Why Dog Urine Burns Grass
Even though your pet is man’s best friend and loves your lawn as much as you do, dog urine natural wreaks havoc on grass, leaving burned, bare lawn spots or discolored grass behind. Dog urine lawn spots happen because of the high amount of nitrogen and related salts naturally contained in dog urine.1
Female dogs often get blamed for dog urine burning grass, but their urine is no different than that of male dogs.2 When concentrated urine collects in a single area, lawn damage happens. It’s a lot like fertilizer burn.
All dogs that squat to urinate, including females, puppies, elderly dogs, small dogs and some adult males, can burn grass when they urinate in one concentrated area. Because most male dogs lift a leg to “mark” their territory with spurts, they spread their urine over a larger lawn area, so not as many dog urine spots result.
Minor lawn damage due to dog urine spots often resolves on its own as healthy new growth emerges in your lawn.2 However, areas that your dog frequents for urination will typically need dog urine spot repair.
Test And Fertilize The Soil
To prepare the soil for new sod or grass seed, you need to determine the nutrient levels and adjust them to create the ideal environment for new grass. The best way to find out what your soil needs is to take a sample to your nearest Extension Office for testing. Many offices charge a small fee and return results in just a few days. Results from an Extension Office are often more useful than an at-home test because they usually include fertilizing recommendations. Once you know what your soil needs, go to your local garden store to find the right fertilizer and apply it to your lawn.
Applying Your Seeding Mixture
Choose a repair mixture suited to your climate, grass type and sunlight exposure. Premium grass seed, moisture-retaining mulch and stabilized-release fertilizer in Pennington One Step Complete;safeguard germinating seed and nourish emerging seedlings until the lawn is ready for normal care regimens.
Smooth the seeding mixture over the soil, applying it at a rate of 1 cup per square foot. This ensures adequate sunlight for germinating and proper seed-to-soil contact for quick, thorough grass establishment. Forget about planting depth and seed stabilization; simply cover exposed soil thoroughly, and water the seeding mixture well.
Proper watering is the most important and often the most neglected part of the spot repair process. Moisture-retentive mulch reduces necessary watering and keeps protected seed in place, even on slopes, but expect to water at least once daily. Let weather guide your efforts; adjust your watering to keep repaired areas consistently moist, but never soggy.
Keep repaired areas evenly moist until seedlings reach the recommended mowing height for your chosen grass type. For example, a dense shade mixture should reach 2 1/2 to 3 inches tall, and tall fescue should measure 3 to 4 inches, before you reduce watering to a normal weekly or twice-weekly schedule. Seedlings emerge over seven to 21 days after repair, depending on your mix, and reach mowing height in three to four additional weeks.
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Is It Better To Pull Weeds Or Mow Them
Pulling weeds is far more effective than cutting them with a string trimmer, hoe, or lawn mower. If you pull a weed out entirely, including the roots, then the weed will be killed and will not grow back. If you cut a weed instead of pulling it, the roots of the weed will try to send up new shoots over and over.
Rake Out The Dead Material
When the grass dies, for whatever reason, the dead material is left in the patch or sward of the grass to decompose slowly. To help your lawn thicken up again and recover quicker, rake out as much of this material as you can. This will provide space for the healthy grass to spread back through and also help more sunlight, water and oxygen to penetrate boosting the health of the grass in these areas.
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How To Repair Bare Spots In Your Lawn
Healthy green turf is a welcome sight as lawns spring to life after winter, but early days sometimes hold surprises. Even well-maintained lawns can yield bare or thin spots, but early spring provides excellent opportunities for corrections. Pre-blended, seeding mixtures eliminate the guesswork in spot repairs by delivering seed, mulch and fertilizer in a single, optimized product. Repairs are simplified, establishment is enhanced, and repaired areas should establish well before summer stresses arrive.
Insects Rodents And Birds
Insects , rodents, and birds work together to do damage to a healthy lawn. Certain beetle larvae, usually referred to as grubs, can infest the soil beneath the grass and attack roots. This can kill the grass and leave brown splotches on an otherwise green lawn. Animals such as moles, voles, chipmunks and skunks can riddle your yard with their tunnels and digging, often as in a skunk’s case looking to feast on grubs. Certain bird species can nibble on the grass leaves themselves, as well as make your attempts at seeding new grass more difficult.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do to prevent these attacks. While there are a number of available insect-control products and rodent-control products at your local True Value hardware store, it can be hard to stop all infestations. Usually, you just have to take your lumps and work on repairing your grass after the fact.
