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Old 03-23-2010, 11:08 AM
 
77 posts, read 212,759 times
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I've searched the forum and read through some posts about mud in the yard, but I'm hoping there might be some other people who've experienced this situation and can help out...

Basically, our yard remains WAY too muddy for our German shepherd to be able run around in it. It's been like this since February. Poor boy is amazingly well-behaved, considering he's been cooped up for a while now, but at this rate it looks like our yard won't dry out until July!

We live in Virginia, and our soil has a lot of clay of it, so moisture tends to take a while to seep through even under good conditions. But this year, with all of the snow pack we had and the on-and-off rain we keep getting (including yesterday), there's been just too much wetness for our yard to be able to dry out. Another general factor is that we have a lot of shade, so we don't always get a lot of sunlight back there and it's never been easy to grow grass; new grass wouldn't last long anyway with our dog running around on it. It's particularly bad along our fence line, where there's absolutely no grass left anymore and the area is a long line of soft, squishy mud. I know there must be other dog owners out there who have been going through the same thing.

So the question is, what can we do to cover our muddy patches so the dog can run outside and not need to have a bath every time he gets back in the house? Mulch? Gravel? Does anything work long-term even if the dog continues to trample it?

I would really appreciate any advice you might have. Thank you in advance!
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:14 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
556 posts, read 1,076,821 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexandriaVa11 View Post
.......squishy mud. I know there must be other dog owners out there who have been going through the same thing.

So the question is, what can we do to cover our muddy patches so the dog can run outside and not need to have a bath every time he gets back in the house? Mulch? Gravel? Does anything work long-term even if the dog continues to trample it?

I would really appreciate any advice you might have. Thank you in advance!
Yep - we've had a particularly WET winter for our area - and COLD - so our normally well established grassy backyard has been trampled down and the result has been MUD.....we put down two things this year (we do every year during the wetter periods) - we used pine straw and small grade mulch.

I've heard other pet owners in various parts of the U.S. complaining of the same thing - muddy yards with no dry up in sight........good luck - no matter what you select - I suppose short of pouring concrete along the high traffic areas or hauling in loads of river rock - you will probably have to do this every year.....one of the joys of dog ownership - having a backyard that is a 'work in progress' quite often

In the spring, as things start to grow (which we are finally IN - yeah!) - we have been known to use our electric fence to partition off parts of the yard to allow them to re-establish without heavy foot traffic from our (6) dogs. Once the grass is looking better, we move the wire to another part and continue until the 'paths' have recovered somewhat with new growth.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:28 AM
 
Location: ROTTWEILER & LAB LAND (HEAVEN)
2,401 posts, read 3,154,101 times
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We also had a very wet Winter..COME ON SPRING...it's trying...


If your able to buy straw bales, that's the easiest & cheapest way.

Large cedar shavings...a bit more expensive but you can buy them at Wally world.

Fencing off sections so the dog(s) can get into that area. Just like Rottnboys said.

Hubby buys major grass seed in the Spring. Over 100#. He seeds the yard in Sporing & Fall.
Not just because of the dirt spots showing, but due to the mole hills.
If you get some good grass growing thicker in bad areas, it should last.

Good luck !!!
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:19 PM
 
29,990 posts, read 20,712,711 times
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I have a similar problem. In the past 15 years my surrounding neighbors have chosen to landscape in a manner that does not allow my yard to drain naturally as it did the first 5 years I owned my home. The have also diverted their drainage into my yard which results in an blissful mufpond for my lab. I have found no solution; and I have lost trees as a result as well. I keep throwing down hardy varieties of "turf" fescue to no avail..

Pretty much I just accept that I must keep a bucket and towl supply at the back-door to mop up my lad before he spreads the mud through the house.

I've working on a move and the house I'm renovating will have a true "mudroom" for the dogs to enter and be contained until presentable with a "mop sink" to for me to wash their muddy bellies/legs & paws!
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:33 PM
 
Location: EPWV
4,849 posts, read 2,683,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifelongMOgal View Post
I have a similar problem. In the past 15 years my surrounding neighbors have chosen to landscape in a manner that does not allow my yard to drain naturally as it did the first 5 years I owned my home. The have also diverted their drainage into my yard which results in an blissful mufpond for my lab. I have found no solution; and I have lost trees as a result as well. I keep throwing down hardy varieties of "turf" fescue to no avail..

