Man's best friend is often not your lawn's best friend. This time of year you are seeing lots of dead spots all over your lawn and you're wondering what to do because your lovely little doggie has been busy all winter. Well first of all, you have to understand why it's happening. It's the urea nitrogen in their pee that's killing the grass. It's not their poop so much, but it's their pee that's the problem.
It's especially a problem with female dogs because they do a lot of squatting and peeing, concentrating it on a specific area. It's kind of like taking a handful of fertilizer and just throwing it on the lawn. It burns the grass. So you get these brown spots with green rings around them and they're all over the place.
The first thing you can do is when you notice this happening, within an hour of the dog peeing, is to water the area down. Really just drench the area. It will flush out the salts and urea in the pee so it won't burn that lawn area.
If you already have the damage you can repair it. Take a rake and rip out the dead grass that's there. Get some topsoil or compost and just spread it that around the spot. Then put some grass seed on it. Use a tall fescue or perennial rye grass. Just sprinkle the seed on the spot, keep it well watered, and the grass will grow up and it will fix those little holes that you have. Of course, ultimately you want to have a specific location in your yard with gravel or mulch where you can train your dog to go do its pee and business so you never have to do this again.
By Charlie Nardozzi
PO Box 4508