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How To Prevent Dog Urine Spots On Lawns
To help prevent dog urine spots around your lawn, the best plan of attack is to train your pooch to relieve himself in a specific area of your yard.1 Mulch an area of your landscape with natural wood mulch so it blends in well and Fido can urinate somewhere other than on your grass. Dogs usually respond well to the extra attention and praise that using their special spot brings.
Avoid using mulch made from cocoa bean hulls, even though it smells nice and chocolaty and looks good. Cocoa bean hulls can be toxic to your canine friend if he decides to investigate that smell and see how things tasteand he probably will.
Some pet stores and even vet clinics offer dietary supplements that promise to change the nitrogen content or pH of dog urine. However, there is no scientific evidence that these products work. Some of these supplements are known to cause urinary system problems and other dangerous issues for some pets, such as calcium deposits in young dogs.1
How To Repair Thinning / Patchy Grass
Overseed thinning / patchy grass
When your lawn patches appear you can rescue the section by overseeding. To get the best results carry out overseeding when conditions are at optimum, between April September.
Follow these easy steps to overseed patches:
;Mow your lawn before repairing the patches, as you won’t be able to while the new seedlings establish.
;Rake away any clippings, stones or debris from the patchy section and to loosen the soil
;Use a;quick release fertiliser;to speed up the growth of the new grass, applying at a rate of 70g per m2 and watering in until dissolved
;Once dissolved, overseed the area at a rate of 35g per m2
;Water the area daily for the first six weeks after sowing – if there is prolonged rainfall you can avoid doing this
The quick release fertiliser will give the damaged grass the quick boost it needs in preparation for reseeding which will then help your lawn grow faster and fill out quickly. To avoid grass blade burning apply fertiliser evenly on an overcast day or in the evening when its not too hot. Ensure you water in the fertiliser after application to activate it.
Fertilise to thicken thinning grass:
If your grass is thinning slightly, you may be able to thicken it up with a fast acting nitrogen rich fertiliser. Whilst nitrogen also helps to make your grass greener, it can also help strengthen the roots of your current grass. However, if the area is particularly ‘bald’ a reseed will be more efficient.
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Can I Put Grass Clippings Over Grass Seed
Grass clippings can be an excellent alternative to straw or mulch that combines the best of both worlds, but you have to be careful to spread them evenly and not too thick. Bag your grass clippings prior to spreading seed, and let them dry. Then spread them lightly on the lawn along with your grass seed.
Spread Lime Water Some More
Lightly spread horticultural lime over the affected spots. Don’t add too much lime; follow the directions on the package closely. Too much can have the opposite effect and do more damage. Thoroughly water the spot again. Keep watering every day. Eventually, the natural green color of the grass will return. If it doesn’t return in a few weeks, you may have to dig out the area and reseed.
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What To Do If The Grass Is Dormant
If you find out that the brown grass in your lawn is dormant and not dead then you dont have to worry much. If its because of the seasonality the grass will come back to normal when the stressful season ends.
You just need to provide the grass with essential nutrients at the beginning of the dormancy and sometimes in the middle so that the grass can survive the dormancy very easily.;
If the grass is dormant due to the stress of drought then you need to provide water to the lawn so that the grass can survive the heat and drought and can come back easily when the heat and drought ends.
So If The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side Should I Be Taking More Care Of My Own Grass
The most simple and efficient way to repair damaged or worn patches in your lawn is to use grass seed. The first thing you need to do is to measure the size of the areas which need repair and choose grass seed from a reputable supplier such as www.thelawnstore.co.uk. The Lawn Store have a wide range of seeds to chose from including agricultural, landscape, golf course, pro commercial, sports pitch seed and popular wildflower seed.
For smaller areas there is plenty of choice from the Turfline range including,;Multi-purpose Lawn Seed or even Eco Lawn Seed which contains micro-clover. Additionally, there are some excellent choices from the Johnsons range including Tuff Lawn Seed and Luxury Lawn Seed.;The Turfline seed packages cover 50 square metres per pack and are ideal for lawn repairs. For large seeding projects we recommend using the DLF Pro Master range which is available in 20kg bags which cover 600 square metres when sowing at a rate of 30 grams per metre.
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How To Fix Dead Grass
Foot traffic and weather extremes like drought and flooding can damage your lawn, leading to patches of dead grass. Repair these spots now for a lush lawn spring, summer and fall.;
This simple process requires just a single product, and depending upon the number of patches, not much of your time. Start with a grass seed product that combines seed, fertilizer and mulch.
