Herb Garden: Tips & Tricks for Spring Gardening

Herb garden

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Start an herbal home garden. (side note: If your dog likes to nibble in the garden, this herb garden will not only give your dog safe items to eat but also practical herbs that will benefit them in numerous ways and an alternative to the outdoor grass and landscaping, the eating of which could lead to accidental ingestion of pesticides, herbicides, or chemicals that have been used to treat your (or your neighbor’s) yard).

So my husband and I spent all of last weekend planting a pet friendly herb garden for the dogs. A few weeks ago I wrote about Cleavers, an herb that looks like a weed in most Northwest neighborhoods. That one we don’t need to plant! But the herbs we did plant include: Parsley, Chamomile, Lavender – just to name a few. And yes it POURED all weekend…perhaps a good time to plant?

What herbs are best for a garden since folks are starting to plant now that the weather is getting warmer?

*For all of this information, I referred to the very popular book “Herbs for Pets” and I also verified this with our holistic vet.

Chamomile- Why I chose it?

  • Sedative, stimulates digestion, heals wounds
  • Prep: Tincture (although I leave that up to our holistic vet), salve, ointment and water infusion
  • A cooled water infusion of the flowers can be used as a soothing, healing, rinse. I’ve done this at home and it’s easy to prepare. This can be used for inflammation of the skin so in our house -flea bites as an interim solution as I do give Sherm Trifexis as he has flea allergy dermatitis.

Parsley- Why I chose it? It’s super safe and can be prepared as tea or dried herbs. It expels intestinal gas – I haven’t used this yet with our dogs only ourselves so I’ll write about this herb after I have a chance to use this with the dogs.

Lavender- Why I chose it? 

  • It elevates mood, antibacterial, astringent
  • Prep: can be used as a diluted essential oil, tea or dried flower bunches
  • I’ll talk about essential oils in another post – but as a tea made from what you plant – the dried flowers, leaves and stems can be used as an external skin rinse for relief from pain and itching
  • Sherm is itchy so we’re going to try this on his feet this month

And we planted some Cucumbers for the humans!

Another great resource I found: 

How to Plant a Dog-friendly Herb Garden

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There are 50 Comments

  1. MattieDog says:

    This is such a thoughtful and sweet post! We buy herbs here and there for our pups, blending them in to food. Why did we never think about planting a little herb garden? Duh! Well, now that you’ve helped us see the light – that’s exactly what we’re going to do! Thanks for sharing this sweet, loving and caring post – so thoughtful for your pups!

    • Thank you! I love that you blend them into your food — I haven’t tried doing that yet. It’s so fun to pick a few items for the dogs and then you of course. I cannot wait to start making some tea!

  2. Rachel says:

    What a great post! I hope your pups love the new herbal garden. I bet the lavender will make your garden smell wonderful!

  3. Nichole says:

    We had a wonderful container garden several years back. I’m planning to get some going soon…herbs, tomatoes and berries for sure!

  4. Aimee Jurenka says:

    What a great idea! My pups love “stealing” the strawberries before we pick them; they will absolutely love a garden of their own.

  5. Carleen says:

    Awesome! I love herb gardens and never thought about making one for the dogs!

  6. The mom plants catnip and catmint for us. There’s nothing better than fresh nip!

  7. I started my garden this year and I’m so excited. I’ve planted EVERYTHING and it’s all growing super fast. I can’t wait to start harvesting!

  8. I’ll have to try some Chamomile on Mr. N. Our vet suggested giving him some of the tea with meals too.

  9. My sister-in-law has an impressive herb garden I will share this post wth her. Thanks!

  10. Val Silver says:

    I love the smell of fresh rosemary and lavender. Roll it between the fingers, breathe in deep. Ahh.

  11. I love gardening but unfortunately live in the city. Our apartment has a yard but it’s shared and we can’t garden in it. Last year I attempted my start at ‘indoor gardening’ but I haven’t had amazing results. I’m not giving up though! Hopefully I eventually stumble upon plants that I can actually get to do well indoors.

  12. I agree with the herbs! We always have a huge garden and we also include herbs. Miss Molly loves to sneak in and steal a choice veggie or two!

  13. Great idea, but Mom Paula says she has a brown thumb!

  14. My husband just tried to purchase a food dehydrator that can be used on fresh herbs which we plant around the yard. Never used herbs in Teddy’s before…just found out the item is sold out on HSN. I’ll scout on-line! Nice article.

  15. I hope the herbs are helpful for your babies. I know they have many uses for both humans and animals. 🙂 Cucumbers sound good, too!

  16. Such a good idea. I planted seeds this year but the squirrels kept digging them up so last week I went and bought a planter with parsley, sage, basil and one other herb. Smells great and so handy for me and Kilo.

  17. Ruth Epstein says:

    I love fresh herbs and only wish I had a garden to be able to grow them

  18. Cathy Armato says:

    I love the idea of a pet friendly herb garden! I’m so glad Lavender is safe for pets, I have several plants in my garden and one of my dogs is always nibbling on it.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  19. Jodi Clock says:

    Never thought of gardening in this way. Very heartfelt. Thanks!

  20. Bryn Nowell says:

    This is great! I wish we had green thumbs and paws! Sometimes our pups will nibble on my dad’s garden. Perhaps we’ll try a raised garden again this year to see if that is a success.

    • That’s totally what I did – a raised garden bed. The dogs can still get into it so nibbling is ok but I tried to elevate it so they wouldn’t be drawn to it. Thanks!

  21. I’m a big fan of chamomile and have had success growing it. I have tried to lavender a bunch of times and never had any luck

    • That’s awesome about growing chamomile as this is my first try and while I do have a lavendar bush these herbs I’m growing I think are different so we’ll see how it goes!

  22. Sadie says:

    Thank you for sharing your research. I love herbs and plan to have several on my outdoor garden table. I will have to put the above mentioned on the lower level. I still have to find out if I can grow cleavers here in Ontario.

  23. FiveSibesMom says:

    Loving this post! I love using herbs, and wish I had a greener thumb! Pinning this to share!

  24. I love this idea! It was so great to read about the herbs you chose to plant along with their properties. How wonderful an herb garden can be for both humans and dogs!

  25. I really wish I could get into gardening more! *sigh*

  26. […] about an herb garden for your dogs: Buy wheat berries, barley grass seeds, or cleavers, and grow these – make your own herb garden […]

  27. Heather Reid says:

    Oooh, thank you. I’ll definitely have to try some of these, especially the lavender. Max is so itchy. I love things I can share with my pets.