Tough Ground Cover for Dog Parks

petera1January 24, 2006

Attention: Dog park patrons and gardeners

If you frequent dog parks you know the persistant problem of mud in the spring and fall months. It gets over everything (i.e. dogs, cars, clothes, etc.). Wood chips are not desired. I am in North American Zone 5. We are looking for the hardiest, fastest growing, most drought tolerant, full sun, extremely high traffic tolerant, doggedly persistant (pardon the pun), winter surviving (if can stay green even better) ground cover known to humankind. Something native is preferred.

Any ideas are most welcome



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Nothing will effectively stand up to that kind of traffic and use - even stepable type, low-growing groundcovers will rapidly be churned into mud, given nearly constant use and weather. Taller growing, more woody material will stand up better but is far less suited to this type of use. Dog parks here (and there are a lot of them) use a combination of wood chips, asphalt and turf grass, depending on the type of area and its use. Asphalt for primary access paths, wood chips for most of the rest and lawn for some more natural play areas. FWIW, the lawn areas are periodically closed off for rehabilitation on a cyclical schedule at least once a season.

Why are wood chips not desirable? Easy and cheap to replenish and easy to clean up. Also tends to neutralize odors as well.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2006 at 10:29AM
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I am also looking for a hardy ground cover for our garden. Doesnt need to be totally rough and rugged, as our dog is fairly light on his feet, and does most of his heavy duty outdoor play in the park. We have a small area to cover, and get full sun for most of the day in the spring and summer, and very little sun in the winter.....

    Bookmark   March 8, 2006 at 4:51PM
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We use wood chips in ours at work and it is a smelly mess in the summer. The urine stays in the chips. We are also looking for an alternative covering.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 12:52PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Try for hardy ground covers. Nancy

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 9:25PM
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