The NY Times reports on dogs and gardening

So much for the myth that it’s only female dogs’ urine that is a problem:

“Bud is a dachshund-Yorkie mix,” Ms. Kocher said. “We call him a dorkie.”

It is Bud that has taken up the steady task of murdering the boxwoods. Ms. Kocher planted a few of the evergreen shrubs last year, with the notion that their foliage would brighten the yard in winter.

Yet, under a steady stream of Bud’s attention (to use a polite term), the leaves have browned and wilted.

“They’re doing what dogs like to do,” Ms. Kocher said. “You can’t get angry with them. You just have to kind of work around them.”

The nitrogen in dog urine would seem to be a helpful fertilizer. In fact, the concentration of ammonium is often toxic to plants. “If you get one of these trees that every dog has to pee on, they can actually burn the bark,” said Nina Bassuk, program leader of the Urban Horticulture Institute at Cornell University.