I want to expand our garden. We have a "lawn" of weeds in our backyard, which is a dog yard with the usual droppings. 1) If I boxed it off for raised beds and added soil in the beds, is it safe to grow vegetables in these beds? If not, I'll grow flowers. 2) What should be the composition of the soil in the raised bed for vegetables? 3) Do we need to kill the weeds beneath it, first?
Gardening on Dog Yard Soil
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Yes, it is possible to plant there once you can ensure that the dog is no longer using the area as a bathroom. About 95% of the time, manure from animals, like dogs, will not cause harm - but you shouldn't use it in the garden because of that other 5%. To be on the safe side, it takes about a year for any pathogens that might have been in the dog feces to die off. Therefore, I would wait at least that long before turning it into a garden area. However, since you are planning on constructing raised beds and adding in your own soil, you can go ahead and do so now. When you do get ready for planting, you may also want to consider solarizing the beds to kill off any possible pests/bacteria that may still be lurking about. This article will help with that: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/projects/how-to-solarize-garden-beds-to-eliminate-garden-pests-in-the-soil.htm Here is more information to help you with your raised bed construction: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/raised-vegetable-gardens.htm, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/urban/raised-beds-for-urban-settings-no-digging-required.htm