Dogs and a nice yard

This forum is for discussing all topics related to the challenges (and joys!) of keeping your house clean while living with dogs. Here you can share tips, recommendations for products and techniques, and more!

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Barked: Fri Mar 4, '11 11:41am PST 
That's a great idea loki lol I regularly fix the ruts in the yard around the shed. But as soon as I do, I will look out and Beau is during furious laps, I swear she knows exactly what she is doing!

Live life to the- fullest
Barked: Fri Mar 4, '11 8:32pm PST 
I gave up and plugged Zoysia plugs. Plugging them in a 2 square foot area takes about 3 years to fill in. The grass stands up well to dogs and will fill empty patches in on it's own, but I usually just add some extra plugs to bare areas. It stands up well in wet areas, doesn't die in dry times, but the big issue is it turns brown after the first freeze. You also have to water the plugs every night for two weeks after plugging, but it's well worth it. Each year I sow some grass seed on extremely bare areas while the plugs take over, but each year I have less yard work. I also have an area I call the natural area which is filled with trees and bushes and heavily mulched with wood mulch and Sara likes to dig there better than in the yard. Since the mulch is about four inches deep I just rake the mulch back in place. In fact Sara has all her bones buried in the mulch.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Wed Apr 20, '11 2:46am PST 
What a beautiful dream!

Seriously, my yard is cactus, and I have to fix it within two weeks, it's a rental and we're moving. I have no intention of leaving it in a state (and it was in a state already, two labs lived in it before we did and the owners left about a years worth of turds for us on the lawn silenced ). The worst problem is the holes. There are holes EVERYWHERE, some pot holes, some that I go down to the knee in when we play fetch - I swear the bugger is LAUGHING at me. It also looks like he has committed several murders, there are bones buried everywhere, and a pigs foot somewhere (I don't know where he put that), chewed toys, marrow bones discarded and sitting on the lawn (I got most of these thank god!), and of course his sheep skin, dragged from the kennel and ripped to bits. There are also the feathers from the unfortunate chicken. (Oh another story!) At least the lawn is cut nice and short, and we had a good go at whipper snipping the weeds . . . really though once I pick up all the crap and clean the wool and feathers, and fill and seed the holes, and pick up the poop, well, it should look nice and shiny and new, right? Right? I need hope here people!!!! laugh out loud

Edited by author Wed Apr 20, '11 2:47am PST


Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
Barked: Wed Apr 20, '11 1:56pm PST 
Thanks for the Zoysia tip Sara, we might try that next. Right now I gave up and covered all the dead areas with pine straw. At least hubby doesn't have to mow the weeds as much!

We have centipede, which is probably the worst grass ever for moles and dogs. It has short roots, which means it just pulls right up in our sandy soil.

Ball?! Did- someone say- BALL?!!!!!
Barked: Thu Jun 9, '11 8:10am PST 
I know this is an older thread but I'm guessing it'll be an ongoing issue. This year, I finally got started working in the back yard. I have sectioned off an area of the yard for the dogs to toilet. At some point, we'll be adding a gate to it but that won't be for a while. To get them started using it primarily we put down a bunch of straw and moved a couple of their stools into it. I know it is gross but it works. We discovered they really like to toilet in straw because we had originally put it down in an area for our kids but the dogs wouldn't leave it alone so it was removed and spread through the run. Under the straw was seeded with grass but no expectation of anything growing was placed.

In the rest of the yard, I have clearly marked plant beds against the fence and any time the dogs even set a foot in them they get a verbal correction (an eh sound that even I can't stand) and praise the second they are no longer in them. They are praised for resting under one of those 8x8 pop-op awnings as opposed to the fence (their previously preferred spot). We've only had the yard set up like this for about a week. Oh, and we let/encourage them to dig under our children's play set where our children dig anyway. I think they like having an area where they can dig without getting in trouble as they don't dig elsewhere. It's typically the neighbors dogs trying to dig to us. We haven't seeded the remaining part of the yard with grass seed yet, but that is in the works.

Mixed in with the grass seed is clover seed so that we don't have to fertilize. That's something they used to do back before petroleum based fertilizers were so widely used. Plus, it helps to feed the local bee and butterfly population. If you fertilize with the clover planted, there is a strong chance that you could kill it. I learned that earlier this year. I've also found that the areas that the clover prefers are areas that the grass doesn't. After a few months of clover, the grass will start edging in. See, clover acts as a nitrogen fixer and that is why it works really well with grass which is a high nitrogen user. The grass seed itself is actually my own blend of seeds. I took three different bags of multiple varieties and mixed them together. There is roughly 8-12 different types of grass total. I figured that where one wouldn't grow surely one of the others would. It seems to be working well as we have one of the most dark green lawns on the block in the front. When I remove dandelions, I do it by hand and put grass seed in the hole they were in. This accomplishes two things: 1) the grass seeds will be deep planted and have a really good root structure and 2) if any of the dandelion root remained, by the time it recovers the grass should be healthy enough to smother the weed.

There is a lot of other things I could write about but I don't want to write a novel. One last thing, I am having an ongoing battle with field bindweed (wild morning glory or whatever else you want to call it) and most recently started using weed killer on it despite my original intention of an organic yard.

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Thu Jun 9, '11 12:39pm PST 
Oooooh, field bindweed is NASTY stuff!

I don't think there really is a way to completely eradicate it without weed killer (or very VERY intense tillage)....crazy regeneration from any bit of root/rhyzome left in the ground...pulling just doesn't work!

May I sit on- you?
Barked: Thu Jun 9, '11 3:04pm PST 
Oh my, this is the first place I've lived in with dogs where the yard is nice. I do think there is hope somewhere! laugh out loud Good luck!

Ball?! Did- someone say- BALL?!!!!!
Barked: Thu Jun 9, '11 7:14pm PST 
I have learned horrible nightmarish facts about the bindweed. It can go roughly 80+ ft underground and sprout elsewhere. The seeds are still viable at 80 years. ANY part of the stem or root of the plant can AND WILL produce more. There are mites that can destroy it and you can get them through your county extension office (ours charges $30). I've used weedkiller on it and had the tiniest weakest stem ending up producing a healthy strong plant. I am currently doing a biweekly spraying for it. I'm using Bay Advanced all-in-one weed killer at the moment but have used many other supposed one shot killers in the past.
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