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Old 04-16-2014, 11:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default help for GSD friendly landscaping????

So my backyard is pure dirt. And a moderate slope. It's not bad when it's dry, but in the winter it's HORRIBLE. my kitchen floors are basically brown half the year from the mud.



Any ideas on good hardy ground covering? I was thinking mulch but I'm scared with the slope it would just slide down. Plus Berlin likes to dig.

So I was thinking maybe just a really hardy ground cover plant that could stand up to high foot traffic? I live in Colorado, zone 5, very sunny backyard that gets little shade, it is clay.

Or I've even heard of people recycling old concrete blocks left over from ripping up patios and such to do something like this.



Do you think this would be feasible to do over the whole back yard? I understand it obviously would not look as nice as getting true flagstone or what not meant for ground cover and paths, but it needs to be cheap, something I can largely do myself. I know it will be labor intensive, I just can't afford paying a landscaper since I'm having my entire basement remodeled. I need to stick to a 500$ budget, max

Thank you for any help!
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I feel your pain. I just watch any grass that was growing getting uprooted when they run.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would do grass with a rock border around the fence.
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My dog yard is long and narrow, and I'm seriously considering having it dug up, and some sort of smooth pea gravel put down. Our landscaping/yard guy said he'd give us an estimate. The yard had grass when I had the Dobes, but the GSDs have managed to kill it TWICE (re-sodded it last year). ARGH.


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Old 04-17-2014, 02:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Nope. Happy healthy playing GSDs and nice landscaping do not go together. I had a magnificent yard and garden and three old dogs. Now I have a torn up mud pit and two young dogs.

Mulch is the best bet. Nobody cares about mulch. Lots and lots of mulch.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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How much of a slope is it? From the picture it looks minimal --The problem with mulch is it soaks up wetness and the clay underneath still gets wet. Mulch has to be constantly replaced.

Right now I am using #7 driveway gravel in the run area and it seems to be holding up pretty well to all the rain we have had. A lot of rain. Though poop likes to stick to it and it is not as easy to scoop on the gravel. But the dog has picked one area which makes it more liveable. At least he does NOT dig in it and it seems to be pretty good about not migrating. If you use gravel the best thing (which I did not do) is to get some cheap crusher run first and pound it down as a base for the other gravel. I did not choose pea gravel due to the fact that it moves around so easily.

The playground mulch chips worked reasonably well for me for an entire year but then started mixing with the dirt below and became a big mess. As far as mulches go.....cypress playground chips do NOT hold water as bad as the other mulches and dry out quickly but tend to move downhill.

On my actual hill I use shredded mulch and it holds a hill a lot better but it also decomposes fairly quickly. If you have big trees near you, leaves and debris show up a lot more in the gravel than in the mulch. I will try to get a picture of the gravel today. I priced out concrete and it was so expensive. Eventually I will do pavers but not in the area where the dog actually runs and plays fetch. The fetch area will always be mulch or gravel.

EDIT-the short version. Shredded mulch is good on a hill but needs to be replaced fairly frequently, more if you have a lot of rain. We have a lot of rain (like 50-60 inches a year) and maybe you do not. Gravel does not break down but smooth gravels migrate downhill more. Spreading mulch is not so hard. Spreading gravel is hard work. You can get both delivered by the truckload. I do not know how big your yard is but my dog area is about 1100 SF and $500 is cutting it close if you get it down to a 4 inch depth.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Question for those with pea gravel...I have it in my driveway and I motice that it's dusty? Anyone else have that problem?
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just a word of caution on flagstone/cement idea, both can have very sharp edges in places. Even after you position the stones/cement pieces, things like rain and frost heave can expose those edges.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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There are numerous types of artificial turf for dogs....

Anyone ever use K9 artificial turf for Dogs? - Pets Forum - GardenWeb


Scroll down a bit for pictures.

Never used it or seen it used but it looks like a possibility....I would think properly anchoring it would be paramount.


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Old 04-17-2014, 09:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Think pine needles, replace as necessary- Bob
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