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Old 08-30-2012, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
6,065 posts, read 8,679,086 times
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Default good sturdy grass mix for a dog frinedly clay based backyard in zone 7

Well i think th etitle says it all...
my back yard is very clay based
i have 2 small and 1 large dog...
i have ducks and geese and rabbits (and other animals but they wont have any acess to this section of the yard)

My back yard was primarily weey clumping crab gras and clover. the ucks and geese have taken care of ALL the crab grass and the drought took out the clover (which is trying to come back)
i LOVE LOVE LOVE clover lawns, (and so do the bunnies lol) but i want something that im not going to have to baby too much.

id like clover in the mix, but im new to zone 7 and also want a nice hearty (but preferably soft duner foot) grass mix to make up the majority so im only having to over seed the occasional clover patch here and there...
The ducks and geese will have rotational acess to the back lawn so will NOT be graizing it down to the ground.

because of the birds and bunnies who get all the clippings ect, i want a lawn that will be hary and NOT nee pesticies or chemical fees to thrive.

water and the ocasonal dose of rabbit poop fertilizer "tea" is all i want to have to supply
the dogs are not diggers or that rough on the lawn, they o like to run but buth my little dogs are VERY light on their feet and my big dog teds to race the perimeter so i could easily put a "racetrack" in for him lol.
urine scals is NOT an issue thanks to a good diet (ive havent had a single yellow spot on any lawn since getting them on a good food)

So what would be a good grass seed mix that would go well with clover, look nice but be relitivly low maintenence and feel nice under bare feet? (no prickly grasses lol)
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Old 08-30-2012, 10:50 PM
 
Location: rain city
2,651 posts, read 7,103,456 times
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I'm having a hard time getting to the gist of your issue due to the density of language errors in your post. Wow.

"(but preferably soft duner foot) grass mix"
I'm adrift at deciphering this. At all.

"i want a lawn that will be hary"
Ditto the above bewilderment.

"urine scals is NOT an issue"
Continued above incomprehension.



You have a place with wildlife and domestic animals and you wish to grow a lawn on a sizeable property....is that the question? And you would wish this lawn to be impervious to much animal traffic and poor climate conditions, yes?

Lawns+animals in general are not copacetic. Lawns are generally ornamental and not practical, and require a lot of care to maintain. Grass lawns+poor growing conditions+animal traffic (without constant professional care) may not be possible in your circumstance.

Perhaps you should alter your desired landscaping to something more pragmatic for the circumstance? That is, give up the idea of widespread lawn grass and go with whatever greenery the property will support naturally, and a small bit of maintainable lawn that you can run your feet through now and again.

Lawn grass is ridiculously labor and money intensive. Minimize your grass needs, and whack down the rest of the nondescript weedery from time to time.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:11 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 2,366,504 times
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The best grass for what you describe is centipedegrass. I recommend the TifBlair cultivar.
Why? Well, simple. It's a self repairing grass but it only spreads above ground so it's easy to control unlike bermudagrass.
It's extremely durable. It doesn't scalp if you cut it too short. It stays green longer than other cool season grasses. It thrives with no fertilizer (and that's important to me because I don't like to use fertilizer where the dogs play), and it forms a very dense mat that chokes out weeds without herbicides and it even outcompetes bermuda. It's also heat and drought tolerant (although not quite as drought tolerant as other warm season grasses.) Clay and pH issues are not a problem. Unlike bermuda and zoysia, the clippings disintegrate quickly and do not get dragged in the house by dogs.

The main drawbacks are the light green color, and lack of cold hardiness (although the tif blair cultivar is one of the more hardy varieties.)

It has a somewhat spongy feel under foot. Not especially prickly although it is more of a coarse textured grass like St. Augustine. I suggest a cut height of 1.75" but if that's too prickly you can cut it shorter and it'll have a more prostrate habit.
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Old 08-31-2012, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
6,065 posts, read 8,679,086 times
Reputation: 7793
firstly to azoria...
1: attitude that came across in your writing was not nessicary
i have a disability AND my D button sticks...
most people who take the time to read could discipher words missing a sinclge letter or letters switches, like UNDER and SCALD and HARDY...

2: no im not trying to grow 4 1/2 acres of grass, im trying to grow a SMALL lawn coving aproximatly 1/8th of an acre in my direct back yard where 3 dogs and occasionally some ducks geese and bunnies and myself play...im not opposed to maintence i just dont have the funds or desire to have a professional lawn company out every month to spray with with nasty environmentally destructive chemicals JUST to keep it green...
i o not expect ANYTHING to be inpervious to foot traffic i expect to need ot occasioanlly re-seed patches, water uring ry weather, and fertilize (with NATURAL) fertilizers once in a while...I i expect the guinea fowl to occasionally dig a spot up on their neverening hunt for ants, grubs and ticks (thought there certianly not as hard on lawns as chickens are lol)
and i expect the dogs to occasionally ear up a chunk when racing round...

im from the UK, and im not sure WHY in america lawns have to be such NEEY things...
we always had a rich LUSH lawn and did NOTHING to it beyond mowing once a week or so, the british weather being cool and frequently wet helps, but ive never understood why americans seem to have a strong facinatio with lawns that NEE to be baibies lawns that CANT be enjoyed beacues folks are so busy protecting it...mabe its just the seed you guys have available here, but i can tell you european lawns are common, look nice and are LOW maintence in all but oceanside areas...

