Problem: Dog urine on grass
Is your dog spoiling your lawn? Dog urine on grass can be a problem when brown patches of dead grass appear which turn your lovely lawn into something of a burnt, unattractive mess. Find out how to rid your lawn of burnt patches from dog urine with advice from Essex turf and topsoil supplier, Paynes Turf.
How dog urine kills grass
High levels of Nitrogen are present in dog’s urine, and it’s this chemical that burns grass. In diluted doses, however, Nitrogen is in fact good for your lawn (it’s an essential component of lawn fertilisers). The problem, however, develops due to the high concentration of Nitrogen that’s contained in dog’s urine, and not with the chemical itself.
Burnt, brown grass aside, there is a way to prevent this from happening and you’ve probably already guessed how (and it doesn’t involve banishing your dog to the park!). The secret is to dilute the Nitrogen to such low levels so that it doesn’t present a problem, which is easy to do with a hosepipe or a watering can full of water placed next to where your dog usually ‘does his business’. This effectively dilutes the problem, as well as the Nitrogen. You could also leave a sprinkler on your lawn for an hour or so twice a week – this will keep the soil moist, and the moisture in the soil will help to dilute the Nitrogen. What’s more, in the heat of the summer watering your lawn will keep it in good, healthy condition.
Many dog owners believe that bitch urine damages lawns more than males’. In fact, the reason why the damage appears worse is because bitches tend to squat in one area (completely emptying their bladder in one spot) whereas male dogs tend to empty their bladders in short bursts, often all around the garden. This means that the urine is far less concentrated and therefore doesn’t damage the grass as much.
What to do if it’s too late
If your lawn is beyond recovery with a watering can, you may have no option but to re-seed the grass. This is easy to do, but the grass seeds will take a long time to germinate and grow – in the meantime it’s not advisable to allow your dog onto the lawn. If access to the lawn is a priority then consider re-turfing your lawn – if the damaged areas are spread apart then you could re-turf the damaged sections, but if the lawn has seen better days then consider re-turfing the entire garden. You can find out how to re-turf your lawn here.
However, after laying a brand new lawn always remember to water down your dog’s urine to keep the grass green, lush and healthy!