Container Gardens for Pets

Kyra Jagodzinski

Throughout quarantine, you might be wanting to start up different hobbies. You could start painting, writing, or you could grow a small garden right in your backyard! A lot of people are planting gardens with flowers or fruits and veggies that they like. Buying seeds of foods you like from a store and planting them in pots. Because these plants are in containers compared to the ground, which can retain more water, the plants need to be watered more frequently. If the leaves of your plant begin to crisp and dry out, start watering it more frequently. If the leaves become droopy, decrease how often you water your plants. Another popular type of gardens are for pets to eat. For example, you can plant a garden for a bearded dragon for your family or a friend.


To start, use a medium sized pot roughly 11” in diameter and 8” deep. The first thing you need to do is make sure there is plenty of drainage for the pot. Try to buy a pot with a drainage hole in the bottom, or drill it yourself. In order to make sure the potting soil does not just wash out when you water your garden, or when it rains, try putting a piece of broken pottery or some stones at the bottom first. 


After prepping your drainage, soil is added next. Try to stay away from dirt straight out of the ground, because it will most likely contain weed seeds. Buy potting soil, and fill the pot up halfway, then water gently. When adding potting soil to a pot, there will be many air pockets. If you water the added soil before you add your plants, it will give the soil a chance to settle, allowing you to add more soil later. If using plants, keep the soil at half-full until they have been added, If using seeds, fill the pot the rest of the way with soil and gently tap down. Then plant 2-3 seeds of each sectioning out areas of the pot, and labeling them. When using seeds, you will have to wait 40-60 days for the plants to mature, and thin seedlings to prevent overcrowding. Remember, these seedlings can also be used as food for a bearded dragon, so don’t just toss them. 


There are several flowers that are edible. You can plant pansy, borage, daisy, chamomile, marigold and violets. Dandelions and clovers are also good greens for bearded dragons. If foraging for seeds/plants, make sure to use ones that have not been treated by herbicides or pesticides to make sure your pets don’t get sick. 


Once this garden is grown, it will look like a wonderful pot of flowers, and yet the bearded dragon can eat anything from the pot. Because it is in a pot, you will be able to bring it inside once it gets colder and hopefully will be able to harvest from it during the winter if it is kept a sunny spot free of drafts. 


As this CNN article explains, caring for a garden has been connected with mindfulness and alleviation of depression. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment, community and staying connected, which is important especially in the COVID-19 pandemic.