What Causes Patchy Lawn
- Fungal disease Fungal disease is a very common cause of bare patches in your lawn as it makes your grass weak and unhealthy, which dies after some time causing a patch in your lawn. To eliminate fungal disease, you need to apply pesticides to your lawn.
- Animal damage your pets or other animals roaming and playing on your lawn can also cause patches in your lawn. This can happen due to digging or heavy foot traffic. To stop this damage you need to fence your lawn or make sure that your pets dont dig up in your lawn.
- Grub damage Grub can also cause patches in your lawn by eating the roots of the grass. Every lawn has some amount of grubs but if you are seeing a lot of them in your lawn then you need to take precautions by applying a grub controller to your lawn.
- Dog urine Dog urine is also a cause of yellow or brown patches in your lawn. When your dog urinates in the lawn it provides excess nitrogen and salts to the soil, which burns the grass making patches in your lawn. We have talked about how you can prevent dog urine from killing your grass.
- Heat and drought Heat and drought are a very common issue for patches in your lawn. Your grass can be burned out due to excessive heat or drought and create an ugly patch. To eliminate this you can reseed your lawn with drought-tolerant grass.
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How To Repair A Damaged Lawn
If there are bare or yellowed spots in your lawn, it means you need to refill them. An easy and cheap solution is to spread soil and grass seed.;
Quality grass seed blends not only give a fresh new look to your lawn, they also contribute to reducing the amount of weeds in the soil.
Here is how to repair a damaged lawn in 4 simple steps:
Why Does My Grass Look Dead After Mowing
Improper Mowing: Mowing the lawn too short can stress the grass and cause it to turn dry and brown. Mow regularly and dont allow the grass to become too long. Improper Watering: Water your lawn deeply about once a week, or when the grass looks slightly wilted, providing about an inch of water each time.
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Planting New Grass And Reviving A Dead Lawn
There are two ways of planting new grass and reviving a dead lawn. The first is to lay down seed. Use a high-quality grass seed and spread it evenly over your prepared lawn. For a larger lawn, you can rent seed spreaders from your local garden store. After the seed is laid down, cover it with a thin layer of soil.
The second method is to lay down sod. Sod is grass that is already growing and comes in rolls or squares with the roots and soil attached. To lay down sod, place it over the soil, making sure each section is set tightly against the one next to it to avoid empty patches. If you are only filling in dead spots, you can use plugs to fill in wherever you need new grass.
Whether you use seed or sod, follow up planting by rolling. Rolling sod helps press it down into the soil so the roots can attach to the ground. Rolling seed helps push the seed down into the earth so it can take root and grow strong.
Problem: Grub Sightings Solution: First Assess Then Address
These milky-white beetle larvae feed on grass roots, which can lead to dead spots in the lawn. Grubs also attract moles and raccoons. But a few here or there might not be a problem, says Kyle Wickings, a turfgrass entomologist at Cornell University. Ten larvae per square foot is a common threshold for treatment, however, this can vary by species. A very healthy lawn can tolerate higher densities.
If there are signs of damage, say dead or wilting turf, ask your cooperative extension for the best treatment, which will depend on the species of grub. Preventive insecticides are applied in spring, and curative measures are done in the fall. In some regions, chemicals are illegal or must be applied by a certified pro. Organic alternatives, such as Heterorhabditis nematodes, are often effective.
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How To Repair A Thin Lawn By Overseeding
If the turf has been damaged by pet urine, it will resemble a patch of straw in the center with a dark green ring around the outside. The urine acts much like a fertilizer burn. Ohio State University scientists recommend watering the area to dilute the concentration of urine. If you are able to keep pets off the lawn, the grass can be reseeded.
Determine If Your Grass Dead Or Dormant
Determining whether your grass is actually dead or just dormant is important because it dictates what your next steps should be. If it salvageable, you can save time, money, and a lot of work by restoring it rather than starting all over. If not, no harm no foul.
Try these tests to see if you have a dead lawn or a dormant lawn.
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How To To Get Rid Of Brown Patch Fungus On Grass
Many conditions can cause patches of brown, dead grass on your lawn, but only one gets the official name brown patch. Brown;patch disease is a condition caused by a single species of fungus, Rhizoctonia, that often occurs in mid- to late-summer when the weather is hot and humid.