Although your dog may be man's best friend, chances are your lawn isn't on as good of terms with your pet. Urine spots can leave behind large yellowing or dead patches, while digging can create an even bigger mess. The trick to a beautiful lawn is to renovate and repair the damage, while giving your dog a safe place to be a dog. The following guide can help.
Repair urine spots
Begin by preparing urine spots for full renovation. The cause of the grass death is the high amounts of nitrogen and salts in urine. Small amounts may green grass, while large amounts kill. This is why many spots are dead in the center and bright green around the margins. To repair, you will need to dig out the dead grass and the top couple of inches where salts have accumulated. Dispose of or compost this removed soil. If the grass is alive but yellowing, you can first try flushing the area with water to rinse out the excessive salts and nitrogen. If the grass recovers, you don't have to dig it out.
Fill In the holes
Your next step is to fill in the holes, whether from your dog digging or from the removal of urine spots. A topsoil or combination of a topsoil and compost works well. Fill in the holes and water so the soil settles, and then top off the holes with soil to ensure they are level with the rest of the yard.
If the yard has become rutted or bumpy, as sometimes occurs if you have filled many holes over the years, you will need a mixture of equal parts sand and compost. Apply the mixture over any low spots, raking it level. The top of the grass should still protrude above the repair.
Reseed the lawn
The final step for renovation is to reseed the lawn. Use a sturdy grass variety that can handle foot traffic, such as bluegrass, and seed it over the top of the lawn. Spring or early fall is a good time for reseeding, since young grass may not survive the heat of summer. Water twice daily for the first few weeks as the seeds sprout and the grass establishes. It's also a good idea to stay off the lawn during this period.
Along with renovation, consider landscaping to better fit your dog's needs. You can set aside a patch of ground just for urination and train your dog to use it. Another feature that works well for dogs is to have a sandy patch just for digging and dust baths. Work it into your landscaping design by using decorative borders or fencing to separate it from the rest of the lawn. Contact a business, such as Modern Landscape & Design Inc, for more information.