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Lawns/Best type of grass to plant that can handle dogs, salt water & rock in South Florida


What type of grass is best for Miami, FL with high traffic (4 big dogs who love to play when they go outside to the yard), & salt water (we live on the Miami River)? We previously had st. Augustine but quickly turned to yellow spots, then dirt & weeds. Along the fence line we have huge bouginvilleas that constantly "shed" their flowers & partially shade about 1.5 feet of area down the entire fence (over 100 ft long fence). We considered putting a rock border in that area since its not full sun like the rest of the yard. We do not have an irrigation system installed so we plan to water it the old fashioned way (by hose), so watering 2x per week or less is ideal. We plan to purchase a pallet of grass & not plant by seed. Our "soil" is a mixture of sandy dirt & coral rock...(and recently alot of ants). One company suggested a kind of turf grass from seed another suggested Burmuda, & another st. Augustine. It seems they suggest what they have on hand & not what's best for me. 2 weeks ago, i went out to the yard & pulled every weed & its roots by hand & raked the area to be level. i purchased an ortho brand bag of insecticide killer for lawns & thought about putting it down but wasnt sure if thats smart to do prior to planting the new lawn. after my 2 days of weed pulling i went to home depot & purchased 12 pieces of sod, (st. augustine). i blocked the little area off from the dogs for a few days & did a little test run. I watered it 2x a day for a week then last week just once a day. The grass is already nearly dead. just from where the dogs lay on it occationally while enjoying the sun, its turned completely brown/yellow. So with that test run im sure i dont want St. augustine again. another person had suggested SeaDwarf Paspalum which sounds great but i only need 1 pallet & I cant find it anywhere in South Florida for sale. i also read up on it & saw that yes it does handle a beating its subseptible to lots of insects & diseases. We want something available to consumers that i can purchase a pallet of in South Florida & not be a $800 pallet of grass either. Please help! We plan to do the yard sometime in the next week or two.

I, too, had a dog - a big black Labrador. I soon found out that it was not possible to have Cody and a good lawn in the backyard. I ended up confining him to different area every two weeks. That allowed the lawn to recover in the six weeks before he returned to trash it.
Sadly, that is all the advice I can give you today.  


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Ronald B Persaud


Florida (Central and South) lawns maintenance and troubleshooting.


Work experience in Garden and Technical Sales (Ace Hardware and Lesco). L&O Spray Technican/Horticulturist/Tree permitting (Local Municipality). Commercial Landscape Maintenance (Condo complex and Shopping Mall)

Past member Florida Landscape Maintenance Association (Pinellas County).

On the 'Gardenweb' under the pseudonym "Ronalawn82"

CPO certified (L&O) Florida. Hons. Graduate: Eastern Caribbean Farm Institute (now Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture and Forestry), Trinidad WI.

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