A dog is a man's best friend- so the saying goes. But at times a dog is not the best friend of the man's lawn. Having a lush, green lawn can be more of a challenge if you have a dog for a pet. Their urine can cause problems for a lawn. At times, the urine will cause the grass to turn yellow, and can even cause dead spots in the lawn. At best, the urine can cause the lawn to be unevenly green. This makes your lawn care difficult.
See our blog post at http://www.turf-king.ca/gerrys-blog/279-dogs-spots-on-the-boulevard
Urine contains urea which is very high in nitrogen. While nitrogen gives your lawn its rich green colour, too much can burn the lawn. When this happens the lawn will turn yellow. With high concentrations of urea, the lawn can die off.
How do you know if the spots are caused by dogs?
In these to photos - above and below- the damage is visible at different stages. The brighter yellow spots are recently damaged spots. The urine has burnt the lawn and the grass blades have turned yellow- a bright straw colour. Later the dead grass becomes more of a darker, dirty straw colour. Still later, the grass has disappeared and there is now a bare spot.
Notice that the spots are all similar in size. They are located in close proximity to each other. The dog prefers to use one or two areas to do their business.
What can be done when you have a dog?
The best solution is to have the dog is trained to do its business in an area that is not part of the lawn. Have a patch of gravel or mulch that is specifically designated for the dog. If the dog is trained to use this area, the lawn will be spared from the damaging urine.
If a specific spot is not available, training the pet to use one corner of the lawn will help to limit the damage to a smaller area. This way there is a part of the lawn that does not look the best, but at least it is not the whole lawn.
If it is not possible to train the dog, then the next best thing is to prevent damage to the lawn. If possible, (depending on the time of year), water the urine immediately to dilute the urea over a wider area of the lawn to prevent damage or burning. Of course, this is easier said than done.
Another way is to work on the acidity of the pet's urine. Certain types of dog food may reduce the acidity of their urine. There may be other supplement products that reduce the acidity of the pet.
If all else fails, a lawn treatment with Turf King's LOGICAL Root Proliferator may reduce damage. Turf King's LOGICAL Root Proliferator contains a specially formulated Gypsum. Gypsum is technically a calcium magnesium sulphate- a naturally occurring mineral. Gypsum enables the urea salts that damage lawns to become more soluble. This allows them to drop lower into the soil where they are not going to damage the grass roots. Turf King's LOGICAL Root Proliferator is manufacutured and process to give a good shot of gypsum to improve your home lawn care.
Turf King's LOGICAL Root Proliferator needs to be applied regularly in order to prevent damage.
If your lawn already has dead spots, follow these steps to repair the damage.
If you're in a hurry because the in-laws are coming for a visit next week, cut out the dead patch and replace it with a strip of sod. Water daily for a week to establish the sod.
If you have more time and less energy, rake the dead patches as much as possible. Sprinkle the area with Turf King's LOGICAL Root Proliferator. Spread a thin layer (half inch deep) of black soil over the dead areas. Apply some quality grass seed. Rake the soil and seed to mix them thoroughly. Tamp the soil lightly to ensure good soil to seed contact. Lightly water the seed twice a day. The quick germinating grasses should be up in a 10-14 days. Some of the grass varieties such as Kentucky bluegrass will take about a month before they come up, so do keep the seeds moist for up to a month.