Pretty much I just accept that I must keep a bucket and towl supply at the back-door to mop up my lad before he spreads the mud through the house.

I've working on a move and the house I'm renovating will have a true "mudroom" for the dogs to enter and be contained until presentable with a "mop sink" to for me to wash their muddy bellies/legs & paws!
======================
Why did they do it like that? Isn't there some kind of Home Owner's Association rules regarding drainage per each home? Doesn't sound right.
Sure doesn't sound fair.

We've got a couple dogs and a fenced in yard. There are some patches of grass that are barer than others. I've got plans to try and fix it up. Lowes and Home Depot have this new product that's guaranteed to grow. I don't know how well it's going to work, but I'm willing to try.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal
12,425 posts, read 12,508,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat1116 View Post
Lowes and Home Depot have this new product that's guaranteed to grow.
What's it called??? I want to try too.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:49 PM
 
3,528 posts, read 5,773,593 times
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Sigh....this has been a very bad year in Houston for our lawns! We had a draught all summer and then a really cold winter. It looks like that combo has killed a lot of our back yard. With the dogs running over it, its now churned into a beautiful mud bath We will be ordering and installing sod in a few weeks to correct our problems but until then....we have spread 8 bales of straw. Its not perfect but it does help to keep the mud out of the house. It binds with the mud and then decomposes to enrich the soil. For lawns that are just soggy from bad drainage or poor draining soil there are a few things you can do. Long term solution is to change the drainage. If there is just one low spot where all the water drains to, the easiest solution is a dry well. If its an all over problem, raising the grade (yup - just like your neighbors did) or build a french drain and channel system. They are all labor intensive projects but not difficult to do.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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That's always been a problem for us, too. Here in New England we often get "mud season", where the snow melts in late winter/early February, and the lawn turns to mud. With active dogs we used to have a mess on our hands. One little trick I learned was to add packaged "mulch" hay, which is seedless, shredded hay. Regular hay generally has weed seeds in it, which you don't want. (or maybe you don't mind, but I do ) Often people will reseed their lawn and throw mulch hay down over the seeds anyway. I would usually scatter some grass seeds across the mud if it was already spring, then just cover it all up with the hay. Several weeks later you can rake away the hay, and maybe even have some grass sprouting. I'm not sure if Lowe's or Home Depot carries mulch hay though, I always buy mine from a local garden center.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:27 PM
 
24,539 posts, read 14,685,175 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cat1116 View Post
======================
Why did they do it like that? Isn't there some kind of Home Owner's Association rules regarding drainage per each home? Doesn't sound right.
Sure doesn't sound fair.

We've got a couple dogs and a fenced in yard. There are some patches of grass that are barer than others. I've got plans to try and fix it up. Lowes and Home Depot have this new product that's guaranteed to grow. I don't know how well it's going to work, but I'm willing to try.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DandJ View Post
What's it called??? I want to try too.

I don't know if it is the same thing but currently all home improvement/lawn care departments sell bags of this stuff that looks like fluffy shredded newspaper. You just take it out with one hand and sort of shake it across the area you want to cover. water it and leave it and it grows. So far they only make it in affordable size for 'patches' of grass and not whole yards (looks like that stuff you can have sprayed on your bare lawn by companies) I've used it where I've torn out bushes and things and the stuff really works and there is no clean up! You are basically getting seed and biodegradable cover all in one.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:51 PM
 
3,528 posts, read 5,773,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thursday007 View Post
I don't know if it is the same thing but currently all home improvement/lawn care departments sell bags of this stuff that looks like fluffy shredded newspaper.
If its the stuff I'm thinking of, its an annual rye grass mix. It would be a temporary solution in a lot of areas of the country since it dies when the temperture goes above 90 degrees
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