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 Dog-friendly yard design

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dvflyer
Puppy
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Join date : 2018-04-07
Location : San Diego

PostSubject: Dog-friendly yard design   Sun May 13, 2018 4:29 pm

Hi all,

We're in the process of re-doing our side yard. It's currently dirt. We've thought about various options from fake grass to DG (decomposed granite) to laying sod (again).

We have gophers (and now 3 dogs Smile ) so grass gets destroyed pretty quickly. Fake grass seems to get really hot in the summer. We have a few scraps left over from doing our front yard and I've tested it during a few hot days over the last couple months. Oddly enough, on a 4x8' piece laying on the concrete, in some places, I can stand barefoot, but other places, it's too hot.

DG would be be fine (like dirt) as long as we can keep the dogs' digging to certain areas.

Wondered what people here have had success with. Mostly thinking something dog-friendly but that helps keep the dogs clean and safe (e.g. no foxtails etc).

Thanks in advance.
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Artic_Wind
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Male Join date : 2014-07-23
Location : San Diego, California

PostSubject: Re: Dog-friendly yard design   Sun May 13, 2018 9:15 pm

I have fake grass in my front yard as well, and it stays cool despite being in the sun most of the day, however, I had pieces left over that I cut into a couple door mats to use outside in the back, which is mostly flagstone, and one day I was barefoot and burned my feet! It was scorching hot. I think a quality fake grass, installed over DG, doesn't have the same heat build up underneath as having a piece laying over concrete or stone.

DG by itself, ugh, that stuff ends up everywhere. I have a small amount on my side yard in a planter and those little pieces end up everywhere, they're relatively sharp too. Don't think they'd cut a paw or anything, but they're a bit rough.

I have a grass area for the dogs in my backyard, and I'm constantly struggling to keep it alive, part is it just dries out wayyyyyy to quickly, it butts up against the canyon slope that gets zero water so I wonder if the slope draws the water out of the grass. And part is, of course, the dogs. Between digging holes, which I've had to accept now, and they are ALWAYS on it, it's pretty much nothing but dirt again now and is next weekends project of putting in new sod. Last time I did seed, lived with all the barricades and unhappy pups, and I just decided I'm not going to do that again. One of the benefits of sod is being able to cut bad areas out should they occur, and putting in sections to fill it back in, unfortunately, I'm past that point and have to do it all.

Maybe real grass, a couple trees that will shade and possibly a sand box for digging?
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TwisterII
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Dog-friendly yard design   Sun May 13, 2018 9:46 pm

I have normal grass. A lot is in finding the grass type that works for your area. We have moles. They don't bother the grass but the dogs digging after them upsets things so I spread castor oil on the yard which runs the moles out. Castor oil is dog safe. No moles means nothing for the dogs to dig after. My plants in the back are mostly day lilies and roses which my dogs don't bother. Heavy mulching around plants has further helped to keep the dogs out and leaving things alone.

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amymeme
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Female Join date : 2013-12-20

PostSubject: Re: Dog-friendly yard design   Sun May 13, 2018 10:17 pm

Up here in the finger lakes, with long cold winters, lots of rainfall and snow, we have what I euphemistically call an "herbal" lawn. We use a perennial grass mix, add Dutch White clover,Birds' foot trefoil and seeded into to the existing mix of what was probably once pasture grass, dandelions, creeping charlie, some sort of small creeping sedum, a sort of mint and myriad other small plants that survive mowing. Proves to be quite hardy, the clover keeps it green even in drought, the sturdy weeds add patches of color, forage for bees.

As far as the dogs go, its a large, lttle property or, a little, large property, take your pick - they have about 4 acres of mowed and wooded area. They dig in the woods for the most part, occasionally in the lawn which I fill with rocks, dirt, seed, cover with chicken wire held in place with lawn staples and cover with straw. The digging is mostly a problem in the spring and early summer when water is percolating along the fragipan or in one of the swales. Occasionally in the winter its a vole scurrying along under the snow.

Since you're in San Diego, you're best bet is to follow Jimmy really carefully, He has a beautiful landscape and the same climat/geographic features as you.
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dvflyer
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Join date : 2018-04-07
Location : San Diego

PostSubject: Re: Dog-friendly yard design   Tue May 15, 2018 10:45 am

@Artic_Wind wrote:
I have fake grass in my front yard as well, and it stays cool despite being in the sun most of the day, however, I had pieces left over that I cut into a couple door mats to use outside in the back, which is mostly flagstone, and one day I was barefoot and burned my feet! It was scorching hot. I think a quality fake grass, installed over DG, doesn't have the same heat build up underneath as having a piece laying over concrete or stone.

DG by itself, ugh, that stuff ends up everywhere. I have a small amount on my side yard in a planter and those little pieces end up everywhere, they're relatively sharp too. Don't think they'd cut a paw or anything, but they're a bit rough.

I have a grass area for the dogs in my backyard, and I'm constantly struggling to keep it alive, part is it just dries out wayyyyyy to quickly, it butts up against the canyon slope that gets zero water so I wonder if the slope draws the water out of the grass. And part is, of course, the dogs. Between digging holes, which I've had to accept now, and they are ALWAYS on it, it's pretty much nothing but dirt again now and is next weekends project of putting in new sod. Last time I did seed, lived with all the barricades and unhappy pups, and I just decided I'm not going to do that again. One of the benefits of sod is being able to cut bad areas out should they occur, and putting in sections to fill it back in, unfortunately, I'm past that point and have to do it all.

Maybe real grass, a couple trees that will shade and possibly a sand box for digging?



Thanks Jimmy.  We did part DG and part fake grass out front and I like the mix, but, of course, there are no dogs, people etc walking around on it.

I'll have to check our front grass again when it gets hot, but I think I experienced the same thing you did regarding fake grass on DG v.s. concrete etc.

Also, I've heard that fake grass can get pretty stinky from dog urine unless rinsed regularly. A landscaper neighbor (who did our front yard) suggested keeping a couple sprinklers installed and working and run them regularly to rinse the urine and other smelly stuff down.

Luckily, if I procrastinate long enough, my motivation for doing anything will go away. Very Happy jocolor
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Artic_Wind
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Male Join date : 2014-07-23
Location : San Diego, California

PostSubject: Re: Dog-friendly yard design   Tue May 15, 2018 9:18 pm

Hey Mike, if you do decide to go the synthetic turf route, there are deodorizers sold for the purpose of pet urine and things like that. It's mixed with the infill and some even advertise it keeps the grass cooler than any other infill product. I haven't used it myself, but through my job, I know many multi-family residential communities that use either the infill product or use a spray periodically to keep urine odors away. Your neighbors advice is good as well, but as you know, San Diego has to deal with water restrictions fairly often, not to mention our water rates, Haha, so these deodorizers are a good alternative. You can find these deodorizers most anywhere, like Home Depot, Amazon as well.

I feel you on the procrastinating thing, LOLOL. I keep talking myself out of installing the new sod by the excuse that summer is pretty much here already and that means more Heat stress and more water but....ugh, I gotta do it.
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