Likely, your dog is another highly valued member of your family. Sometimes (like the rest of us) he does not follow the rules. He makes a mess of your lawn just by being a dog. Choosing the best lawn types for dogs and following a few rules below will help. You will be able to avoid the usual brown spots or matted dirt areas that result from a dog doing what a dog does. So, what to do? Teach your dog new tricks and make good choices on the best lawn to stand up to their high jinx!
The three lawn types that stand up to dogs in Florida are Bermuda, Zoysia and Bahia. All three of these options are good for high-traffic and are accepting of dog activity. However, no sod is completely dog resistant. These three grasses for dog owners below make life just that much easier and more beautiful.
Bermuda grass is a dog’s other BFF.
We know you’re number one in your dog’s eyes – but he would probably consider a great lawn as his other BFF. Bermuda grass is one popular choice to combat pet urine and lawn damage. It is a warm weather grass and grey-green in color. It is perfect for Florida dog owners with sunny yards. Once Bermuda grass is established, it does not take much water. It is not the best barefoot grass because of its short blades and rough edges. However, it has deep roots which make it incredibly resistant to drought, weeds, and your pet’s running path.
Bermuda grass grows rapidly in all types of soil. It is sensitive to cold temperatures, pests, and shade. Regular maintenance and weekly watering help maintain its appearance and place it high in the category of best grass for someone with dogs.
Both you and your canine will love Zoysia sod
Dogs love to roll in the soft grass, and emerald zoysia sod feels luxurious. It is a dark-green turf grass, so it looks plush, too. One of the best features of a backyard for dogs in warm-weather areas is plenty of tree cover and good shade. This often means dry climate and sand soil. Zoysia grass is the best grass for high traffic and shade. It has great tolerance to salt, shade, and dog paw traffic. It grows more slowly than the others and is generally maintained at a shorter length. This provides a thicker, more trimmed look. The good news is, if brown spots do appear, you can change them out easily with zoysia grass plugs.
Florida dog owners will appreciate Zoysia sod’s drought and disease resistance. It is even less prone to weeds because of its dense turf. Once it is established, it is hardy, but it could take four years to get a good root system. Of course, like any sod, proper maintenance is necessary to maintain its density and beautiful color. All-in-all, it’s one of the best lawn types for dogs in all areas of Florida.
Bahia, another “Best-in-Show” winner for a dog-friendly lawn
When looking for the best grass for someone with dogs Bahia Grass is another great option. With naturally deep roots it prefers full sun and is drought and heat tolerant. You’ll find it’s a perfect combination for pet owners in Florida. Bahia grass’ coarse leaves and tolerance to drought are both great solutions for dog urine and damage. Within the Bahia Grass family are various varieties for your specific lawn needs. Your local nursery will happily guide you through the differences and steer you in the right direction for your specific lawn.
Maintaining a high traffic lawn for dog owners
We love to play with our dogs on the lawn. We even love to invite our human friends to join us on the lawn during a picnic. To maintain a high traffic lawn here are five suggestions for solutions for handling the damage caused by a dog’s paws and urine:
1) Be sure to water the area daily where the dog pees. The extra water dilutes the nitrogen that has deposited when your dog pee’d. This activity curbs the possibility of brown spots.
2) If your dog is on his obedience school honor roll, teach the dog to pee in one area only. Keeping this activity confined leaves the rest of your yard available for fun play. It just helps you maintain a beautiful lawn.
3) If your dog is an obedience school flunky, or if you’re home-schooling him, be sure to encourage and reward his good behavior. Every time he finds the specified “unloading zone” provide him a yummy treat and heap on the praise.
4) Less is more. Fertilize less, or not at all, where your dog pees. Fertilizer has nitrogen in it, just like your dog’s pee. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Refer back to tip #2 and fertilize where your pup is not going.
