Keep my lawn healthy, and dogs not dirty and smelly
February 20, 2008 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Here in sunny Florida, my two large dogs tend to wear my back lawn down to the dirt. Is there a grass that recovers easily?

I have sprinklers, and slightly sandy soil. It's rarely cold enough to frost. My current lawn is (I think) centipede grass.

My dogs aren't out much, but when they are, they trample and scamper about enough that there's soon more brown dirt than green lawn. I want something that doesn't require a lot of effort to keep green. Bonus points if my dogs smell nice after they roll around in it.

Do I have to find a geneticist to splice kudzu genes and spearmint genes into ryegrass?
posted by cmiller to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I would try zoysia. It's thirsty, though.

But I'm afraid there's no perfect cure.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:50 PM on February 20, 2008

Best answer: Bermuda grass will take the abuse from your dogs just fine. Only question would be if it will grow well in your soil. Your county extension office can probably answer that question for you.
posted by COD at 1:16 PM on February 20, 2008

Bermuda or Zoysia are both deep rooted, and are probably your best bet. You can overplant Bermuda with ryegrass, to keep your lawn green in winter. Check with your county extension about invasive issues- Bermuda grass is a nightmare here in the Bay Area.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:32 PM on February 20, 2008

Bermuda grass is very invasive and it seems like nothing will kill it. I would try that if nothing else will grow. I tried to kill it in my yard, even spraying patches of it with RoundUp. If it can survive that, it should be able to survive your dogs. Bermuda grass also likes sandy soil.

Other grass alternatives:
Yarrow (there are tall and short varieties of this, get the short varieties)
Mondo Grass or Lily Turf
Blue rug junipers
posted by Ostara at 2:25 PM on February 20, 2008

Bermuda grass will almost certainly take over your back yard happily. I grew up in Tampa, which really has a similar enough climate, and it was what most of our front lawn was made out of. It kind of crinkles down when you step on it, but isn't the softest grass in the world.

However, it will probably turn brown whenever it's dry out. It won't die, but it'll not be green.
posted by that girl at 3:07 PM on February 20, 2008

The typical grass used in hot, wet Gulf Coast climates is St. Augustine -- it's even named for a city in Florida. We also use it a lot here in SE Texas. It is very sturdy and dog-resistant and holds up well in the hot summers. Your best best, of course, is to ask your local nursery people what would grow best in your area.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:08 PM on February 20, 2008

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