Dog Tuff Grass Review

There is no such thing as perfect grass. However, depending on your particular landscape and situation this might be the grass for you: Dog Tuff™ Grass (Cynodon ‘PWIN04S’) from Plant Select.

Our fur friends obviously have an impact on our lives and on our yards, so we get a lot of questions about what grass might handle the wear and tear of dogs.

I had heard about this grass with Plant Select and was drawn to the look and idea of using less water. We have 2 dogs in our home and typically many more come over on the weekends, so we needed something tough! I first planted this grass in our front yard about 3 years ago. This is not an ordinary mat of carpet of sod that you can roll out, there is a lot of work upfront. I purchased the trays in May at The Flower Bin in Longmont, spread some good organic compost, and planted each individual plug. We then spread Annual Ryegrass to help fill in quickly to help smoother the weeds. Unfortunately, we still had to stay on top of the weeds, it was a constant battle with the bindweed popping through. We kept water on it daily for about 2 weeks and slowly backed off as the grass grew in. By the time the summer ended, the grass had filled in nicely and looked like the lawn we wanted.

Pros & Cons

What we love:

  • The feel of it
    • The lush feel of walking barefoot on this grass in the summer – I’ve never felt a lawn like this!
  • Low water
    • Once established, you truly don’t have to water it often.
    • We did maybe every other week in the heat of the summer.
  • No need to mow!
    • This grass will only grow about 4” tall.
    • So if you like the mounded look – great, don’t mow.
    • It also looks very nice if you do want to mow it. 🙂
  • Dog proof
    • It’s urine resistant and can handle the wear & tear of dogs running.
  • Winter color
    • This grass is a beautiful blonde color in the winter.

What we don’t love:

  • Late spring color
    • You will be the last person on your block to have green grass.
    • This grass won’t grow up until you have extended warm temperatures which won’t be until the end of April or May.
  • Rolling in the grass
    • If your pup is like mine, they love rolling in the grass!
    • The problem is, this grass will break off easily and your dog will track this grass all over your house
  • Weeds + weeding
    • We had a lot of weeds pop through in the beginning. After 3 years of having this grass, it’s better but it was a struggle, in the beginning, to stay on top of weeding.
  • A lot of work upfront
    • We had to plant all of those plugs, watch for weeds, keep a lot of water on it, stay off of the area longer than usual because of the open ground.

If you are considering this Dog Tuff Grass, here are a few things to note:

Where to plant this grass:
  • This grass LOVES full sun & it won’t tolerate shade
  • Only in Zones 5+
Planting + maintenance:
  • Plant it only in May, June + July
  • Plant this grass within your existing lawn OR sod cut your existing lawn to then plant in bare soil
  • 1 flat you purchase will cover about 70 square feet when planted 1’ on center
  • Fence off the area you planted so dogs won’t damage the new plants and create holes in the soil
  • It will only be green from about May to October
  • Corn gluten is a great way to help prevent weeds in the grass

Overall, the grass has been an investment, and depending on the time of the year, I either love or hate this grass. Ultimately, talk to us about your current situation and whether or not Dog Tuff Grass is right for you.

For more information, check out these websites:

Plant Select

The Flower Bin

Kristen Whitehead

Founder + Lead Landscape Designer of Helios

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