Q: We have just purchased a new house with more than an acre of land and are trying to decide which route to go. We want to do some initial landscaping but we also want to establish a lawn.
We do not have the money in our budget to do both unless we plant grass seed. We are thinking about bermudagrass because we have two big dogs in our back yard and bermudagrass held up real well at our old house.
A: Seeding a bermudagrass lawn that has dogs running on it is a tough job to do well. The grass may germinate but it will never have a chance to establish itself if two dogs constantly pound it with their paws.
I think you should start by making a tentative master plan for the landscape. Identify where you want beds or islands and cover those areas with pine straw – even if you plant nothing there for a year or two. Plant bermudagrass sod in the places you are sure you want to have grass. Keep the dogs off the sod as long as you can and be prepared to repair it occasionally.
Don’t be persuaded that you have to have a great big lawn. Anyone who has done it for a year or two can tell you that an acre-sized lawn is a lot of grass to mow. You can grow flowers, shrubs and trees on a big part of it and still have enough grass to keep the dogs happy.