The Q&A Archives: Hardy grass that will withstand a dog and shade trees and keep the the ground from washing away.

Question: There is a creek behind our house and we have a fence between the house and the creek. We also have lovely blossoming pear trees and an active big dog. Thus the grass is gone by the fence and the dirt seems to be washing downhill toward the creek.

What kind of grass or ground cover would you suggest that will grow under the shade and withstand the tromping active dog?

Answer: It is difficult to establish grass in a shady area so I'd vote for a ground cover instead. Some ground covers will tolerate foot traffic but none will stand up to what sounds like a dog run along your fence. You can try growing vinca minor. It's a vining ground cover, grows about 8" - 10" tall, flowers in the spring and summer and will tolerate some foot traffic. Anything lower growing will disappear after a few months of doggie traffic. Once the ground cover is established the soil erosion problem should disappear.

Best wishes with your landscape.

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