5) Encourage your dog to drink more water (lowering the nitrogen strength in his pee). Drinking water is always a healthy thing. You might even be thinner and richer for it! Fido drinking more water will provide you with more exercise in getting up from your chair to let him out the back door more often. It will also save you money on keeping a beautiful lawn.
6) If you still find these tips are not working, you might feed your dog a dietary supplement. There are several veterinarian formulations available that include probiotics and other ingredients that bind with the nitrogen in the urine, making your dog’s urine less harmful to your grass. If you're unsure, then by all means, consult your dog’s favorite veterinarian first.
By choosing and installing the best lawn types for dogs - your battle is half won. To help in finding sod near you, you will find your local garden center is your source of sod for a dog-friendly yard. Your local nursery will be able to answer questions like “how much is a pallet of sod?” The best way to determine the perfect sod type is to talk with your local nursery sod specialist. Share with them your lifestyle, yard characteristics, and Fido’s territory habits and they will guide you in the right direction. When you do stop by to order your new sod – do not forget the “pet”-unias!
There is truly nothing quite as pleasing as a beautifully landscaped house. Choosing to landscape your yard is a great decision and adds value to your home. However, landscaping in Central Florida presents its own unique challenges. You might be asking yourself some of the following questions:
How Climate and Weather Affect your Florida Landscaping
Central Florida is known for its tropical climate. Florida’s weather is always changing. There is a distinct rainy season (Summer), hurricane season (Summer and Fall) and a distinct dry season (Winter and Spring). It can be extremely dry and hot one day and the next, rainy with a chance of humidity. Except for a few months in Winter, it is usually humid. So, it is crucial to build a strong foundation with plants that thrive in a humid subtropical climate.
Soil in the Central Florida Yard
Central Florida is unique in that it is very sandy compared to other parts of Florida. The sand here has its own name: Myakka. It is very poor at holding water and nutrients. You will need to enrich the soil around your house. Soil amendments will provide the organic, nutrient-filled materials that will help your garden grow. Compost is a great choice. It is essentially decaying plant or animal matter that acts as a soil fertilizer. It can be layered with mulch to prevent the growth of weeds. Speaking of mulch...pine straw works really well as a mulch in Central Florida.
Florida Trees, Plants and Shrubs: What to buy
Budget-friendly landscaping options should always include perennials. Perennials are plants that flourish long-term. Florida native perennials that are good for the residential landscaper include the Florida boxwood shrub, yellow elder flower, silver buttonwood hedge, firebush shrub, Dwarf Podocarpus, bay cedar shrub, and the Live Oak tree. These are all affordable plants that would thrive in the Florida sun.
Other affordable plants that are extremely hardy and perfect for the Central Florida weather include Rosemary, Loropetalum, and an Indian Hawthorne shrub. The Indian Hawthorne is a very popular shrub for the Florida landscaper that requires little to no gardening experience. These plants are very low maintenance and can be planted anywhere in your yard. Flowers that will last in the hot Florida sun include: Pentas, Coreopsis, Bush Daisy, Mexican Heather, and Hibiscus. These flowers are fantastic additions for your front yard because of their vibrant color and low cost. Again, visit your local garden center to see what they have on hand.
Low Care, Low Cost Front Yard Design
You may be struggling to decide whether you want low care plants that are cost-friendly or beautiful flowers that flourish in the Florida heat. You can have both.
Go Grass Free: The first way to minimize expenses for your landscaping, is to go grass free. Although the thought of having artificial grass seems a bit out of the norm there are many pros to turf installation. Artificial turf is basically a surface of synthetic fibers that look like natural grass. The many pros of this include:
Rocks: Another great way to landscape your yard is with rocks. Rocks are inexpensive and require no maintenance. They make great beds for flowers and add definition to your front yard.
