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We live in Seattle with our 1 year old shepherd, and we need to improve our backyard. It is rather small, but we plan on putting a gate up and changing the ground coverings. Currently the ground is completely moss. We have fought with the moss for many years, but the whole backyard is covered with trees and it retains too much moisture for grass to successfully grow. We have looked into lots of different ground coverings, but what would you suggest?


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Is your yard space pretty flat, several members on here have pea gravel that is 2" or 3" thick and they say it holds up pretty good. I have paths through my property that look like motocross tracks, so I just put sand in them to help soak up the rain. :(

It will be interesting to see what some of the other members can suggest, maybe something that is pretty and durable at the same time.
 

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The house I bought has tons of trees, but the grass is fine? Maybe get grass that grows and thrives in shady conditions.
 

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I use blue stone in my backyard. I have a very small yard and could not keep up with grass at all.

The Blue stone is great. Easy to clean and sanitize.


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incorporate some the moss as part of the land cover. use stones/gravel
or bricks to make a path or two.
 

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Dogs will pretty much destroy any ground covering you put down. Grass is the only thing that I've had any luck with, there are shade-loving varieties you could try.

If the yard is really small, maybe pavers?

What is Blue Stone?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh backyard is completely flat, and we were thinking gravel but I'm not sure that will be comfortable for the dog to relax on during the summer. We could look into the grass more, it's just hard because basically no sunlight reaches the grass and it rains a lot. We have a Greenbelt around our house that leads to a big forest.


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Not sure about ground covering, but I,too have a lot of shade in my yard. I put a lot of monkey grass around my fence line and Malachi LOVES it. He loves to 'wade' through it, and loves to potty in it too, which is fine with me since it essentially 'disappears' into it and ends up as fertilizer lol. It does well in shade, and grows quickly. Just a thought. Wish I could offer better advice.
 

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The cedar mulch playground chips have held up well for us. Regular mulch breaks down to fast. It has been a virtual rain forest here this summer. The chips need a flat yard.
 

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Here's something I only found out - you can buy grass seed from sod companies. We have a yard behind the house which was a pit - it's where the septic is and has many trees and gets maybe an hour of sun a day. The previous owners were sorta like hoarders, but it was metal and car parts, it took my gardeners about 8 hours to clean that area and I think it was 30 bags of garbage - this is after we had closed and lived here 3 months. I bought shade mix from the local co-op store (feed and ag supply place) it was from one of the local sod farms, let my 2 year old spread it :) I was working in the garden and needed to keep her busy for 10 minutes, now I have a great lawn, we have a high water table so I'm literally mowing every 4 days. I had thought of pea gravel in that area, but decided to cheap out and try grass. Infact all my lawns (corner lot, so front, two sides and rear) are doing fantastic. I've bought tons of grass seed and fertilizers over the years and honestly this seed is the best - obviously because a sod farm has to have seed that will grow specifically in that particular part of the province. If I can figure out how to capture a still shot off google earth, I can show you the difference, because it is substantial, what in November was a junk yard, is now an enviable lawn.
 

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Personally we have had good success with grass, we had a section right beside the deck stairs coming off the house that was just dirt. It was very damp and dark and all the grass had died and the dogs would just be tracking mud and dirt into the house constantly.

We spent $40 and got 11 rolls of sod and laid it down, of course the dogs decided that was their new potty patch so there are a few small "burnt" patches :rolleyes:. But we found watering the entire lawn a little a few times a week helps dilute the urine and no new ones have popped up even in the new grass
 

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I would till up the area/yard and add good yard soil and then seed with a shade lovign grass like fescue. You cna use your imagination for the high traffic areas. We have bricked off and then added pea gravel for pathways. Curve it to make it more aesthitic. You can also addea small raised garden in a corner or do some container gardeneing to add some pretty flowers.

I do enjoy my yard, I have several rasied gardens and containers. I also have trees which provide shade and of course the grass is a sun/shade mix of fescue and bermuda.

I also have 3 GSD's so we are always doing some minor repair to grass or gardnes, but that is ther cost of owning a dog.
 
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