Suggestions around a large patio

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by forgop, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. forgop

    forgop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    I have a 500 square foot patio that I installed in the back of my house 2 years ago. I've brought it topsoil and seeded it, but it hasn't done very well as even after 2 years, I'm having difficulty getting grass to grow, which is primarily due to dog/foot traffic.

    Do you have any suggestions for some common landscaping around a rectangular patio? I don't know if I want to put mulch all the way around it with some shrubs or how successful I'd be in putting sod down around the edges. I think going with something like a mulch project would just result in my dog digging into it and I want to do something quickly as it'll be muddy dogs if I don't. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    MILSINC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    train your dogs.
    seriously, without pics, not much help available.
  3. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    Its hard to have a nice yard with dogs and young kids.
  4. forgop

    forgop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    I'll see if I can get some pics posted tomorrow afternoon.
  5. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    If your dog is always walking around in the same area of grass and destroying it you have two choices: get rid of the grass or restrict the dog's access. Ornamental plants usually don't do well because the dogs will break the branches or pee on the plant. I usually recommend bark mulch, single shred, since it is easy on the dogs paws and is cheaper to refresh than stone. You might have to add more mulch 1 or 2 times a year.
  6. forgop

    forgop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    Finally found the camera. Anyways, the patio is 16'x31'. Right now, keeping dogs off are really out of the question. That's why I was thinking just putting down sod all around might be the best option. I understand fall would be best to bring in topsoil and seed, but the rain erodes it out pretty bad and I don't want to wait until fall.

    Your thoughts?



  7. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    You said the grass is not doing well due to the dog. If you resod what is going to prevent the new sod from ending up like the old grass?
  8. forgop

    forgop LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    It just hasn't come in quite well from seeding, rain erosion, and foot traffic.

    As far as dog "damage"(ie, urine), I'm going to use a diet supplement that helps balance it all out to keep it from burning the grass. When used regularly, it does a good job.

    MILSINC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    this is silly. Your dog will destroy any turf, sod, plants, etc. that you would plant there, whether or not your dog is taking some miracle pill. Your choices are mulch, stone, or don't let your dog go there. create a dog run area that they are limited to for restroom use. It is really not that difficult to train the animal where it is ok to go. these are facts.
  10. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Do you want the patio to be an 'outdoor room' or do you want to be able to exit from anywhere?

    If you want a garden room, I'd suggest some shrubs like Syringa patula, 'Miss Kim' (sort of dwarf lilac), cotinus (the purple leaved form of smokebush), or the sambucus (purple leaved form of elderberry. All of these can be pruned to whatever height you want and give some serious leaf texture and color. All have lovely flowers at different times of the year and the elderberry will have edible fruit (either for humans or birds).

    Plant these about 4' from the edge of the patio and you could also use Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus' - a really spectacular green and yellow striped ornamental grass.

    Closer to the patio edge, you could use daylilies, Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm' (hybrid black-eyed Susan, very many flowers over a long period of time) any of the perennial geraniums, peonies, I could go on and on.

    I would put a low, sturdy fence BEHIND the shrubs to deter the dogs and make logical entrances and exits that the dogs will LEARN to use.

    I've done this sort of thing for many clients and it DOES work. Some dogs take longer than others to understand the fence, but eventually they WILL get it.

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