Entrance Path and Driveway Design: Another simple and easy way to bring your front yard alive could be with a flower-lined path to your focus point: The Front Door. When visitors enter your front yard, you want it to feel inviting. What better way than to install a pathway. Line the pathway to your house with mulch, shrubs and bushes. Add flowers or seasonal annuals from your nearby garden center for some pop of color. Additionally, another great idea is to line your driveway with mulch and colorful foliage plants like Crotons. This is a wonderful option because it is budget-friendly and a fan favorite in Florida. Crotons are easy-care and feature a variety of colors like red, gold, orange, and green.
Small Yard Design
One of the best ways to design a small yard is to omit the lawn entirely. No more lawn mowing. This can be done through landscaping flower beds. Flower beds add great texture and depth to your front yard. They are also great for reducing surface area. The issue for many front yards, is the constant need for upkeep and maintenance. By making the decision to garden a large part of your yard, you are saving yourself money and upkeep down the line. Using the space in your yard to fill with beautiful plants and flowers will have your lawn mower thanking you for giving it a break! Flower beds will transform your front yard from being an ordinary plot of green land to a land full of color. That’s why it’s very important to pick the right plants that would work for your yard. Some flowers that will flourish in Central Florida include: Lantanas, Tickseed, Petunia, Buttercup, and Blue Daze. These are great flowers to choose from because of their hardiness and ability to bloom year round. They are also very durable and Florida-friendly.
Keep it Simple, Keep it Easy
Simple, easy landscaping designed to enhance your Central Florida yard should be just that...simple and easy! First, amend the sandy soil. Consider synthetic grass. It will save you loads of money, and it is both low maintenance and eco-friendly. Choose Native trees, plants, and shrubs that are ideal for the climate. Your plants stay alive longer and flourish year-round. Use locally grown plants. Buying local not only supports your local business neighbor, it is budget-friendly. And, because the plants are already acclimated to the area, they will more likely thrive in your yard.
Aventura Nursery is your local go-to garden center for the perfect trees and plants for your Hernando County home. Call us at 352-799-3200 for more information. And don’t forget to Follow our Pinterest where we post our latest specials and garden projects to try at home.
The weather here in Florida made headlines around the country last month. Temperatures in the low 40s across the state not only lead to an increase in jacket sales, it also saw an additional strange phenomenon: iguanas falling out of trees! While this change in the weather and the subsequent happenings surrounding it was a silly anomaly to most, it did bring about an interesting question for the Central Florida landscaping community: is is a good idea to prune trees when the temperature drops? The answer to this question is an unqualified...yes!
A Most Excellent Time of Year
For most trees, winter is the perfect time for pruning. This is because most trees enter a state of dormancy when the weather gets cold and lose most of their leaves. The branches of these trees become exposed and it becomes much easier to see the actual structure of the tree. This means that any troublesome spots such as branches hanging too close to any structures are also easier to identify. Furthermore, winter months are usually drier than warmer months. When branches are drier, they weigh less and are easier to cut. A definite win-win.
Fruit trees such as cypress, juniper, and spruce are ideal candidates for winter pruning and should be cut during colder months. Sap producing trees like elm, maple, and birch are best left until late summer or early fall however. This is because freshly exposed limbs are susceptible to seepage.
Some Handy Tips
It's a good idea to make a plan before you start doing any work. Survey your property to decide which trees need to be trimmed and what equipment you will need to get the job done. Do you have extremely tall trees that will require special ladders and equipment? If so, it may be a good idea to hire a professional landscaping company as opposed to trying to go it alone. The last thing we want is for anyone to be injured while trimming from high places.
We recommend that larger branches be cut in stages. This will reduce the likelihood of injury to both you and the tree. Using your handsaw and/or snips, make a series of cuts beginning at about 18 inches from the trunk. Make an additional cut a few inches closer to the trunk and a final cut close to the trunk of the tree, just outside the branch's collar. Remember to dispose of all branches in accordance with local laws and regulations and please be safe while working.
If you want to take the stress and danger out of tree trimming, please give Aventura Nursery & Landscaping a call at (352) 799-3200 today. We are standing by to help you make your yard look its best.
Come Grow With Us!