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Old 11-21-2014, 07:22 PM
 
Location: la la land
27,158 posts, read 11,338,839 times
Reputation: 19271

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We recently bought a house in Sacramento Ca. I believe it is zone 9 or if you use Sunset, it's zone 14. We have about 1/4 acre and lots of trees, the yard is east facing and quite shady. We have a small lawn and raised planter beds, but the seller covered large areas of the yard with gorilla grass mulch which is just a curse, every time our two dogs come in they are covered with that crap and there is no way to rake or blow leaves out of it.

We would like to replace that, or at least plant it with the goal that ultimately the ground cover would take over. Our dogs don't dig, the most damage they would do is running around chasing each other.

Any ideas would be appreciated, since the yard is large and the area currently planted in grass is small I would be open to using more than one kind of ground cover.
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
28,382 posts, read 50,562,503 times
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We have been faced with this dilemma for many years, always having at least 2 dogs. With feeding of a high quality food, resulting in dense, compact "droppings", we found gravel to be the cleanest and easiest for cleanup. Grass is good too, but of course requires work, mowing and watering. Large bark won't track in but they can get pawsplinters. Any plantings that are higher than lawn will hide the droppings until you step on them.
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Old 11-22-2014, 12:36 PM
 
Location: la la land
27,158 posts, read 11,338,839 times
Reputation: 19271
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
We have been faced with this dilemma for many years, always having at least 2 dogs. With feeding of a high quality food, resulting in dense, compact "droppings", we found gravel to be the cleanest and easiest for cleanup. Grass is good too, but of course requires work, mowing and watering. Large bark won't track in but they can get pawsplinters. Any plantings that are higher than lawn will hide the droppings until you step on them.
We don't have a problem with droppings at all, they are large dogs but eat high quality grain free food so no issue there. We have a relatively small lawn right now and don't really want to cover the whole yard with grass, I think that some parts of our yard would probably be too shady to sustain a lawn anyway. We have an area with compacted decomposed granite which works well, and a cement patio, I was hoping to plant some areas with some kind of ground cover to add interest to the yard and mainly get rid of this gorilla hair (or is it gorilla grass) Maybe we should just get a pool
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Old 11-22-2014, 08:08 PM
 
25,631 posts, read 29,103,055 times
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Vinca minor, Chinese jasmine, creeping fig.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:13 PM
 
Location: la la land
27,158 posts, read 11,338,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogdad View Post
Vinca minor, Chinese jasmine, creeping fig.
Thanks! I'm going plant shopping tomorrow I will see if I can find those.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,673 posts, read 45,016,991 times
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Creeping fig is toxic and dangerous to dogs:
Poisonous Plants For Dogs
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:06 PM
 
936 posts, read 1,216,250 times
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We dug out an area (10' x 10') off our patio for a dog potty pit. We dug down about 6" and filled it with sand. Pea gravel would work well too, we just happened to have free sand given to us. Our dogs are small, but you get the idea. At first we had to walk out there with them to be sure they did business where we intended, now they just go there. It helps that we hung a tarp over it (one of those neat shade sails) so it is dry in the rain and it keeps the snow out of it too...not that you will have snow in Sac! We jsut hose it down after raking it once per week. It is not far from our family room windows so we aim to keep it from smelling bad.

That leads me to the graound cover. We battled hot sun and shady areas, irrigation problems, getting the mower into all the nooks and crannies. We finally gave up and installed artificial turf. Don't laugh and if you are at all interested go see a dealer in your area. There are some specific brands for places like dog parks that dogs can mess on and it hoses right off. However, since we have small dogs and they only go out there to run around, we just got ordinary, common turf. We also chose not to put the rubber fill material in but usd sand instead. I just didn't feel comfortable with the rubber fill knowing that one of my dogs is very curious and tries to taste everything in her environment.

Just sayin'. We no longer have to mow, fertilize, water. The turf will pay for itself given what the cost of irrigation and water is here. We also have enough shade that there are cooler areas on the turf for hot summer days as the turf does hold some heat in direct sun. The most maintenance we have is to blow the leaves off in the Fall. If you get artificial turf be sure that the installation is done correctly. We have a neighbor who has spent some $$$ because it wasn't layed flat and stretched properly in the space. But I couldn't be happier with ours.
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:01 PM
 
Location: la la land
27,158 posts, read 11,338,839 times
Reputation: 19271
Quote:
Originally Posted by wit-nit View Post
Creeping fig is toxic and dangerous to dogs:
Poisonous Plants For Dogs
thanks for the info, I had no idea!
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:23 PM
 
Location: la la land
27,158 posts, read 11,338,839 times
Reputation: 19271
Quote:
Originally Posted by utsci View Post
We dug out an area (10' x 10') off our patio for a dog potty pit. We dug down about 6" and filled it with sand. Pea gravel would work well too, we just happened to have free sand given to us. Our dogs are small, but you get the idea. At first we had to walk out there with them to be sure they did business where we intended, now they just go there. It helps that we hung a tarp over it (one of those neat shade sails) so it is dry in the rain and it keeps the snow out of it too...not that you will have snow in Sac! We jsut hose it down after raking it once per week. It is not far from our family room windows so we aim to keep it from smelling bad.

That leads me to the graound cover. We battled hot sun and shady areas, irrigation problems, getting the mower into all the nooks and crannies. We finally gave up and installed artificial turf. Don't laugh and if you are at all interested go see a dealer in your area. There are some specific brands for places like dog parks that dogs can mess on and it hoses right off. However, since we have small dogs and they only go out there to run around, we just got ordinary, common turf. We also chose not to put the rubber fill material in but usd sand instead. I just didn't feel comfortable with the rubber fill knowing that one of my dogs is very curious and tries to taste everything in her environment.

Just sayin'. We no longer have to mow, fertilize, water. The turf will pay for itself given what the cost of irrigation and water is here. We also have enough shade that there are cooler areas on the turf for hot summer days as the turf does hold some heat in direct sun. The most maintenance we have is to blow the leaves off in the Fall. If you get artificial turf be sure that the installation is done correctly. We have a neighbor who has spent some $$$ because it wasn't layed flat and stretched properly in the space. But I couldn't be happier with ours.
I'm open to any and all suggestions, but I don't think artificial turf would work, I think we need something to contrast with the lawn and the decomposed granite areas. We don't really need a place for the dogs to poop, we already showed them where to go and they are very reliable about doing their business under some big fig trees. I attached a picture of one part of the yard[IMG][/IMG], the reddish brown stuff in the picture is gorilla grass mulch which is just horrible, the dogs track it all over the house and you can't rake leaves out of it ugh..
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