Dog lawn repair: Man’s best friend, or is it?

dog lawn repairWhat’s worse, land mines or acid rain? I knew a guy with a 400 square foot back yard who bought a Great Dane as a puppy six months ago and couldn’t understand what had ruined his small lawn. With dogs, it is usually always compaction, over fertilization (acid), or pH imbalances caused by ovulation in addition to regular dog behavior (digging holes).

This guy had a problem with lawn compaction. The weight of the energetic Great Dane compacted the root system to the point that the grass just could not grow anymore. Lawn repair for compacted lawns involves the use of mechanical aeration and sometimes soil additives like gypsum and peat moss.

The next problem caused by dogs is over fertilization. Have you noticed the grass closest to the rear and front door are always hit the worst? Dog urine contains urea, a powerful nitrogen fertilizer with an N-P-K of about 46-0-0, which means it is almost pure nitrogen. Too much fertilizer makes soil acidic and burns it. You can solve this problem a number of ways. There is now an additive you can give your pets to neutralize their urine, you can train them to pea on rocks and bark dust instead of grass, or you can pour a bucket of water over the fertilized area.

Ovulation is only a problem with some female dogs. It is a lot more acidic then Urea. To repair the lawn and get rid of pet spots, just scrape the surface, and reseed. Make sure to water regularly for at least 3 weeks or until the new lawn is established. When reseeding, add topsoil (or peat moss), grass seed, and a little bit of starter fertilizer. Adding sweet soil or lime to the area may also help the grass to become established faster. Spots can take anywhere from 3 to six weeks to fill in. If some spots fill in and some don’t, this could means that the soil in that spot is to acidic and you need to wait a little longer to replant.

Pet stores have recently started selling acid reducing sprays for lawns and water additives. How have these things works for you?

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