Dog destroyed lawn - looking for tips

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Old 05-21-12, 02:20 PM
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Dog destroyed lawn - looking for tips

So after the spring finally melted the sheet of ice and snow covering my lawn and things started turning green again, I found that half my lawn is burned. I'm guessing our dog's urine is the culprit.

This didn't happen last year, but we had moved in in late winter/early spring, so there was not much of an accumulation of dog urine over the winter. I suspect it was the whole winter's worth of dog urine that destroyed the lawn when all the snow melted.

I'm planning on reseeding and fertilizing to get the grass growing again, but I'm concerned about the earth where the lawn is burned. The dirt there is hard and dry, and I'm worried not a whole lot will grow on it. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 05-21-12, 02:59 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Is the dog still around? If so, this is pretty much a pointless effort.

If not or if you can confine him to other areas, loosen the soil and then soak it well to dilute anything still remaining in it before seeding.
 
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Old 05-21-12, 03:01 PM
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Before you blame the dog....is it a male or female? Are the burned areas in spots/circles...or larger patches?

I'd think that dog pee would be diluted by melting snow. One of the things that's said to help is to water areas heavily when a dog uses it...wouldn't snow do the same?

No chance the area was over fertilized last year?

If it's hard and dry..possibly the grass never rooted well.


No matter the cause...you need to get a soil sample from the affected areas and have it tested. You may need to add limestone or compost to get it back to a healthy topsoil state.

Take samples from both the affected area and the good parts (keep them separate) and see how the results are different. It's the high nitrogen in dog urine that causes the yellowing. The same thing is caused by over fertilizing.
 
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Old 05-21-12, 03:09 PM
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The areas destroyed aren't even spots or patches... over half of the lawn is just one big area of burned grass. I wouldn't say its a lost cause because we still have the dog, the lawn was fine last year, and her previous homes had great lawns. She`s a girl. I`m thinking there may not have been enough snow this year to really rinse things out enough, it was close to a record low for precipitation.

I doubt it was over fertilized, it was only done twice last year and we had it professionally done.

What type of company typically does soil testing?
 
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Old 05-21-12, 03:58 PM
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In the US some garden centers will do a basic test for free...otherwise you contact a County or State agricultural extension office (normally managed by a State University) and for a minimal fee they send you a kit, instructions, and prepaid mailer. I've also heard that there are retail places you can just buy a kit and send it off.

Female dogs normally SPOT the lawn...since they squat to do their business. Those spots may overlap....but I'm really thinking thats not the issue. Since you didn't have the issue in previous homes...my bet would be the Pro who applied the treatment messed up. Esp if its one big large area. Sounds like an "oops" in application. Maybe they didn't purge lines or had something set wrong...not much you would be able to prove anyway.
 
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Old 05-22-12, 06:33 AM
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I agree with Vic, this doesn't sound like typical dog damage.

Get the soil test and see what it reveals and we can go from there.
 
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