If you have mud in your yard and dogs, then you also have muddy dogs, which leave their dirty paw prints everywhere. There is no doubt, dogs take great pleasure in sinking their paws into the wet, spongy dirt where grass once grew.
Running, playing and digging in the mud is like Disneyland for dogs but the aftermath of their sludge fest is often a lot of damage to the yard, grass, and a huge mess for you to clean up as they track mud and dirt into your house.
Depending on where you live determines how big the problem is. If you live in a desert climate, you don’t have to worry about mud very often but if you live where rainfall totals are high each year, a muddy yard can become a big, dirty problem. Not to mention an eyesore.
There are some things you can do to help protect your yard and put an end to the muddy messes your dog loves to make. The one you choose will most likely depend on your budget and the size of your yard, but some ideas include:
1. Fix Drainage Problems
If you have permanent drainage problems, it might be worth your time and money to fix them. Since too much moisture weakens your grass, your dog running on the fragile, wet ground breaks it down further, creating more mud. Too much moisture also attracts mosquitos and allows toxic fungus to grow. Some ways that you can get rid of extra moisture include:
- Install French drains
- Elevate the yard
- Fix faulty drainage systems
- Install rain gutters
- Recycle water using rain barrels
- Hire a professional
2. Artificial Grass
Thanks to modern technology, artificial grass now looks like the real thing. There are many brands on the market and just as many landscaping companies that will professionally install it for you. People like artificial grass because it:
- Conserves water
- Hypo-allergenic for those with grass allergies
- Never needs fertilizer
- No more herbicides
- Doesn’t attract bugs
- You never have to mow it
- Always looks good
No doubt, if you can afford it, artificial grass is tempting. There are some downsides to installing artificial grass and owning dogs and the most obvious is, you’ll need to clean it. Artificial grass does have a porous backing that urine can soak through, but poop will need to be cleaned up then any residue rinsed away so that it doesn’t get stinky and hold bacteria.
3. Lawn Gravel and/or Pavers
Create a desert landscape using lawn or pea gravel. Gravel is great because it can cover up muddy areas and not wash away. It’s also great for filling in low spots and protecting landscaping.
Gravel is durable and great for walking on, and that includes dogs. It’s aesthetically pleasing and can be used to create a beautiful yard. If you have lots of mud, you may have to lay crushed rock topped with lawn or pea gravel.
Rather than using just gravel, you can also incorporate gravel and paving stones to create a beautiful yard that is less muddy.
4. Pine Flakes
Pine flakes are another product that can be used to cover up a muddy yard. Not only do they make a great ground cover, but they also help dry out the yard and protect the soil. Pine flakes don’t require any fancy installation and are eco-friendly.
Pine flakes originate from pine trees and often what you see baby chicks standing in at the zoo or pet store. They come in many sizes such as extra-large, big, medium-fine, and various shapes and sizes. Among them, medium pine flakes are said to work well.
Pine flakes work best to cover temporary problems, caused by rain, etc. Since they absorb and hold moisture, they need to be replaced if they never dry out. If you have a drainage problem, your best bet is to fix the problem then apply the pine flakes as needed, seasonally.
5. Cedar Hog Fuel
Cedar hog fuel is a fibrous bark sometimes referred to as Gorilla Hair. It is most often used for mud control, on pathways, in animal kennels, on playgrounds, and as ground cover. As the name suggests, cedar hog fuel is made from 100% cedar leftover from cedar shakes and shingles that is run through a “hogger” then ground up.
If you are considering cedar ground fuel, be sure to only use untreated product. Some products are toxic to animals and people because they are made from wood that is treated with chemicals to help the wood break down, burn, or with recycled pallet boards.
We hope these tips help you get a handle on your muddy yard. Please feel free to share them with your friends.
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