backyard mud and dogs...bad combo

Discussion in 'Garden and Lawncare' started by Christian, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. Feb 12, 2009 #1

    Christian

    Christian

    Christian

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    Hi all,

    I have a med-sized fenced in yard, a 90lb German Shepherd, and another smaller mix dog. I've only been living in the house for 8 months, and the thin layer of lawn that was there when I moved in has now dwindled to nearly 30% lawn and 70% mud pit.

    There is no patio or anything off my back steps...just grass turned to mud. I'd like to have a cement patio put in. First of all, does anyone know what something like that would cost? I'm not sure of the overall cost, so an approx. price/sq ft would be extremely helpful.

    Secondly, can anyone provide me some ideas about what to do about the lawn? Should I lay grass seed...will it work? I know having a perfect lawn is almost out of the question with 2 dogs, but can anyone provide any suggestions about a way to minimize the mud?? Even if it doesn't look fantastic for a while...we'll have to put up with it to try and keep the dogs clean.

    Thanks for the help!

    Christian
     
  2. Feb 13, 2009 #2

    glennjanie

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    Welcome Christian:
    Whether you seed or sod your lawn, it will have to have a rest from the dogs. All grasses go into a degree of hibernation in cold weather and can't recover from the traffic.
    For summer cover and good growth I would recommend Bermuda or Zoysa but they both turn brown at the first frost and the regrowth is almost nil. In our area, the best survivor of cold weather is Fescue; it continues to show green growth (although slower) all winter long.
    You may want to check with the local lawn and garden shop to see what they would use in your area.
    Glenn
     
  3. Feb 13, 2009 #3

    jdougn

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    Hello Christian,

    After my 60lb siberian husky and 70lb german shepherd mix got done digging up the cable tv wire in the back yard I asked them what they thought. Both suggested that you surrender to the inevitable! :lol:

    Seriously, when the yard is wet, they go straight into an 10'x10' outdoor kennel with pave stone floor. We used pave stones so that the kennel area can be adjusted or moved entirely if need be and we could do pave stones without hiring someone. The kennel has a walkout area and a sidewalk to the new deck.

    When the yard is dry, they are either supervised or only allowed to stay out for short periods of time so they don't dig too far or too deep. They are much better about not digging after they have been for an hour long walk. So, 4-5+ times a week they get a nice long walk.
    hth, Doug
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  4. Feb 14, 2009 #4

    alecamal

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    Hi Christian

    In my area a good rule of thumb for estimating overall cost of small pours(patio)is to take current cost of redi-mix(concrete truck delivered)and triple it plus fifty dollars.I find this comes pretty close most times to cover labor and materials.One cubic yard will cover 81 square feet @4 inches thick,the norm
     
  5. Feb 16, 2009 #5

    GreenIsGood

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    Hi Christian,
    One way to keep the yard from being a mud pit and still keep your dogs happy, would be to add a layer of sand. Have some brought in and dumped - call your local quarry or landscape place and get an estimate on the cost from them. They will ask you for the size of your back yard area. So have that ready. Then get your rake and friends/family together and spread it around.
    Good Luck :)
     
  6. Feb 25, 2009 #6

    watersda

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    Easy fix. Get rid of the dogs!
     
  7. Apr 28, 2009 #7

    Christian

    Christian

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    There are a lot of people that I'd get rid of before I got rid of my dogs.
     
  8. Apr 28, 2009 #8

    Christian

    Christian

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I really don't have room for a kennel however. The boys don't really have a digging problem either...they get muddy just from walking around. Barring rain, they get walked (or jog or rollerblade) at least 6 days a week...and yes...even in the winter we like hiking in the snow! The deeper the better! Plus they're in obedience classes so they've got plenty to do. They don't have a boredom problem...just walking around gets 'em muddy!
     
  9. Apr 28, 2009 #9

    Christian

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    I've got some seed left over from patching a spot where I removed a tree in my front yard. I think I might try getting some stakes and chicken coop fencing or something and trying to fix it by dividing the yard into 4 or 5 sections and doing it a piece at a time. It'll take a while but I can't figure out how I'll get it to grow unless I go that route.
     
  10. Apr 28, 2009 #10

    cibula11

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    Scotts patchmaster works really well. If you have a large area it could get pricey, but usually within 4-7 days you see the grass starting to grow provided that you haven't put any weed killer or crabgrass killer on your lawn. Dogs will have to be off of it for over a week.
     
  11. Apr 28, 2009 #11

    handyguys

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    Sod will give you the quickest lawn. Keep this rule of thumb in mind - you can have it fast, you can have it cheap and you can have good quality. Pick to. Sod is fast and good quality. See is good quality and cheap. Just fertilizing and hoping for the best is cheap and you wont be happy with the results.

    I would add some type of small patio or landing. Concrete is relatively cheap. Redimix is they way to go for al but the smallest pours. and 8x10 patio could be 25-30 bags off the top of my head. Thats a lot of hand mixing and you cant keep up when screeding it.

    Also, what can help, train your dogs to use a particular area to do their business. Could even be an area with gravel and no grass. It makes cleanup easier and will save your new grass from the extra "fertilizer" that can kill it.
     
