Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Plumbing is my background but have a friend need some advice and I some how got myself involved in this project.

I usually use Penn State grass seed but I have a backyard about 25' x 70' that has been torn up real bad by 100 lb german shepherd. Looks like a lot of clay soil and it gets pretty soft/saturated with water when it rains. Thinking about growing Zoysia grass since it so dense and thick like carpet. Can't block off whole hard but I was just going to section off the part of the yard to give the seed some time to grow before the dog can run on it.

Any advice.? Is there a more durable grass out there? Do we need to do a PH test? Should I till it and amend it with something first?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,787 Posts
Would be best to get a pro landscaper in there to evaluate your site conditions and recommend a proper way to proceed.:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Had two jokers come out...one 20 yr old kid who said he never heard of Zoysia grass and another who just wanted to lay sod and said don't let the dog in the yard for 2 months......
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,787 Posts
Had two jokers come out...one 20 yr old kid who said he never heard of Zoysia grass and another who just wanted to lay sod and said don't let the dog in the yard for 2 months......
I did say a Pro....:whistling:thumbsup:

a large dog on grass is problematic to begin with...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,481 Posts
I grew up next to some older neighbors that had Zoysia grass. I remember it being very thick and sharp. I also don't really remember them ever cutting it either.

I'm not really much help with anything else.

Where are you located? Maybe that would be able to help narrow down some answers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pittsburgh Pa .... Thank you for your reply guys ... not to be impolite because i always taught to mind my manners but was looking more for advice specific to questions above . I know i can hire a landscaper as a last resort
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,787 Posts
I've had my share of large dogs....

Concrete & 1-1/2" rock are about all that has held up to their abuse.

Grass/lawn is a losing battle.

Between the digging, poop & pee is doesn't stand a chance...:thumbsup:
 

·
Hack
Joined
·
3,011 Posts
Looks like a lot of clay soil and it gets pretty soft/saturated with water when it rains. Thinking about growing Zoysia grass since it so dense and thick like carpet. Can't block off whole hard but I was just going to section off the part of the yard to give the seed some time to grow before the dog can run on it.

Any advice.? Is there a more durable grass out there? Do we need to do a PH test? Should I till it and amend it with something first?
You live in Hardiness zone 6b according to the zone map, so typically around your area people have been using a KB/fescue/perennial ryegrass blend for durability.
Zoysia is a good thick grass, and requires little maintenance AFTER it is established (thickened or filled in). That period may be up to two years though...
Zoysia is best planted using plugs and is not meant to be planted with other blends or varieties, so that patch you hope to fix may be barren for a while.
Basically, I would recommend against it for a quick fix.
As far as repairing the existing yard goes...sure, it never hurts to till up the yard and add some amendments to the soil in preparation for new seed or sod. If you wish to re seed, I'd (not being a local, I remind you) recommend a KB/tall fescue blend like I stated above. The KB is for quick coverage and the tall fescue provides a bit more durability, while being protected from direct sun by the KB.
If you wish to pH test the soil, you can...both of these grasses (dependent on variety) will do just fine in a soil range of 5.8 to 7.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,380 Posts
All the Zoysia grass I've seen, comes as plugs. 2' x 2' squares that are already cut into 1" x 1" squares. I'm sure there are others out there.
It will not be a quick fix. My estimation, with alot of plugs, is a 5 year wait. I am not a professional landscaper I'm basing this on personal experience.
It seems to grow great under almost any conditions. It does spread, but the spread is too slow for me. It is like carpet. It it very durable. It turns a nice shade of green with very little water. You don't have to mow very much because it just doesn't grow very high, very fast. I would guess mowing every two weeks. Probably more in the summer.
It will turn brown early in the fall. Very early. Everyone else will have a green yard and yours will be brown.
It will very slowly spread. Everywhere, including your neighbor's yard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,551 Posts
Unless you like the look of dead, yellow grass in the winter, use a cool season grass instead.

Considerations "borrowed" from another site:
cool season: kentucky bluegrass
warm season: bermuda grass

Still, it's going to get chewed up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,481 Posts
Not anything to add about the grass, but the dogs.

My mother trained our two dogs to do their business on a piece of old vinyl flooring on our deck above the walkout basement. This prevented them from messing all over the deck and made cleaning up a cinch.

