Do you have burnt brown patches in your lawn? Do you have a dog? If you can answer ‘yes’ to both of these questions then there’s a good chance that your dog’s urine is killing the grass! Thankfully there is a simple solution to this age-old lawn problem (and it doesn’t involve moving the dog out!). So, how does dog urine kill grass? Find out with advice from Paynes Turf.
Dog’s urine contains high levels of concentrated nitrogen which is a chemical that, in diluted doses, is excellent for the health of your lawn and is in fact an essential ingredient in lawn fertilisers. Lawn burn caused by dog’s urine occurs due to the high concentration of nitrogen in your dog’s urine, and not with the chemical itself.
Many people say that bitch urine is far more damaging to lawns than a male dog’s urine. This isn’t the case. Bitches tend to squat and empty their bladder in one spot – this concentrates the amount of nitrogen that soaks into the lawn. However, male dogs tend to spray up plants, trees and whatever else they can find in small amounts, and so the urine is in a much smaller concentration. You may have noticed that the grass around lampposts is usually dead – a prime spot for every male dog to mark their territory!
So, now you know what causes the problem, what is the solution? Well it’s actually quite simple. Use a watering can to dilute the dog’s urine with water every time it goes to the toilet, and dilute the problem! You could also try leaving a sprinkler on your lawn for an hour twice a week during dry weather to keep the soil moist – the soil will stay damp and will have the same effect as diluting the nitrogen with a can of water.
If your lawn is already dogged with dead patches then you may have to regenerate the grass by re-seeding. To do this, start by raking out the dead grass, and then use a garden fork to prick small holes in the surface of the soil, around 1cm deep. Lightly sprinkle grass seed and firm the surface by treading down. Water lightly every day for a couple of weeks and you should soon start to see new growth.