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Dogs destroying lawn

Just wondered if anyone had ideas on the best type of landscaping that would look good and not be destroyed by 3 large dogs running and playing in the yard. My dogs have totally tramped down and killed alot of my lawn. They are rather rambunctious in playing and have made a couple of paths as well. I have both sun and shade areas and still need to provide room for them to roam and play.

A. Spruce
Re: Dogs destroying lawn

Restrict their play area to the bermuda ... ;)

Dogs of any size will destroy a lawn quickly, particularly active dogs. About the best you can hope for is to keep the dogs off the lawn when it's particularly vulnerable (wet and dormant). Would it be possible to contain the dogs in an area without lawn and only allow them access periodically, for short amounts of time.

Around here, we don't let the dogs in the lawn during the winter months - partly because of the damage they do, and partly because their feet track the mud into the house. On sunny dry days, about once a week or so, they are allowed free run, the rest of the time they're restricted off the lawn.

Re: Dogs destroying lawn

depending on where in the country you live. you might plant a faster growing grass. the problem is that it requires mowing more often, around here (north florida) you would plant something like a bermuda grass which is what they use on football fields as well as golf greens. they use bermuda because they recover fast, bermuda grass would have to be mowed a couple of times a week to keep them looking thick and lush.

Re: Dogs destroying lawn

just realized you had two posts, and the problems you are having could be inter related. what height do you normally cut your grass? and how often is it mowed? as well as what variety is it? if you aren't mowing often enough, what happens is that all the energy is used in growing tall to out compete its neighbors for sun. and little energy is used in spreading out. cut at the proper height what you are looking for is more horizontal growth which keeps it thicker.

Every turf species has its own optimum mowing height and any extremes from this may cause scalping, turf thinning, and even loss of the lawn. Shade intolerant species like bermudagrass, when maintained at a mowing height greater than two inches, will begin to drop lower leaves caused from the shading of the canopy above it. This often creates a scalped appearance, just after mowing, when the top canopy is removed and exposes the brown leafless stolons.

In contrast a St. Augustine lawn cut less than two inches in height may become wear stressed and lose turf density due to exposed stolons and reduced leaf area. Recommended cutting heights for our warm season turf species are as follows: bermudagrass 0.5-1.5 inches; zoysia 1.0–1.5; carpetgrass 1.0-2.0 inches; centipede 1.5-2.0 inches and St. Augustine 2.5-3.0 inches.

Regardless of the turf species, mowing regularity should follow the one-third rule. This means never remove more than one-third of the total turf height at a single mowing. Therefore, depending on the rate of growth and the desired maximum turf height, this could require mowing several times a week for a hybrid bermudagrass lawn or perhaps as little as once every two weeks for a centipede lawn under low water and fertility management.

Re: Dogs destroying lawn

As mentioned above, raise the mowing height a little to allow the grass to retain more moisture and protect the roots better.

The dogs, like you, follow usual pathways without thinking. When a path starts to form, leave something in the path to divert the dogs and allow the grass to recover.

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