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Old Yesterday, 05:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Ideas for dog yard ground cover?

Hi all,
Our backyard will NOT seem to grow grass and every time it rains, it turns into a giant mud pit with water standing in some areas as much as 3 inches deep. When we let our dogs out to potty, they will not go into the mud so they have resorted to doing their business on our porch. We are wondering what we should put down to prevent all this mud. Our yard isn't too big so we were thinking of laying a black tarp down and covering it with gravel then maybe mulch or straw? Or just leave it plain gravel. Would mulch or straw attract ticks or mites? Also smell after a while?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Old Yesterday, 06:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Mulch or gravel would work well.Cedar and cypress mulch repel insects.None of these will smell bad.Use burlap or heavy duty weed fabric underneath,not a tarp.The water needs to drain away.You may want to re grade your yard to eliminate low spots first.Make sure the yard slopes away from your foundation!
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Old Today, 01:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma13 View Post
Mulch or gravel would work well.Cedar and cypress mulch repel insects.None of these will smell bad.Use burlap or heavy duty weed fabric underneath,not a tarp.The water needs to drain away.You may want to re grade your yard to eliminate low spots first.Make sure the yard slopes away from your foundation!
Dogma is right on the money. Straw is absorbent, but it will need to be raked & replaced constantly. It works for chicken runs and livestock pens, but it would definitely NOT be my choice for a dog yard. It also gets tracked all over the place (ie: into your house), it can mold, and it smells.

Lots of popular mulches right now are dyed - you don't want those, they really shouldn't be ingested, if your dog is a chewer. The safest choices are "certified", or "playground chips" - a specific kind of wood, rather than shredded pallets or other repurposed construction debris that occasionally has nails or other crud in it. Mulch will need to be refreshed/replaced periodically, many people can get away with doing it once a year or so.

Gravel works for a lot of dogs, but I have installed landscapes for a few breeders that prefer not to use pea gravel or other small stone, due to concerns of pups eating it. I've also had several clients whose dogs flat out refuse to potty on gravel.

The best quality material for underneath is a heavy landscape fabric. The better ones feel like thick felt, allowing water to move through and infiltrate the ground.
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Old Today, 01:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have one area like this. I put sod down a few times. I also used straw once it started going to cover the mud, then mowed it to get rid of it. I have since covered some of the area with small River Rock. It's bigger then gravel and not as dusty. It drains well and it doesn't get kicked around. Mulch needs to be replaced to quick so I'm putting stone in those areas too. I use cedar in the dog run.

I also use the black cloth under the stone. Under the mulch didn't work well because Apollo found it and shredded it. He actually found the roll and decorated the yard.
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