  12. Apr 28, 2009 #12

    Christian

    Christian

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    I'm definitely planning to add a nice patio asap, although it will probably be another 2 years (realistically) because I'm getting married next May 2010...so I won't have extra cash to spend on something like that until probably 2011...depending on how much extra money we get as wedding gifts!

    I'm putting in a rather large patio though. My garage is detached, and the length of the drive way that starts at the rear house line and ends in front of the garage door is cracked and really nasty. I'm planning to replace that section of the driveway, and also add a patio that stretches, connecting with the driveway, to line up with the other side of the house. We have a bungalow and it isn't a very wide lot. I couldn't tell you the size off the top of my head, but I'm guessing it'll be pretty damn expensive to do because of the size.

    I actually have the patchmaster stuff I'm planning to use for the spots in the front yard I mentioned before. Not sure if I'll use that for the back or not b/c it is expensive.

    Has anyone used that new EZ Seed stuff? Supposedly very rugged and grows anywhere? I wonder how well that would work for the back yard...

    As far as training the dogs to go in a particular area...that can be tough. I'm an avid dog trainer but from my experience, dogs will typically find their own spot to go. The good thing is they usually always go in that spot. To train them to go in a spot you choose, you have to be out there every time they potty for a LONG time (months), never letting them go anywhere but your designated spot. Not sure I'd really want to put in that amount of time. Besides, they don't (or at least haven't) killed spots of the lawn with their extra fertilizer anyway...
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  13. Apr 28, 2009 #13

    handyguys

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    personally I think patchmaser is a waste of money. Its just some fertilize and woodpulp mulch mixed with seed. Just get some seed and starter fertalizer and keep it watered.

    WARNING - The spring time "weed and feed" type products contain a "pre emergent" weed killer. It keeps weeds from sprouting as they say in their marketing. Well, guess what, it also keeps grass seed from growing. If you have a service they probably used a pre-emergent. If you bought 'spring' bags at the home center it also probably contains a pre-emergent weed killer too.

    As for the patio - a little 8x8 concrete patio wont cost too much. A couple hundred bucks maybe. Get some quotes. You might be able to get in on the tail end of a large job. if you build your forms and screed (smooth) the concrete yourself it may even be cheaper. When you build your mac daddy patio you can just bust up your little one.
     
  14. Apr 29, 2009 #14

    Christian

    Christian

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    I don't have any type of lawn service. I used the turf builder/weed killer scotts stuff last year, but none this year...so hopefully the patches in my front yard will grow OK.

    I don't know if putting in a smaller patio and then tearing it out in a year or 2 is something I want to do...

    I also probably wouldn't be doing any of the work myself...I'm decently handy but I wouldn't even know where to start with something like that...
     
  15. Feb 9, 2011 #15

    LAMANILI

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    Synthetic turf or astroturf will work great! They make some just for dogs. Yes its expensive but it will last for 8 to 10 years. No watering or mowing. Just hose off. I have 6 dogs and its great!
     
  16. Feb 9, 2011 #16

    joecaption

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    No one here knows what concrete cost in your area, how far you are from the plant, how much there short load ( a short load is when they have to deliver less then a full truck load) up charge is or what labor cost in your area.
    What your looking for is a concrete finisher not a mason. Any concrete plant will have a list with phone #'s or
     
  17. Feb 10, 2011 #17

    paul52446m

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    I have two large dogs, back yard 50'x50'. I had 30'x10' on the side of my house. So i made a 10'x80' dog run. I dug this area out 6" deep and put 1" smooth round stone in 6" deep.
    I put a auto dog door in my living room wall. My living is 4' above ground, so i built a 4'x4' deck with roof and wire on the side walls. The a built a 16' long enclosed ramp going down to the ground. This way i don't have to remove snow from it. I live in the northern part of Mi. My wife loves it so she doesn't have to let the dogs out. Those dogs are going through that door 30 times a day. I have a gate on the out side to get into that area.
    My wife put down two rugs just inside so when the dogs come in we yell
    stop and make the stand there for a min. so the get some of the water off
    there feet. paul
     
  18. Mar 1, 2012 #18

    jshurat

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    I have a very similar problem. I have four dogs and 2.5 acres. I couldn't seem to train them to stay in the yard and it got so they would run even if I was out there (I need some obedience training!). So, I fenced in a 50' by 70' area, in which the back of the house with the back door is one of the 50' walls of the 50' x 70' rectangle. There is a deck off the back door so they go from the deck to the yard. What I DO like is that I just have to open the door to let them out and I don't have to watch them every second. It appears to be enough of an area for them to run together and play and exercise. HOWEVER!! The mud is driving me crazy. They only go potty in the two back corners of the area, which makes it easier to keep clean. Even so, the half that is closest to the house has become very muddy over the winter. When it's snowy out, it's no problem at all, but once the snow melts, it's a muddy mess, which they bring into the house. So, I have a problem with dealing with the mud outside, and a problem with handling the mud they bring in. I hadn't had a dog in 20 years but my husband died and I wanted to get one for my son. Well, one turned into 4 in about 3 weeks! I know, I'm crazy. I love them all but need some help with the mud . . . thanks in advance for any help.
     

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