We love our pups! But as precious as our dogs can be, they can cause tremendous damage to your lawn. Maintaining dog runs along fences and repairing pet urine spots remain among our most asked-about problems to be solved. Here are some things you can do on your lawn to minimize pet damage and maintain dog runs.

How to Keep Pet Urine Spots from Killing Grass

Pet and animal urine can leave behind unsightly dead spots in your lawn, usually in areas where the dog or pets frequently urinate. To prevent pee spots from appearing in your yard, apply Lawn Cal at a rate of 40 lbs per 1,000 sq. ft. over the entire pet area in early spring and fall. Supplementing beneficial calcium into the soil, along with adequate watering, will assist in the leaching of the high concentrations of harmful elements contained in pet urine, facilitating their movement through the soil structure, away from the grass roots, and allowing the grass to stay green and healthy. In addition, Lawn Cal is a naturally occurring compound safe around kids and pets. Apply Lawn Cal twice yearly for optimum results.

Uncle’s Tip: Water those pet areas frequently to assist in moving the harmful elements through the soil. Pet urine contains small amounts of nitrogen. Fertilize your lawn more regularly if dark green spots are considered the problem.

How to Fix Dog Urine Spots in the Yard

Repairing pet spots is simple. Rake and remove any loose debris from the area. Next, apply Primera Sports Field Conditioner layer over the bare soil, approximately 3/8 inch thick. This layer will isolate the seed from any pre-emergent herbicides in the soil. Next, use your favorite Grass Pad grass seed at the heavier bare soil rate. Cover the grass seed with a thin Primera Sports Field Conditioner layer, then water routinely. When seedlings reach 3 to 4 inches, mow to 3 inches with a sharp mower blade when the lawn is dry.

Uncle’s Tip: Water seeded areas lightly and frequently to keep them evenly moist. DO NOT LET THE SEEDS DRY OUT!

Lawn Cal for Calcium

What is Lawn-Cal?

Lawn Cal improves clay soils. An agricultural-grade pelletized gypsum, Lawn-Cal is an excellent source of calcium and sulfur for lawn or garden. Lawn-Cal is essential for healthy soil and vigorous plant growth. Used as a soil improvement, Lawn Cal reduces compaction by increasing water and air infiltration, which assists in neutralizing the negative effects of salt and other excessive elements in the soil.

Tips for Repairing Dog Runs

Dog runs along fences and paths form over time from the daily routine in a dog’s life. Running repeatedly in these same pathways causes the soil to be compacted. The most severe soil compaction occurs when soils are waterlogged, noticeably in early spring after a wet winter’s thaw. The larger the dog, the worse it can get without some routine maintenance. Soil compaction leaves little oxygen available to the roots, making it difficult for the grass to grow. Relieving soil compaction helps the soil to support healthy turf growth. Applying Lawn Cal over the entire yard each spring and fall will help to reduce soil compaction. In addition, core aerate your heaviest traffic areas every fall.

Uncle’s Tip: Avoid using solid-tine aerators in clay soils. For best results use a hollow core aerator and pass over the compacted areas at least 2-3 times. Apply Primera Sports Field Conditioner after aerating by raking or sweeping the Primera Sports Field Conditioner calcined clay chips into the core holes. The entire lawn will also benefit, especially if you have poor drainage.

Growing Grass on a Race Track

Like sports fields, dog runs with the heaviest traffic should be frequently over-seeded with Stadium Special, a sports turf perennial ryegrass blend. Stadium Special is tolerant of intense traffic and blends very well with bluegrass or fescue lawns. If your backyard is home to several large dogs, stay ahead of the game and overseed your entire lawn with Macho Mix fescue or Estate Mix bluegrass, each of these blends contains a portion of sports turf perennial ryegrass.

Uncle’s Tip: On soccer practice fields, grounds crews move the goals to manage the amount of abuse around the goal area. Give Phido boundaries and rotate those boundaries through the season. Let him run on one side of the yard while the other is repairing. This is difficult, but it would be the ideal repair solution.

Fertilize and Water Dog Runs

Golf Course Starter or Renovator should be applied every four weeks during the spring & fall growing seasons. Water your lawn regularly during the dry summer months. Watering in the morning is recommended to avoid turf fungus. A deep watering applied infrequently is best. Average watering should be one inch per week. Hot summers with excessive heat may require up to two inches per week.

Are These Products Pet Friendly?

It is impossible to eliminate all risks inherently associated with any organic or inorganic lawn products. There are hazards and cautions for sugar and table salt as well. However, we recommend watering each product with at least ½ inch of water and letting the lawn dry before allowing pets access to be on the side of caution. And as always, we recommend reading the entire label before any application and following all label recommendations. We’ve been doing this for 60 years and haven’t lost anyone yet.

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