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Thread: Safe Potting Mix/Weed Killer??

  1. #1
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    Default Safe Potting Mix/Weed Killer??

    Hey guys, my mum and I have began landscaping the backyard and I was wondering whether any of you know any brands / types of weed killer, lawn grower and fertilizers we should avoid with our dogs running around. I have heard some are very very toxic, or even a little toxic to dogs. I was hoping some of you had had experience / heard about anything happening. It never really says it on any packaging and the guys who work in the stores don't seem to really know (as most of them just read the package as well!)

    any thoughts/opinions are much appreciated as I would hate for my dogs to get sick from something i could have easily avoided.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." - Edward Hoagland

  2. #2
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    I use zero. I usually spray it first thing in the morning with the dog safely locked in the house and then we go out for our morning walk. I don't use it very often, maybe once or twice a year, and the rest of the time I do hand weeding or mulching. Nothing like a newspaper with biscuit of pea straw on top to kill a weed.

    I don't use lawn grower specifically. My lawn does seem very keen on washing water with omo residue in it, and slightly less ballistic about biozet. I sometimes put half a kg of sulphate of amonia (water soluble and acidic) in to balance the alkalinity of the detergent. I would not put that on veges though. The other thing - that your dog would love is pee. Ie you pee in a bucket, and dilute that about 1 to 10 (or 20) in the watering can and then water a bit of the lawn with that... The concentrate you can buy from the shop is called "Urea" surprise surprise, and it's expensive, and high in nitrogen (makes lawn green). If you have a girl dog, if you tip a bucket of water over where she has peed, it will help prevent the yellow burn spot and encourage the green lawn (which usually comes later). My dog's fav pee spots are a tad lush with a few yellow spots in the middle...

    Most of these things in the shops have instructions written on them regards pets. Dynamic lifter is slightly processed chook poo - for slightly extra money - you can buy the bag of it that doesn't pong like chook poo. However your dog would probably lurve the smell of that stuff, and you'd want to dilute it or only put it out when lots of rain is forecast - to wash it straight in. Ie if dog eats a bag of dynamic lifter, is likely to feel ill.

    Blood and bone is what it says - and is great for making garden grow - but not so good if the dog finds it and eats it - yummy / pongy and makes a dog car sick (my brother found out the hard way).

    You might want to have a look here for more ideas
    Gardening Australia - Fact Sheets

    I made some stuff called "silage" by filling a garbage bin (with a lid) with weeds and then filling that with water and leaving - recommended time to kill any weed seeds is 6 months, and it makes a great garden fertilizer - but dog thought it was the best pongy stuff for rolling in too - so you put a spoonful or two into a watering can and fill the can up and water that and hope the dog won't roll in it... Again - doing this while the dog is in the house and then going out for the morning walk while the stuff dries - or putting it out just before or during a big rain - might help.

    There is also a magazine in the newsagencies called "the organic gardener" that Peter Cundell started up. Organic Gardener Magazine Australia | How to grow an Organic Garden, Organic Gardening & Sustainable Living

    Safe potting mix? I think the trouble with that stuff is keeping in the bag and then the mould that gets concentrated on it. Just lock the dog up and wear a face mask if you're worried, once it's out the bag and in the garden - I think the mould tends to die from exposure. Oil of cloves (from the chemist) - a few drops in a litre of water in a sprayer should also help kill spores and mould (thanks shannon lush). I think the stuff drunk neat is pretty bad for you and your dog and don't do that. According to "is your house killing you" SBS doco - vinegar diluted 1 to 10 in a water sprayer is also supposed to help kill mould and mildew. It is acid so I wouldn't spray it straight on a plant. Try 1 to 10 parts milk and water for directly onto a plant. However the dog will try to lick that up.

  3. #3

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    We use Weed and Feed on our lawns.

    You have to keep the dogs off it while it's wet but as soon as it's dry it is safe for children and pets.

    Even round-up is safe do a degree and that's the most potent weed killer you can buy. You just have to make sure it's 100% dry before letting them in the yard.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaz Tarja View Post
    any thoughts/opinions are much appreciated as I would hate for my dogs to get sick from something i could have easily avoided.
    Hello Kaz Tarja.

    Pretty much agree with other replies.

    I have a few simple ideas that apply to my dogs, cats, & any native birds or animals.

    1. Potting mix.

    If it's in a pot/planter, cover top with pebbles or stones.

    2. Fertilizers.


    Avoid chemical granular types, like tropic. You can dig them in, but they still take a while to break down. Plus it can't be good for worms If it burns your hands & eyes, then it can't be healthy on living critters.

    Try to use diluted manures and other natural by-products like the seaweed/carp types.

    Chook poop & blood & Bone are the ducks guts, but yep, your pups will think it's food from heaven. So thinly applied, dig it in & water in well.
    Don't clump blood & bone, it will attract flies & maggots .

    3. Lawn Weeds

    As for herbicides, yep I again agree with the other replies, main thing is to keep the pups away until it dries. Don't use the grass clippings for composting until the second mow.

    You need to identify the grass variety first, and then identify the weeds you want to kill. Weed & Feed types generally are ok, but if you have nutgrass, paspalum etc, you'll probably have to do more damage than good. Take some samples of all plant types to your local nursery or hardware for help. They'll probably ask other things like how much sun, drainage, soil type, wear & tear etc.

    I dig out small attacks by hand with a cold beer or 2

    Cheers
    Chipps

    PS: My first post here

    PPS: edited for typos
    Last edited by Chipps; 01-05-2011 at 09:34 AM.

  5. #5
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    thanks so much guys!! hyacinth thats a lot of info and my mum and i will be sitting down to digest it. and Chipps congrats on your new post!! haha we will be heading out to the local nursery this weekend so will be having a BIG chat to them

    thanks again!
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." - Edward Hoagland

  6. #6

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    no idea as both my house & parents farms have been organic for years now.

  7. #7
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    crazydog

    so how do you deal with weeds - the organic way?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crested_Love View Post
    Even round-up is safe do a degree and that's the most potent weed killer you can buy. You just have to make sure it's 100% dry before letting them in the yard.
    Roundup or zero (glyphosate) is very potent on most weeds but is probably one of the safest herbicides you can use for dogs and people. I use quite a lot of it and am not too worried about the dogs. Its mode of action is to specifically interrupt photosynthesis which mammals dont do. Glyphosate becomes immediately inactive the moment it contacts the soil so has a very low residual. It is also apparently poorly absorbed by dogs and people and excreted virtually intact.

    The herbicides that take broadleafs out of grass - have the hormone based herbicides dicamba or MCPA in them are more dangerous but still not particularly toxic. The label warning will give you a clue. My mothers dog had a minor fit after walking on a public open space shortly after it had been sprayed to control broadleaf weeds most likely due to the MCPA, although she has used that space for years and hasnt had a problem if she avoids walking till a day after it has all been sprayed. So be more cautious with them. I personally dont use them. Anything I cant spray with glyphosate I generally hand weed or use a weedwiper with glyphosate.

    I dont worry to much about fertilisers and potting mix. My pups have all got into pots without any problems!
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 01-07-2011 at 12:43 PM.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    crazydog

    so how do you deal with weeds - the organic way?
    Worst luck with a hoe or long handle blade thingy.
    We also look after the land by not over stocking livestock paddocks & rotating crops in tilled paddocks.
    We no longer plow often & often double plant so there's too much compition for the weeds.
    We are also careful with what we bring onto the farm that could carry weed seeds.

  10. #10
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    I think my main problem with weed seeds are birds. I get one patch clear and they stuff it all up. And a lot blow in from the neighbours or a patch I haven't got to in time.

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