My daughter lives in the Denver area and would like to till up her back yard and plant a ground cover. She has two sorta large dogs and in the summer there is a water shortage. I can't come up with a single idea, any help would be appreciated. She is thinking about clover, any ideas on that? Laverne
Clover needs shade & water and doesn't do well here unless irrigated quite a bit.
The dogs will kill off just about anything. My suggestion would be to do part of the yard in shredded wood mulch and an area of tough xeric turf grass like buffalo grass or fescue (or a mixture of xeric grasses). Bluegrass need too much water, but as far as I know it's the only thing that they sell as sod. She should probably talk with someone at one of the big nurseries to find a turf seed mix that will do well w/ for her situation. I know Paulino Gardens has a number of options for grass seed mix. A call there might be a good start.
For turf grass there is a new one available that is xeric and tough (supposedly). Its called Turfalo and is a hybrid of Buffalo grass and a Fescue. I've only seen it sold as plugs on the internet.
Other xeric ground covers include creeping Thymes, Veronicas, or Oregano. Like Jude said, the Dogs are likely to give these (or anything) a hard time.
Thank you both for the information. I'll be sure and relate all this to her. Hadn't thought about wood mulch. I'll tell her to check on the Xeric grass and Turfalo. I love this site--DG is a wealth of information and some great people. Thanks again. Laverne
Turfalo sounds like a good mix. I will need to look that up!
Buffalo grass is super drought tolerant, spreads quickly and stays relatively short, even without mowing. But it doesn't take heavy foot traffic/abuse so well (or full shade). Fescue is relatively drought tolerant, takes shade better and handles foot traffic well. A mix of the two sounds like it will cover all the bases. Blue Grama might work as well.
Buffalo Grass - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buchloe_dactyloides
Tall Fescue - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_fescue
Blue Grama - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_grama
Denverjude, Thanks, I've been sending these ideas to her and will send this last as well. Good info, Laverne