If you could train the dogs to go into one part of the yard maybe you can dedicate a spot for easy clean up and not have to replace all of your grass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Really enjoyed reading all the replies....thanks guys...this looks like it going to be a cool website to use moving forward.
 

·
Joseph A. Capece
Joined
·
1,811 Posts
I'm not a pro, but I started in landscape construction before building & grew up landscaping & doing reno's with my pop.

First off, clay is no good for a soil. I would aerate with a plug cutter, & top dress with a good soil--avoid compost with weed seeds & I'm assuming tilling & starting over is out of the question. Dog pee is very acidic so lime the crap out of it. Pelletized lime is slow release. So powdered would be good at first.

DEFINITELY look at the grass seed packages. Anything with "annual" is no good. MANY companies sell seeds high in annual rye grass because it grows really fast & thick & looks great the first season. But then it dies & weeds take over.

Whatever you do, pulling weeds, top dressing with soil, & re-seeding is a great strategy. Throw seedless hay over it for mulch & keep moist. Water in the AM and not at night (AM allows time for h20 to soak in & burn off surface moisture by PM), PM watering encourages fungus.

That's all I got. Good luck:thumbsup:
 

·
Champion Thread Derailer
Joined
·
1,228 Posts
Given you are in PA, I would recommend that you stick with a "cool season" grass, like a tall fescue blend. If I were you, I would call someone like John Deere Landscapes, which should have a location somewhere reasonably close to you, and inquire about a good grass for your region that holds up well to heavy traffic. Nothing is going to be perfect, but there will be some grasses that do better in your particular area.

Zoysia is a warm weather grass, and as mentioned already, goes dormant during the colder months and turns brown. The cold weather grasses will do better in your area, which translates into having a green lawn for more months out of the year.

Also, staying on top of proper maintenance is critical to keeping a good lawn, i.e., proper fertilization at the proper times, pretreatment during the early spring to minimize or eliminate various weeds and grasses from infiltrating, proper water at the proper times (especially during the first growing season, or two), and proper weed and pest management. I would also stay away, as already suggested, from any soil amendment or treatment put on the lawn that contains the seeds of other plants/weeds (hay/straw is notorious for this), I would highly recommend perusing the following link, as they have the best, by far, website containing information about turf management: http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/

There are different techniques, and different requirement to maximize various species of grasses. For example, if using a grass like Zoysia, it must be planted during the season when it becomes warm enough to do so (when the plant is active and growing), otherwise the seeds will not be germinating properly, or the plant doesn't have a chance to properly establish itself before cold weather hits. Fescue, or other cool season grasses, are best planted in the fall, which will give the plants more time to better establish themselves before the following summer months roll around and decimate any young tender plants that cannot easily survive hot, hot sun and limited water (warm weather grasses thrive on the hot summer sun and don't require quite as much water to stay healthy).

Lastly, if you follow the best techniques and use the best materials for the job, you will also encounter another problem with having a dog on this same lawn (that is other than the large tootsies pounding the turf away), and that is when the dog urinates, its pee has nitrogen in it. When combined with the nitrogen contained in the fertilizer mix used on the lawn you will see brown spots wherever the dog frequently pees. This is because of an overdose of nitrogen, which will burn the grass. In such an instance, I simply hold back, or hold off (particularly if the dog is large) fertilizing the area of the yard that the dog uses.

Oh, I forgot to say that yes, it will be very helpful in breaking up the soil, and amending it with compost and/or top soil, and/or fertilizer, and/or lime (and/or a combination of any and all of the above), depending upon soil analysis, which are usually free through a county extension agency. At least they are anywhere I've ever been, which doesn't mean everywhere they are free, but probably are. One thing is sure though, if the soil is good (You can grow grass in most any soil) and the seed has good contact with the soil, and it is watered correctly (not too much or too little, and during the right time of the day, which early morning is usually best), and maintain good weed control every 5-6 weeks or so, you will have a nice lawn.

Best of luck, and welcome to the forum!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,079 Posts
I have Zoysia grass and I love it. I got it for free by digging up sections from my mothers yard.
It does brown out in the winter and takes a little while longer to green up in spring but, if there is a drought your yard will still be green while everybody else's is brown.
The thickness of it helps choke out weeds too so you don't have to turn your lawn into a hazardous waste site to get rid of weeds.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top