A medium size sturdy pot ($3 at the discount store.)
- Potting Mix ($5)
- Herbs Seed Packets ($7 – $10) or Seedlings ($15-$20)
Choosing the herbsIf your garden center is anything like mine, you probably have an overwhelming number of choices when it comes to deciding what herbs to plant. Since we wanted to plant an edible herb garden, we focused on the fragrant herbs we love to cook with. Our neighbour has a medicinal herb garden and one of Mama’s friend’s has an herb garden sacred to the herbs humans mottle in their grown up drinks. There is a ton of information out there as to what plants are toxic to pets, no matter what kind of herb garden you decide to plant, make sure it’s pet friendly. ASPCA has a pretty comprehensive list of toxic/non-toxic plants, thought I hate hate hate! their new page system. Anyone else miss the bulky old list??)
In our dog friendly herb garden, we decided to plant:
- Parsley and more parsley – This one is a Casa de Kolchak favourite and we use it a lot, so it only made sense to plant an abundance of it. It’s great for helping to freshen doggy breath and it can help improve digestion.
- Greek Oregano – A little milder than it’s Italian cousin and a flavour both Kol and Fe enjoy. Oregano is know for it’s anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial properties. We mottle a leaf or two into their water bowl with some homemade, onion free chicken broth and they love it.
- Basil – Basil is an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant, known for being rich in rich in essential vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, electrolytes and oils. Kol likes it in a cheesey dog treat.
- Rosemary – Caution! Rosemary is not good for all dogs and we use it sparingly. It has been rumoured to trigger seizures in pre-disposed dogs. That being said, it isn’t considered toxic and there are some benefits to it, Felix’s favourite being that it adds a tasty zing to homemade chicken chewies.
- Lemonbalm – Lemonbalm is known for it’s calming properties, can neutralize gas in the stomach and has deodorizing properties. It’s also great on poultry.
- Sage – Known for it’s skill as a tummy tamer, sage tea can help ease digestive upset. It’s also great with apple or lamb.
- Thyme – Thyme is an antioxidant and its primary ingredient, thymol, helps inhibit fungal and bacterial growth. We like ours served with whitefish.