Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 64
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Babylon
    Posts
    10,968

    wood chips instead of grass in small back yard

    Looking for advice from the collective:

    SO I have a small backyard, maybe 1/8 of an acre? It leads up to a public golf course, so it feels larger than it is

    There is a paved drive and an unattached garage on one side and it is fenced ( we have 2 greyhounds)

    It has a great old tree in the back by the garage which even after trimming doesnt give the lawn much sun. Garden along the fence on the perimeter for pretty stuff, veg & herb garden is in front where we get sun. For six years we have struggled to keep grass growing there and last summer my then 6 year old son and his buddies literally wore out the grass playing soccer, etc. Younger male dog tears it up running madly around the back yard after walks ( we rarely ever just let them out to do their business in the yard, they get walked 3-4x daily) These are behaviours I want to encourage not discourage. Way too young to tell kids to stay off the grass.....

    Right now its a bit of a mud hole.

    So my wife suggested and I am contemplating just putting down wood chips where the grass is. We can get them free from a landscaper we know, just a day of moving and spreading. Seems conducive to playing on, low maintenance and pleasant.

    Anyone have any experience with this or know others that do? Any downsides I am not seeing?


    Thank you

  2. #2
    DJSapp's Avatar
    DJSapp is online now (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    All over NCal
    Posts
    7,021
    Slope? When it rains your yard can float away
    Fat fuck bubbas are not erosion.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    12,963
    the new fake grass stuff is really good. Small area might be worth it for the kids and dogs.
    http://www.firsttracksonline.com

    I wish i could be like SkiFishBum

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    EWA
    Posts
    18,900
    wood chips or hog fuel are both very slippery when wet or frozen
    When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something." Rep. John Lewis


    Kindness is a bridge between all people

    Dunkin’ Donuts Worker Dances With Customer Who Has Autism

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    At the beach
    Posts
    14,667
    Quote Originally Posted by Skidog View Post
    the new fake grass stuff is really good. Small area might be worth it for the kids and dogs.
    No way on the wood chips for my doggies. The above or even hardscaping is what I did for my animals.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Location
    in a freezer in Italy
    Posts
    1,978
    In some other thread recently they were talking about some kind of permeable astroturf that drains and you can just hose it off. For me wood chips are too messy, they’d be all over the place and all through the house but ymmv

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Babylon
    Posts
    10,968
    No real slope, so that is good.
    Looked into fake grass and it is expensive and would require a lot of work in prep to get the yard flat/smooth

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Babylon
    Posts
    10,968
    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    No way on the wood chips for my doggies. The above or even hardscaping is what I did for my animals.
    details ?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
    Posts
    16,082
    I've had wood chips in garden beds. Hard to rake the leaves or pine needles. If you use a blower the chips blow away. The chips do have to replaced every couple of years or so. Weeds tend to poke through and a pain to get rid of. You can keep the weeds down with landscape cloth.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Mostly the Elks, mostly.
    Posts
    877
    I have wood chips in part of the property. Refresh every spring with a fresh layer, I like the way it looks. Low maintenance and pleasant, as you say. I don't like how much water grass takes, water is everything here.
    Dingo loves it, does sprints and hunts and laps in chips with no problem. Sometimes tracks chips inside stuck to fur from napping.
    Maybe concern of fire risk, wildfire season - during our last two fire scares I tried to keep them wet in case an ember landed there.

    As a plus I use some around some trees and bushes thinking it helps keep moisture in.

    Name:  IMG_5279.jpg
Views: 1505
Size:  84.5 KB
    north bound horse.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    21,843
    The downside of trying to eliminate grass in your yard is you'll still get grass in your yard, just where you don't want it!

    Old goat hit the downsides pretty well. I'd also add that you need to be careful with the wood chips around some plantings because they can affect the soil conditions and may kill or stunt plants.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    SLC burbs
    Posts
    2,485
    Over the past 2-3 years I've been decreasing the size of the lawn and replacing it with drought-friendly options and wood chips are the best filler to balance looks, cost, and water savings. I've nuked over 1/3 of the grassy areas and did it in a way that reduced watering by over 50%. I don't mind dumping water on my tomatoes but I haven't found an appealing way to eat the grass yet so it has no reason to stay.

    I'd recommend laying some water-permeable weed block and cover that with chips. That way next spring you're not pulling grass clumps out all the time. Agree on the fact that they can affect the soil under them. If I plant something in solid that's been covered a while I rake a wide area clean, dig it up, and usually bring in some dirt from another area of the yard that isn't wood-chipped.
    "Your wife being mad is temporary, but pow turns do not get unmade" - mallwalker the wise

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    PRB
    Posts
    24,942
    It's like you described my yard!

    We put in wood chips over much of it, still have dirt and a clump or two of grass on the rest. The dogs track in mud all the time. We have no freaking idea what to do. I guess we could just woodchip the whole thing, but it does seem kind of weird.

    I will say that we can use the leaf blower and it blows leaves and not chips, mostly.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    At The Shmograsboard
    Posts
    3,605
    How about broken glass?

