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Old 03-05-2008, 05:26 PM
 
Location: a nation in decline
10,156 posts, read 10,274,243 times
Reputation: 3837
Default Lawn care & safety for your dogs

I know everyone here really loves their dogs, so I'm asking -
Is it possible to have a decent lawn (limited weeds) while having a dog or dogs?

What do all of you do to control weeds, crabgrass, etc. in your yards while also being mindful of things that could be poisonous to your pets?

Does Scott's or anyone else make any kind of lawn care product that is pet safe - I mean really pet safe, not just say so on a label.

I'm thinking of sowing clover. I know many people think clover is a weed, but I like the look of it and the feel of it underfoot and it might keep the chickweed from taking over the grass. Last year we had a decent yard of grass. This year it looks like chickweed and other stuff wants to take over. I'd hate to lose the lawn and have to reseed everything. We have about 3/4 acre fenced and open. The previous owners might have used something on the lawn, we don't know, but for a couple summers the grass looked decent.

I'm afraid of using any of the weed control products like "halts-plus" etc.

What do you do for the yards to help the grass and cut down on weeds?

Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2008, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Beautiful place in Virginia
2,620 posts, read 7,317,786 times
Reputation: 1115
Quote:
Originally Posted by southward bound View Post
I know everyone here really loves their dogs, so I'm asking -
Is it possible to have a decent lawn (limited weeds) while having a dog or dogs?

What do all of you do to control weeds, crabgrass, etc. in your yards while also being mindful of things that could be poisonous to your pets?

Does Scott's or anyone else make any kind of lawn care product that is pet safe - I mean really pet safe, not just say so on a label.

I'm thinking of sowing clover. I know many people think clover is a weed, but I like the look of it and the feel of it underfoot and it might keep the chickweed from taking over the grass. Last year we had a decent yard of grass. This year it looks like chickweed and other stuff wants to take over. I'd hate to lose the lawn and have to reseed everything. We have about 3/4 acre fenced and open. The previous owners might have used something on the lawn, we don't know, but for a couple summers the grass looked decent.

I'm afraid of using any of the weed control products like "halts-plus" etc.

What do you do for the yards to help the grass and cut down on weeds?

Thanks.
I am using TrueGreen. Once it dries, it is safe for the pets and kids.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Where the real happy cows reside!
4,281 posts, read 6,553,810 times
Reputation: 10321
Mow high, leave your clippings on the lawn and airate. Helps choke out the weeds. Round Up is supposed to be ok for pets as long as you use it on sunny days and let it dry before letting your dogs back to play. The toxicity of the chemicals break down in the sun and don't stay in the soil forever.
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 23,280,610 times
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I don't think any of the chemicals are safe, IMO. They are not safe for our water that they inevitably work their way into, why would they be safe for our pets?

There are some more organic choices that are easily obtained like Milorganite or weed killers by Safer, you can find these at Lowes/Home Depot. You could also go completely organic - look into a company called Gardens Alive.

I am all for alternative lawn covers, if it works for you and looks nice, I say go for it!
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
33,962 posts, read 10,855,166 times
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Southward bound,
I share your concerns but I have a pretty lawn without the use of any herbicides. I absolutely don't want to make my back yard toxic to my pets or birds or any other critters.

I also love clover mixed in with grass and believe mono-culture is unnatural, so I seeded white clover rather heavily along with grass seed last year after getting on my hands and knees with a steak knife to cut out large clumps of crab grass.

I also did a top dressing of loam over the existing lawn after cutting out a couple of garbage cans full of crab grass. I used the pelleted grass seed. It has filled in very nicely. I am more than pleased with my lawn. I also have two dogs using a small California patio back yard, without any yellow spots.

Yes you can have a nice yard, without poisoning the enviornment or harming your pets.
Good Luck!
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:04 PM
 
Location: McKinleyville, California
5,004 posts, read 5,209,080 times
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I maintain from seven to thirteen yards in the summer and I have never used any chemicals on my yards. I have been organic since 1991 after a pump sprayers lid cracked while I was pumping it and showered me with malathion and sevin . I swore that I would never use chemical fertilizers or pesticides again. I mow high with a mulching blade and fertilize with animal manures, peat moss and composts. All my yards are healthy and green and they are safe to walk on and safe for the environment too. I have one client that will spay her lawn when I am not around and it causes one of her dogs to have bad skin reactions on her feet and pads. Anne moved into a new house five months ago, no chemicals have been applied yet and Milly's feet have healed up nice.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:04 AM
 
Location: a nation in decline
10,156 posts, read 10,274,243 times
Reputation: 3837
Default Oy, vey! my body would give out :)

Those are good suggestions. I'm glad to see you are managing so well. Thanks, all. I gave reps where the system would allow me. Sorry, riveree, it's your system and I've tied to overuse it for you!

I admire you, Elston, for doing all that work on your hands and knees. I could do smaller areas (I think), but if I tried to do that on our yard, you'd have to bury me out there. I'd never be able to get up again. Too much area to cover. (see photo - and that's only half the yard!)

Riveree, I'm familiar with Gardens Alive. It's an excellent place. In fact, our vet in our former home state was very organically/holistically minded and was using nematodes from Gardens Alive for his yard. We were going to do the same at one point, but then I was reading something negative about nematodes - never really found out what the issue is with them, and we haven't tried them. They're supposed to cut down on ticks, I think. We don't have a huge problem with ticks here, though we did when we had a wooded lot.

I'm going to look into the Safer products (I thought milorganite was a plant food?). Last week's radio gardening show said to use milorganite for flowering shrubs.
Attached Thumbnails
Lawn care & safety for your dogs-dusty-cooper-intheyard.jpg  
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
33,962 posts, read 10,855,166 times
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Southward bound; What a beautiful yard and those are two beautiful and lucky-dogs! When I move to Maine at the end of the month I will have my work cut out establishing a lawn on a lot with a new house. I guess the builder, hydro-seeded but the house was vacant all last summer--I expect we are pretty much starting from scratch. I am thinking of using some ground cover and shade gardens out back along the piney woods property line and somewhere to put in a large island garden of day lilies. If this builder did what many do, I rather expect the lawn willl need significant amounts of loam and top dressing.

Thanks for sharing the picture of you lovely yard and dogs.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:11 PM
 
Location: a nation in decline
10,156 posts, read 10,274,243 times
Reputation: 3837
Thank you Elston. Lucky you, living in Maine! I love Maine. It used to be my frequent favorite place to visit when we lived in NH. It sounds like you have a lot of work -- and a lot of fun - putting in your lawn and gardens. It will be beautiful!

Yep, builders strip the land and sell off the topsoil. Such a shame.
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Old 03-06-2008, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
33,962 posts, read 10,855,166 times
Reputation: 44118
Quote:
Originally Posted by southward bound View Post
Thank you Elston. Lucky you, living in Maine! I love Maine. It used to be my frequent favorite place to visit when we lived in NH. It sounds like you have a lot of work -- and a lot of fun - putting in your lawn and gardens. It will be beautiful!

Yep, builders strip the land and sell off the topsoil. Such a shame.
Yes, the rape of the land! Oh by the way, I lived in Laconia NH for more than 24 years.
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