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  1. #1

    I'm Thinking About Removing Backyard Gr$#@!.

    I'm frustrated with my backyard since it's so muddy. I've been planting gr$#@! seeds and soil the past 5 months, and sectioning off from the dogs, but it's still too muddy.

    The houses around here were build on clay soil foundations which retain lots of water. I'm thinking about switching to that thick St. Augustine (park) gr$#@!, or if I should just take the gr$#@! out and drop cement to make it a bigger patio. Right now I can't let my dogs in my own backyard unless I want a muddy mess...

    You can literally stick your entire finger straight into the ground no problem, and when you pull it out it is completely wet. That's how moist the clay soil is around here.

    I take my 9 month and 9.5 month pups out everyday for a 3-5 mile jog. They are in the house all day since I try to keep them out of the mud. My question is, do dogs really need a lot of gr$#@! in the backyard if they spend most of the day inside and I also walk them to the park everyday?

  2. #2
    I would be weary of laying too much cement, as they need to RUN and that will tear their pads up. St. Augustine is great gr$#@!, pretty hardy, and easy to plug if you get a dead spot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Alberta, Canada.
    Do you have any drainage at all? Trying to gross gr$#@! in those conditions is going to be difficult at best, it would be like trying to get gr$#@! to grow in a swamp. If you can't add a way to drain off all that extra water there's little point in trying to get anything to grow in it, I don't know if it would be cheaper to pave it or to get someone in there to add the drainage. You could try adding them yourselves (its not hard) but you'll have to end up digging trenches through it and have to get someone else to find the lowest spots anyway.

  4. #4
    Ugh! I think that would be too much cement! NO fun for the dogs and hot in the summer. It might take some kind of landscaping expertise to maybe give some ideas on what COULD be done...


  5. #5
    I`m kinda in the same back yard is wet and alot of the winter time and has that amonia smell to it.aireating the yard and dethatching helps a little.I still end up with mud holes.How does pea gravel work?I have put down a couple hundred yards of it for customers on houses we were working on.I just don`t know how good it would be with two active dogs playing on it.the people we put it down for alway seemed to have small dogs and it was for ease of clean up or so they didn`t have to deal with gr$#@! and mud getting tracked in there house.

  6. #6
    As an afterthought, I had a house I lived in that had some very low-lying areas, that would flood and then rut up if I mowed with the Deere mower. I installed french drains, and had no more issues. It is easy, relatively cheap, and keeps your yard from being a muddy mess:

    What you do is dig a trench (use the measurements given in above illustration), then (for clay) you need to lay a length of cloth just over the top of the drain pipe (PVC and a decent drill will make it easy). Then, backfill with some pea gravel, and lay some of the clay back in place. If there are any tree roots in the way, use a solid drain pipe, that way the roots won't invade the pipe through the holes, seeking the water inside. You may also want to add a "flush" access to the drain, that way you can flush any debris prior to a storm, or before the drier season.

    This obviously would be done prior to laying the sod. Here is an article (written in Oregon) pertaining to french drains in clay:
    French Drain & Drainage Tips

    I do know, however, french drains can be ineffective if the property is not properly graded. In this case, a drainfield may be needed.

    (thank goodness my dad taught me all he knows about landscaping!)
    Last edited by 4PawsK9Svcs; 12-09-2010 at 06:58 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Chesapeake, Virginia, United States
    I'm not sure if this is an option, because of how wet your soil is, but you could do what I did in a section of my yard:



    Those damn rocks have been a lifesaver. We didn't add a layer of fabric under ours, but you could to prevent them from sinking into the ground.
    When it rains, it drains through the rocks and the dogs just go potty on them vs. the gr$#@!, so no more muddy paws. I've taught the dogs to potty on them as well, so my gr$#@! that I do have looks great now:

    The only downside is that they don't really run around the yard much anymore. But, the yards not that big anyway, so it's not really a huge deal. I just take them out in the field out front of my house and let them exercise there.

  8. #8
    I wish I could jog with star for 3-5 miles. I'm just too fat lol

  9. #9
    I love the gravel idea. I would also like to recommend organic mulch with no dyes. This way they can run on it and it's easier on their pads, especially very thin mulch. And when it rains the mulch doesn't get them dirty. We have a section like this for parking the car and are considering taking out more gr$#@! and putting more mulch down, providing them with a great potty area, so they do not go on the gr$#@!.

    So yes, gravel or mulch are both good options. =]

  10. #10
    Thanks for all the feedback! Good point about cement might tear up the dog's pads. I run them on the sidewalk often, but that's different from the dogs running back and forth putting more pressure on their pads. I know I have a drainage system thru-out the backyard, because I see the plastic drain covers around the yard, but it doesn't seem to be working. It's like a swamp. Maybe there is a leaking water pipe from my home or the neighbors. I wonder if there is a "Draino" like product for an outdoors draining system...

  11. #11
    I would discourage St. Augustine gr$#@!. It's a shade gr$#@! and it'll just die unless your entire yard is shady. Plus, it really is NOT very hardy as far as dog traffic goes. We have this type of gr$#@!...or HAD. It could not stand up to the dogs at all.

  12. #12
    pea gravel or un-dyed mulch. If you get the dyed mulch, you will have a stained dog, and a stained carpet, too. our yard is either dusty or muddy, but as it's a rental, and we're moving soon, we haven't bothered to fix it.

  13. #13

    As usual I have a question.What is the round thingy in your yard?my best guesses so far are tall fire pit,some kinda wishing well,boonvielian barbecue,composter.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Chesapeake, Virginia, United States
    Quote Originally Posted by BlaznJon View Post

    As usual I have a question.What is the round thingy in your yard?my best guesses so far are tall fire pit,some kinda wishing well,boonvielian barbecue,composter.
    LOL, it's the stupidest thing EVER. It WAS a "wishing well", if you even want to call it that (it had a little top with a bucket), but I took the top off. It's actually just a cover for the electrical box that is conveniently located in my backyard :mad: It was there when we bought the house, so we just left it alone.

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