    If you want your yard to look like shit, at least the glass keeps neighbours at bay.

    The floggings will continue until morale improves.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    General Sherman's Favorite City
    Posts
    23,390
    Do you like ticks? Ticks love woodchips (at least some do and I'm sure it's dependent upon where your woodchips are). I know a few playgrounds that the parks board did away with the usual woodchip surface for the more expensive shredded rubber stuff because they had become defacto tick farms.


    BTW, Middleofnight, great pic of your pup.
    I still call it The Jake.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    I smell poutine!!!
    Posts
    13,200
    Quote Originally Posted by Meathelmet View Post
    How about broken glass?

    If you want your yard to look like shit, at least the glass keeps neighbours at bay.
    This. Or fake turf.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,566
    We bought a house with woodchips covering large parts of our desert climate back yard. I kind of hate them and once I get other more pressing project done, I'll be getting rid of them. I removed them from one side as part of removing some puncture vines and I think that even the hardpack bare ground with a few stepping stones looks better.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    742
    If your kid likes playing on it, soccer, etc. put down fake turf. I put down fake turf here in Michigan 8 years ago, best thing I ever did. It's in a 100% shade where I couldn't get grass to grow, looks like perfect mowed green grass year round,, it's easy to clean up the dog shit piles. There are all sorts of good products. The wood chips suck because dogs/kids make that shit uncontainable.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Southeast New York
    Posts
    8,232
    Don't do wood chips. It's just too wet here and you're going to have all sorts of rot and bugs and mold and ticks and spiders and splinters and more mud and... You get it. Just don't.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Babylon
    Posts
    10,968
    Quote Originally Posted by easyrdr View Post
    The wood chips suck because dogs/kids make that shit uncontainable.
    this is my biggest reluctance.

    not a worry about what it looks like. honestly. Would def put weed block cloth down first.
    bare dirt doesnt do it here, its mud. the rare snow we do get melts in a few days and other wise it rains for days on end. Like right now, its unplayable due to mud.
    Kids soccer team actually plays/practices on turf & there is a turf field at a park walking distance from us with full sized baseball and soccer fields ( and a cricket pitch over lapping both )
    fake turf was my first thought but price to have it done is prohibitive & DIY doesnt appeal from what it looks like we would need to do.

    Tell me more on turf.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Babylon
    Posts
    10,968
    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    Don't do wood chips. It's just too wet here and you're going to have all sorts of rot and bugs and mold and ticks and spiders and splinters and more mud and... You get it. Just don't.
    yeah, my other concern.

    In laws covered a bunch of side lot with em at their place, and it was fine, but noone really went in it.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    At the beach
    Posts
    14,667
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsy View Post
    details ?
    Years ago the dogs demoed the yard so I said fuck it per the below photos.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	front patio.jpg 
Views:	86 
Size:	1.21 MB 
ID:	358537

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	side yard.jpg 
Views:	86 
Size:	1.86 MB 
ID:	358538
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    742
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsy View Post
    Tell me more on turf.
    Don't know much. A friend of mine put it in first and wouldn't shut up about it. We arrived there because at the time we had 4 dogs all over 100lbs, 3 kids, and a never-ending mud fest in the house along with leaves, sticks, shit and whatever else. I could never get grass to grow because there were just too many feet tromping through it. It wasn't cheap. But it was worth every penny. The mud is gone, the house stays clean. The grass is green and never needs to be cut, it's basically like one giant door mat to clean your shoes before entering the house. I was a bit worried it wouldn't last long but we've had it for 8 years here in northern michigan and it still looks good.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    2 hours to Whiteface
    Posts
    309
    Quote Originally Posted by easyrdr View Post
    Don't know much. A friend of mine put it in first and wouldn't shut up about it. We arrived there because at the time we had 4 dogs all over 100lbs, 3 kids, and a never-ending mud fest in the house along with leaves, sticks, shit and whatever else. I could never get grass to grow because there were just too many feet tromping through it. It wasn't cheap. But it was worth every penny. The mud is gone, the house stays clean. The grass is green and never needs to be cut, it's basically like one giant door mat to clean your shoes before entering the house. I was a bit worried it wouldn't last long but we've had it for 8 years here in northern michigan and it still looks good.
    No mowing, no running out to get gas for the mower (or paying to have it done). I assume its Mole proof, a barrier for ticks, makes it real easy to deal with leaves and all but eliminates muddy feet for dogs or kids. Sounds pretty good!

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    32,579
    I shaved off like 200 yards of material to get the slope I wanted in my backyard, which now drains away from the house, and I'm bringing the entire backyard up to grade with some down and dirty french drains underneath. I'm filling in with a beautiful 3/4 rock over the cloth and some impermeable plastic along the fence where the neighbor has an invasive plant that wants to push over onto my turf. This particular gravel is beautiful but runs $100 a yard and the five yards the truck brings every trip are swallowed but will eventually start leveling out. Once I have all the drainage dialed out, I'll start building up with variable sized pea gravel until it feels just right underfoot. My immediate goal for winter was to get enough gravel down to keep my dog from becoming a mudball every time it rains.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •