Garden Planning

How to Grow a Pet-Friendly Tower Garden

Your home, your time, your affection, and maybe even your bed — you share a lot with your pets. But should you share the food from your garden? That depends on what you grow.

25 Plants Your Pets Can Eat (in Small Amounts)

Not all plants are dangerous. Of the more than 150 crops you can grow with Tower Garden, many are non-toxic (and even provide nutrients) for dogs and cats.

The following plants have been deemed “pet-friendly,” but moderation is key. Too much plant material may cause digestive upset. As with any new food, it’s best to consult your veterinarian first, and then introduce your pet to it gradually.

  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli (steamed)
  • Green beans (steamed)
  • Leafy greens (e.g., chard, lettuce, kale)
  • Squash (all types, steamed)
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes (ripe fruit only, for dogs only)
  • Watermelon

How to Keep Animals Out of Your Garden

Whether you need to prevent pets from eating your plants or you want to keep animals out of your garden in general, the vertical Tower Garden structure provides some protection from pets. (Plus, there’s no dirt for them to dig in!) But if your garden needs extra guarding, here are a few ideas:

Build a barrier

The best way to keep pets from dining on your plants is to limit their access with a barrier. Anything that safely keeps your pets out should work, whether that means a baby gate, wooden pallets, chicken wire or fencing, or something more creative.

Grow plants that pets don’t like

If you’re growing indoors and can’t set up a barrier, try placing crops your pets don’t like in the bottom of your Tower Garden. If you notice your dog ignores mustard greens, bok choy, and other peppery greens, plant those at the bottom. Pungent plants like sage and rosemary may keep animals away, too. (Bonus: These plants will help repel bad bugs.)

Startle with motion-activated sprinklers

Most cats and dogs detest being sprayed with water. For particularly troublesome pets, consider installing motion-activated sprinklers near your outdoor Tower Garden. This can also help deter other animals, like deer and birds.

21 Plants Pets Shouldn’t Eat

If consumed, some of these plants may cause your pets only mild discomfort. Others could result in an emergency trip to the vet. Keep pets AWAY from these crops:

  • Borage
  • Catnip*
  • Chamomile
  • Chives 
  • Coleus
  • Epazote
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Leeks
  • Lemon grass
  • Lovage
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Morning glory
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Sorrel
  • Sweet peas
  • Tomato plant (and unripe fruit)
  • Watercress
  • Yarrow

*Catnip is famous for mesmerising felines, but according to the ASPCA, it may cause vomiting and diarrhoea in some cats when eaten.


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The American Kennel Club