The Q&A Archives: Female dogs and good looking yards

Question: Is there any kind of grass or ground covering you would recommend for a household with a female dog? We just moved into our home and she won't be allowed on the front yard and the back yard is very shady. I was wondering if maybe a ground cover would be hardier than regular grass. (We've only lived in the house in winter and don't know what the grass is even like, but we do know that the backyard is quite shady.) Or do nice looking green yards and female dogs just not go together?

Answer: Those of us who love both gardening and dogs have our work cut out for us! Unless you follow your dog out to the yard, and drench the area she has "used" with water from the hose, salts from her urine will kill the grass. Salt-tolerant groundcovers are those that thrive near the ocean or in alkaline deserts, and don't do well in shade. Have you considered allowing your pet access to just half of the yard? That way you can have an undisturbed lawn on one side, at least. On the other half, you could build raised beds for ornamentals or vegetables using timbers, bricks, or stone, and grow shade-loving plants, and spread peastone or other material on the ground for interest, and so there would be no vegetation for the dog to disturb. Just an idea. Hope it helps!

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