Crittic, thanks for the info, will definatly look into it i prefer a slightly longer grass anyway, and "self repairing" is definatly what im looking for...i just want something that looks better than patches of bear clay between clumbs of crab grass, and the clover grows so well but obviously isnt a true perenial and id pretty much like to flesh it out a little more with something that will help it choke out the crab grass and make it look a little...well...less like a dirt lot lol.

im not opposed to alternative "tufs" other than grass (ie 100% mixed clover, moss ect) but being that im new to the area an so use to a combination of what does well in England and what does well in connecticut...im kind of at a loss for what does well in western TN, and havgin to relearn everything i know...

im not expecting some lush country club or estate lawn, perfectly manicured by an army of mantence folks with their timed irrigation and mass of pesticies, herbicides and fertilizers...
i ust want something comfortable underfoot and green to hide the dirt and keep the tracked clay down to a minimum...
and something i wont have to have truckloads of topsoil elivered just to ke it alive...

I cant do mulch, or gravel in the back yard due to the dogs, ive got one with sensitive feet who wont walk on gravel, 1 wholl ONLY pee on grass and another who wont walk on mulch...

the rest of my 4 1/2 acres can be as much weedy grass, wild flowers and clover as it wants to be...the goats keep that mowed just far enough own that it looks pretty but not far enough down that i can see dirt lol...
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:16 PM
 
11,151 posts, read 9,337,278 times
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I'm so glad you asked this question! I have a very similar situation -- my "dog run" (approximately 450 SF) started out with patches of grass but is now mostly dirt. Ugh.

I'd like to sod the area with grass that will be sturdy enough to stand up to the pups' playing but not require a heck of a lot of maintenance. I'll certainly take a look at the centipede grass!
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
6,065 posts, read 8,679,086 times
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done some reading on the centepede (and bermuda) and both sound like theyd be perfect for what i (and now dark) ar elooking for, spreading, hardy, commonly used for sports fields (so good for high traffic)

looks like a potential winner
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:34 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 2,366,504 times
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Just a clarification...

When I said
Quote:
It stays green longer than other cool season grasses
, what I meant was it will stay green longer than other WARM season grasses.


Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
im from the UK, and im not sure WHY in america lawns have to be such NEEY things...
we always had a rich LUSH lawn and did NOTHING to it beyond mowing once a week or so, the british weather being cool and frequently wet helps, but ive never understood why americans seem to have a strong facinatio with lawns that NEE to be baibies lawns that CANT be enjoyed beacues folks are so busy protecting it...mabe its just the seed you guys have available here, but i can tell you european lawns are common, look nice and are LOW maintence in all but oceanside areas...
)))

I keep telling people to stop obsessing over a concept that originated in a place (UK) where it never gets above 75 degrees, rains practically every day, has perfect soil and the grasses are native to begin with. So much money and effort to make our lawns look like your (or their) lawns.

(((
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
Crittic, thanks for the info, will definatly look into it i prefer a slightly longer grass anyway, and "self repairing" is definatly what im looking for...i just want something that looks better than patches of bear clay between clumbs of crab grass, and the clover grows so well but obviously isnt a true perenial and id pretty much like to flesh it out a little more with something that will help it choke out the crab grass and make it look a little...well...less like a dirt lot lol.
)))

Centipede is the answer to your woes. You may not have the easiest time finding it in TN, but you can order the seeds online. Check Lowes for the Tifblair seed. Starting it from seed is a PITA in our climate and it's too late in the season. You'll need to completely kill off what you got and prepare the seed bed. You might be able to order sod.

(((
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
im kind of at a loss for what does well in western TN, and havgin to relearn everything i know...
[/quote])))
NOTHING does well in western TN. It's the transition zone. Too cold for warm season grass, too hot for cool season grass. You just have to pick one and throw money at it. Centepede is a low maintenance grass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
done some reading on the centepede (and bermuda) and both sound like theyd be perfect for what i (and now dark) ar elooking for, spreading, hardy, commonly used for sports fields (so good for high traffic)

looks like a potential winner
NO!!! Do NOT USE BERMUDA.
Bermuda is a very high maintenance grass. It requires monthly CHEMICAL fertilizer (rabbit turds won't do it) and lots of carefully timed chemical weed control applications. It needs to be mowed very short and very frequently throughout the mowing season. It is also bad if you have dogs in the transition zone because it is dormant for more than half the year and the dormant grass will be dragged inside the house. In other words, it rewards you with a very short period of glory for your effort. And last but not least, it's highly invasive and it's like a tattoo on the planet. Once it gets established, you can never get rid of it. Without proper care, it will just look terrible but it will make it impossible for you to replace it. Don't list to anyone who says to plant that grass. Bermuda will definitely be more widely available and cheaper, but resist the urge, you'll regret it.

Think of your dogs... chemicals? I don't think you want to have to do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark of the Moon View Post
I'm so glad you asked this question! I have a very similar situation -- my "dog run" (approximately 450 SF) started out with patches of grass but is now mostly dirt. Ugh.

I'd like to sod the area with grass that will be sturdy enough to stand up to the pups' playing but not require a heck of a lot of maintenance. I'll certainly take a look at the centipede grass!

I don't know where itDos is... google just said it was the dutch oven society but centipede is ok for cold hardiness zones 7 or warmer.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:19 PM
 
11,151 posts, read 9,337,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
I don't know where itDos is... google just said it was the dutch oven society but centipede is ok for cold hardiness zones 7 or warmer.
LOL!

According to the USDA Plant Hardiness map, I'm in Zone 7a.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:53 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 2,366,504 times
Reputation: 3398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark of the Moon View Post
LOL!

According to the USDA Plant Hardiness map, I'm in Zone 7a.
That's about the upper limit of it's range. I wouldn't rule out the possibility for some winter injury (mostly on account of it not wanting to go to bed as early as the others) but it recovers quickly.

TifBlair Certified Centipede Sod and Seed
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Rural Western TN
6,065 posts, read 8,679,086 times
Reputation: 7793
thanks for the warning crittic about bermuda, every "grass for w.tn" search i did came back with bermuda LOL.
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