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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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Monday - November 02, 2015

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Ground cover for a Texas dog run
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

What ground cover do you recommend for a residential dog run located under a pergola in high limestone soil at White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas?

ANSWER:

Dogs, especially young, active dogs, can create big problems in the garden.  If your dog run is in public view, care must be taken to make it look presentable.  If possible, incoporate features where your dog can smell, urinate, dig, and rest as described in this website.  This will keep your dog off the central surface area much of the time.  I would recommend planting a grass that spreads by runners, such as Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalograss) or, even better, a mixture sold as Habiturf.  But grasses do not grow well in shade, so if your pergola is covered with a vine shading the ground for several hours a day, a non-grass would be preferred.  Here are some natives to consider: Dichondra argentea (Silver ponyfoot)Ruellia humilis (Fringeleaf wild petunia)Calyptocarpus vialis (Horseherb)Dichondra carolinensis (Carolina ponysfoot) and Sedum nuttallianum (Yellow stonecrop).  These should survive the heavy traffic that your dog may place on certain spots.  You would do well to try several of these and see which ones thrive under your conditions.  

 

From the Image Gallery


Silver ponyfoot
Dichondra argentea

Prairie petunia
Ruellia humilis

Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

Yellow stonecrop
Sedum nuttallianum

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