dog friendly garden

abbiApril 11, 2008

I am new to gardening and would like some help. I have a small yard and dogs that have killed the lawn Also, the people who lived here before me had 11 labss and had put down topsoil and gravel in the back yard I guess for the dogs? Could anyone give me some help with creating a dog safe landscape that is user friendly for people and dogs to enjoy?I have heard it would be pointless to try to replant grass in the back yard? What would be good to cover the ground that would also be decorative and able to withstand dogs? Thanks.

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana(zone 5/6)

Hi Abbi,

Sorry no one has had any ideas so far. I have a few questions
Just how big is this small back yard?

I have heard it would be pointless to try to replant grass in the back yard?
Who said that?
Why did they say that?
Do you have dogs as well? How many? How big? In the yard a lot, or just go out occasionally to do their business?

I would think that grass is most probably an least part of it. I am clueless as to what groundcover might work for a whole back yard.

I have a large (huge) yard, with 3 big dogs that are outside pretty well 24/7. They keep the grass beat off in areas. They like to lay under some of the shrubs. I am making a 'bed' just for them, that they can lay under the shrubs in that bed, and hopefully I can discourage them from laying in the other ones. I gave up long ago trying to plant any flowers among the shrubs as they were soon laid on and destroyed.

Oh...the joys of having furbabies...sigh.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 10:51AM
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I agree, my dogs are in the backyard a LOT, and they pretty much have "areas" they've destroyed, but trust me, there is still a lot of grass back there. They tend to make paths in the yard, so obviously I don't bother trying to plant anything in their paths. In fact, I mulched their paths last fall to reduce the amount of mud they would track in the house, and that worked great.

As far as the previous owners and the gravel is concerned, I don't have any suggestions. There's a patch in our yard where the previous owners had put gravel for a shed, and I can't get anything to grow there. I just keep composting grass and leaves and putting all my compost there, hoping someday something will grow.

Also, when I plant something new in the backyard, I fence it off temporarily so the dogs won't be tempted to dig it up or mess with it. I went to the hardware store and got some chicken wire, along with some plastic step-on stakes that they use for livestock fencing (see link), and I construct temporary fences to keep them off. So far it's helped a lot.

Hope that helps! Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Fence stakes

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 1:18PM
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last weekend i read about the trend to install artifical turf for the dogs. some people paying up to $50,000 to do a huge area for the dogs with all the underlying drainage and antimicrobiotic turf, fencing, special doggie doors and toys. the advantage is that it doesn't burn out, you can hose it clean and it lasts 10+ years and it looks better than a concrete pad.

dogs are like kids in the yard: with training, proper deterents, good plant selection, reasonable design and good clean-up you can all be happy.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 3:35PM
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