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Grow Your Own What to grow in a guinea pig garden?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Oct 9, 2011
I'm commissioning my boyfriend to build me this spring a small raised flowerbed, I'm talking like 2ft by 4ft size.

I'd like to grow some things for my piggies, has anyone done this and what have you had good luck with?

I live in Virginia. I was thinking some cilantro, green peppers, some kind of lettuce if I can find it.

Just looking for some starting points...
Parsley and basil are good -- parsley is super easy and in my experience, hard to kill. It doesn't take much space and we actually planted a few in pots, too. We did carrots, which also worked well, and the nice thing is that they last pretty far into the winter, too. Bell peppers flourished. I've never been able to grow lettuce very well. I'm sure it will work well in the DC metro area but I consistently mess it up; if it isn't the slugs it's the water or then it just bolts.
What about tomatoes?
Hmm. Didn't think about tomatoes.

I don't have alot of time to devote to gardening, what with full time classes and a full time job, but I was hoping to have some fresh greens so I a) don't have to buy them and b) they have to be better for them!

So, Parsley, cherry tomatoes maybe, (I don't wanna have to worry too much about staking them) maybe I'll try a lettuce or two. If it starts going downhill they can just eat it before it goes bad ha)
You can get a surprising amount of piggy-friendly food in the space you mention. And you can get dwarf tomatoes that don't need staking, if you want. We had a couple that produced well, and the tomatoes were a bit larger than a plum tomato. A bush cuke would work too. Depending on the light situation you may be able to put the lettuces under the tomato or cuke. Some are self-pollinating (not the lettuce) so you could do just one. As far as care, though, I totally ignored our green pepper plant and cukes, except for watering a bit in the first of the morning right before work, and they did well. My husband and I both work full time and my kids and I are handicapped, so my mobility and time are limited. If you start out with a good soil mix you'll be good to go. I have a brown thumb rather than a green one, so if I didn't kill the plants, no one can! (except for the lettuce of course :D)
I love this garden talk. I can't wait to plant my garden, but we still have snow on the ground. I am sure my girls also will be glad when they can have some nice fresh grass and veggies that haven't been sitting on a truck and in a store. My girls won't eat carrots but they sure enjoy the tops. You should be able to pack a lot of veggies in a 2' x 4' garden if you keep your rows close together. Good luck and have fun.
Since my move I have a huge backyard and had wanted to plant a small garden.
But I have discovered that deer and rabbits like my yard as much as me!

But my back deck is large enough to set up several large pots and planters.

I found a lot of tips by searching the forum and here are some sites I found helpful

(broken link removed)[/URL]
I know what you mean about deer. We have a herd that lives in our neighbourhood. We had to put up dining tent frames and wrap them in stucco wire in order to have a garden. I am sure they patrol every night to see if we forgot to lock up the front, because the odd time we did they were in helping themselves. I tried growing veggies in planters on our deck but it gets pretty hot here and keeping everything water was quite a chore. We did get some produce but it just didn't do as well as in the garden.
Yes, last year I tried peppers and tomatoes in those hanging "topsy turvy" bags. Didn't turn out so great. Several years ago, we got a great yield from them, but ever since we haven't.

I'm hoping a planter bed won't dry out like pots would, it does get hot here. The spot I'm looking at has sun pretty much all day long- filtered in the morning by trees, but from 10am on it will be full sun.
You probably already know this, but I found the veggies in planters on the deck needed way more fertilizer than things growing in the garden. I try to keep my gardens chemical free and as organic as possible but I needed to use fertilizer when gardening in pots.
Well, Since I have piggies I have good fertilizer :)
Knowing that green bell peppers lose their Vitamin C once they're picked (and if only my pigs liked them), I'd grow them. That way, I'd know they were getting the most Vit C possible per serving.

I found a (broken link removed) that talks about growing them.
getting some great ideas. we already have a horse garden...figured it'd be nice for the piggies to have their own, too :)

i have, in the past, used rabbit poo for my garden. AMAZING results. sweetest, most tender carrots and tomatoes. the other veges were just out of this world. larger than the seed packet said, better coloring, taste and texture, all round. i wonder how it would work with gp poo?? maybe you could start a compost pile, with the bedding and gp poop, to help with the garden?
Last year my brother and I built a 9x2 raised bed and tried growing tomatos, bell peppers, cucumbers, and squash (not just for the piggies, I don't really give the squash and cucumber anyway). However, we grew too much in one space and had a bug problem. This year, we're adding another rectangular bed and a square bed. I'm going to try and grow some lettuce and carrots in addition to the other stuff, but I'm also going to plant beneficial herbs and flowers to see if I can naturally deter pests (Had an inchworm infestation towards the end of last year).

@Kim: I've tried to put gp poo in the garden area to help prepare the soil, but so far my dogs have busted down the flimsy fence and eaten the poo...I'll try again once we add the other raised beds and an actual fence around the garden. Crazy dogs.
I'm an avid gardener. For those who have a small space, I highly recommend "Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew. It is a super book with great ideas and the method produces a lot of produce in a very small space. All lettuces are easy to grow and some, like endive are very hardy and just keep producing.

As far as the poo, it is best to compost it first, as it gets hot enough to kill any bad stuff. A pile of hay/poop/kitchen waste (no bones, no oil, no meat) will heat up really fast. No harm in putting the uncomposted poo/hay on ornamentals or things like berry bushes where the rain won't splash stuff up on the raw produce.
@Beachgurl you could raise a cherry tomato in a big flower pot and put you a bamboo stake inside it and set it beside your door! We do this every year!
Yes, we tried that last year too, cherry tomatoes in a pot... The problem is my porch doesn't get enough sun and my deck gets too much. It gets VERY hot in the summer on the deck. That's kinda leaning towards a good planter box for some veggies.

I'm thinking... Cherry Tomatoes, Green Peppers (maybe another color too, what they heck). Then maybe some parsley or cilantro and some lettuce of some variety, endive maybe..)
Yes, we tried that last year too, cherry tomatoes in a pot... The problem is my porch doesn't get enough sun and my deck gets too much. It gets VERY hot in the summer on the deck. That's kinda leaning towards a good planter box for some veggies.

I'm thinking... Cherry Tomatoes, Green Peppers (maybe another color too, what they heck). Then maybe some parsley or cilantro and some lettuce of some variety, endive maybe..)

You might could try making some sort of portable shade and put a planter on your deck. Because we live in southwest georgia, and last year we had a problem with our plants getting scorch, I'm looking into making some sort of portable shade. That way I can put it out on really hot summer days to protect the plants, but put it up on more mild days. I was thinking about getting a hold of some shade cloth or something and maybe figuring out a way to secure it to pvc pipe or something.
I thought about that too.

I'm going to put this box in the front yard, where it doesn't seem to get as hot, but it still gets lots of sun. The problem with the deck is that the wood and all absorbs all the heat and just makes it so hot.

Maybe I'll find an old picnic umbrella or something, that would be easy to wind up/down when needed.
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