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Curious on those of you that a decent size yard and what you use as the ground cover if you have an active dog running around a bunch back there.

We are outside with Titan A LOT. When we are in our back yard, it's a lot of fetch, flirt pole, training drills, etc. So there is a lot of abrupt stopping, quick turns, etc. This has resulted in our "grass" or other greenery being turned into just dirt. We manage the dirt, but it's starting to get a little frustrating with all this dirt in my house, lol.

We don't have grass anymore. We have dollar weeds, basically. I have asked our lawn guy is opinion and he basically said Sod wouldn't last, and most other grasses wouldn't either. He suggested trying to seed Bermuda grass when the season starts warming up because it's a hardy grass but very cheap and if it gets torn back up it won't be so devastating.

Was just curious what you guys do for yours.. if I have to deal with dirt, I will, lol. I have for this long, but was just hoping someone out there found a better solution!
 

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I am getting on the list of tree trimming companies for free mulch. Bigger grind than what you buy at the store.
 

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We've accepted the fact that the fenced part of our back yard is a "Sacrifice Lot".... I top-dress the seed once a year in the fall, but otherwise I let the broadleaf weeds grow, and mow them along with what remains of the lawn. From a distance, it looks green (sigh).

This was a pretty big pill to swallow ~ my husband and I are both Landscape Architects and usually are very meticulous about outdoor spaces. My ugly back yard is basically the equivalent of a Dentist with rotten teeth. But there really isn't a solution that doesn't involve a lot of chemical applications, a giant pile of money spent every year, or synthetic groundcover. Oh well... I love our dogs more than grass.

Before you sew Bermuda, try walking on it barefoot and see if you're okay with it. It's very coarse. Unfortunately I'm not as familiar with too many warm climate grass varieties... maybe try giving a local independent garden center a call, and ask for a seed variety recommendation? Cover with woven straw mat while it germinates and water it a ton for the first 8+ weeks. I agree, sod is a giant waste of money under large dog paw traffic.
 

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I am getting on the list of tree trimming companies for free mulch. Bigger grind than what you buy at the store.
I never even thought about that! Definitely worth the investigation!

We've accepted the fact that the fenced part of our back yard is a "Sacrifice Lot".... I top-dress the seed once a year in the fall, but otherwise I let the broadleaf weeds grow, and mow them along with what remains of the lawn. From a distance, it looks green (sigh).

This was a pretty big pill to swallow ~ my husband and I are both Landscape Architects and usually are very meticulous about outdoor spaces. My ugly back yard is basically the equivalent of a Dentist with rotten teeth. But there really isn't a solution that doesn't involve a lot of chemical applications, a giant pile of money spent every year, or synthetic groundcover. Oh well... I love our dogs more than grass.

Before you sew Bermuda, try walking on it barefoot and see if you're okay with it. It's very coarse. Unfortunately I'm not as familiar with too many warm climate grass varieties... maybe try giving a local independent garden center a call, and ask for a seed variety recommendation? Cover with woven straw mat while it germinates and water it a ton for the first 8+ weeks. I agree, sod is a giant waste of money under large dog paw traffic.
Thank you for the advice! I will call around and see what the best choice is. I figure whatever we decide to seed, Titan will have to be off it for a minute. Our front yard is big and we'd just transition out there, which I do from time to time anyways for a change in scenery and different distractions.
 

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Our front yard is Bermuda and it is very soft..my backyard is woods and dirt...I will say though that because it propagates by running along the ground it is very invasive and dogs can tear up long stems of it. Bermuda MUST have lots of sun. Fescues don't do well in FL.

Zoysia is tougher and in Florida St Augustine rules but requires a lot of chemical treatment for cinch bugs. [though I wonder how beneficial nematodes would work-my dad had a lovely St Augustine yard in Merritt Island]
 

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My backyard is dirt (and mud when it rains). I have had to be okay with that. My GSD needs a lot of exercise and we are out there regularly through the day and he is one physical dog. I have had 100 lb. dogs that did not damage my lawn. My GSD "destroyed" the lawn--I certainly have respect that GSDs can take down a suspect and control him. My dog plays fetch like it is life and death. . . incredibly intense.

Alas, I have all hardwood or tile floors. Good thing!!
 

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Curious on those of you that a decent size yard and what you use as the ground cover if you have an active dog running around a bunch back there.

We are outside with Titan A LOT. When we are in our back yard, it's a lot of fetch, flirt pole, training drills, etc. So there is a lot of abrupt stopping, quick turns, etc. This has resulted in our "grass" or other greenery being turned into just dirt. We manage the dirt, but it's starting to get a little frustrating with all this dirt in my house, lol.

We don't have grass anymore. We have dollar weeds, basically. I have asked our lawn guy is opinion and he basically said Sod wouldn't last, and most other grasses wouldn't either. He suggested trying to seed Bermuda grass when the season starts warming up because it's a hardy grass but very cheap and if it gets torn back up it won't be so devastating.

Was just curious what you guys do for yours.. if I have to deal with dirt, I will, lol. I have for this long, but was just hoping someone out there found a better solution!
Mine made a path around the fire pit. They got rid of all the grass and it became a perfect path. All I did was put stone down. They still run around it and the stone doesn't move, it worked out well:)
 

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Mine made a path around the fire pit. They got rid of all the grass and it became a perfect path. All I did was put stone down. They still run around it and the stone doesn't move, it worked out well:)
The race track in my back yard circles the green house. I think I'll brick it this year.
 

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we have river rock and keep expanding it as the dogs race track is a mud hole. Grass does grow if there is good rain, but Karlo is really hard on the lawn and the moles get dug up. I don't like wood mulch because it harbors insects, mold and fungus.
River rock with pavers have really helped keep things a bit nicer. We have extensive decking and concrete too but mud still ends up in the house.
Artificial turf would be great as long as it doesn't heat up.
I wish there was a good sturdy ground cover that held up well.


 

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Hybrid Bermuda which you can only get as sod, not seeds. It browns out in winter but you can overseed with rye grass unless you have snow, then it doesn't matter. It is used in golf courses and will hold up to anything if it gets enough water and if you let it establish before your dogs run on it.
 

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I'm wondering about clover too. I have an area of my yard that clover has sprung up, and it doesn't seem to have taken much of a beating so far.
 

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i would think clover would recover from damage quickly, however it would also attract a lot of bees. I like bees, but so do my girls. I'm sure they'd enjoy "hunting" them, but probably best not to encourage this.
 

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my front yard is clover, wild strawberry, chickweed, moss, plantain and even some grass.It seems to be holding up, except for the moss. I like moss but digging really scars it up.
 

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I have a couple of 50 foot cedar trees in my side yard. I wish I had more. They "shed" and that provides a 3/4 inch ground cover that nothing else will grow in. The dog's paws don't get muddy in it. They provide a wonderful shady canopy and in the winter very little rain/snow penetrates - they're like big wonderful smelling umbrellas.

I'm going to try to take some of that "duff" and place it in the other side of the yard where I have a mud hole weed problem and see if it will help there. The stuff seems to repel bugs too.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow I missed all this! Lol sorry took a break for a few days. Thanks so much for the advice.. we definitely have some options. We rent right now so anything super expensive probably won't be a go.. my landlord is open to small cost fixes.. and I'm willing to help a little too. Never thought of river rock..
 
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