If you’re looking at your neighbour’s bowling green-like lawn with envy while yours is worse for wear, then it’s time to point the finger at your pampered pooch. While there are many reasons why you’d find a lawn bald spot, your dog’s peeing habits are the most common one. Rather than give up altogether and let your lawn look like its suffering through a drought, we’ve listed some helpful lawn care advice below. It’s about time you gave your neighbour’s lawn a run for its money.
Step One: Down and Dirty
The first step to achieving that coveted bowling green is to rip up the lawn bald spot or spots. Dogs often urinate in the same place more than once, so you may find there are a few select areas around your yard that are worse than others. Because they urinate in those locations, you may wish to wear gloves for this task and use a rake.
Fortunately, clearing the area of grass is not as labour-intensive as you might think. Because the grass and its roots are all dead, it can be a matter of dragging it out of the way to allow for new growth. However, during this lawn care process, it’s crucial to clear the spot entirely – don’t leave any roots behind. Roots may still hold urine from your pets which make the following steps all for nothing if you’re releasing the harmful pee back into the ground.
Step Two: Apply Garden Lime
The reason why your lawn dies after your pet has urinated on it is that the ammonia in the urine is exceptionally acidic. Your grass doesn’t like this and dies as a result. Even by removing the grass, you are not able to achieve growth while the soil is still acidic. Therefore, you need to go to a garden store and purchase a bag of garden lime.
Take note of how much damage there is so you know what bag to buy. However, there’s no harm in having some left over for lawn care and maintenance later on down the track. Once you’ve purchased the lime, put your gardening gloves back on, grab a handful, then spread it over the lawn bald spot. Ensure that you cover the entire area evenly to balance your soil and promote growth.
Step Three: The Top Coat
While you’re helping your lawn recover by applying lime, the job isn’t done. You then need to think about how best to let the lime do its job, and that means you need topsoil. Topsoil is what sits on top of your ground – covering at least 50-60mm. Typically, it’s rich in nutrients, dark in colour, and is crucial for revitalising the earth for new growth. You can buy this alongside your lime at a garden shop and then spread it on top of the lime. Allow for at least 25mm of coverage over the lime. You shouldn’t be able to see any lime through the soil.
Step Four: Seeding
Now that you’ve put the steps in place for optimal growth, you can then buy the grass seeds and get the ball rolling. One of the first things you need to consider is what lawn type you currently have. Not every kind of grass is suitable in every region, nor will it tie in with the lawn you already have. If you aren’t sure what grass will work or what you have, take a few “samples” to your local garden centre, talk to a lawn care expert, and compare them to the varieties on offer.
Once you’re ready to sow, there are few ways in which to achieve the perfect result. Firstly, be sure not to cluster the seeds together. Spread them out evenly on your topsoil then add more soil on top. Make sure no seeds are showing as birds will make quick work of removing and eating them.
Step Five: Watering
Just as you would with young plants, your new grass needs daily watering. If you live in a sunny region, it may be in your favour to water the lawn in the morning or later at night to stop new growth from burning. You may also like to avoid planting new grass during times of heavy rainfall to prevent seeds from being washed away.
Step Six: Fertiliser (optional)
If you’re adamant that you’re going to have better lawns than your neighbour, then you may like to apply fertiliser. Fertiliser is a standard part of lawn care, and you can use it not only on your lawn but on the lawn bald spot to which you’ve just added seeds. Be sure to use an even application and opt for an eco-friendly brand.
Talk to the Experts
If you don’t possess green fingers and don’t have the time or inclination to remove that lawn bald spot, then call in the experts. Many different gardening businesses around the country will answer your call for luscious green grass. They can carry out the many steps to removing those lawn bald spots for good, while also keeping up with the maintenance of them as well.
Go Away and Stay Away
While it’s helpful to learn new lawn care techniques for getting rid of lawn bald spots, it doesn’t solve the problem in its entirety. If you want those dead spots to go away and stay away, you need to get back to the root of the problem: the dog. While we’re not saying you should give away your furry friend, we are saying that there are ways in which to correct the problem before it begins.
There are now pee posts on the market which encourage your dog to pee in a “designated zone”. Rather than pee on your lawn, you can install this post somewhere else in your yard, then walk your dog to it until it learns that’s where it should pee. The post contained pheromones, as well as a bright and attractive colour, which encourage your pup to pee in this area rather than on your brand new lawn.
Natural Rock Remedy
The reason why a dog’s urine burns your lawn is that it’s highly acidic. If you purchase natural remedies which change the makeup of your dog’s urine (safely), then it’s no longer a problem. There are many dissolvable products you can add to your dog’s water bowl that can purify the water and provide less acidic urine at the other end.
Having a lawn bald spot is not the end of the world, but it does call for ongoing lawn care and maintenance. If you follow these steps, you can repair the spots as and when they occur. However, if you’d rather someone else took care of the problem, get in touch with an expert team in your local area.