Q. I have two large dogs that use my backyard as their bathroom. They cause yellow spots that turn completely bare and kill the grass. Are there any grasses resistant to animal urine?
|Dog urine damage to a lawn is usually surrounded with grass which is darker green and taller because of the diluted urea fertilizer contained in urine|
A. There are no lawn grasses totally resistant to dog urine. The high concentration of "salts" in the urine is causing the damage.
These salts are actually "fertilizer" salts, not bad salts such as table salt. There is just too much of it. The salts are so concentrated that the grass is burned or killed in a 6 to 8-inch spot.
If you look closely at "dog damage" to a lawn, it looks very different from brown spots caused by diseases or insects. Insect and disease damage does not cause the grass to become dark green or grow faster around the edge of the damage. Dog urine does!
Salts from the urine become diluted in the soil further from the “point of impact”. Once diluted enough, salts from the urine act as a fertilizer and turn the grass dark green and push new growth.
The key to decreasing urine damage is the same as too much applied fertilizer. Dilution. Drenching the spot with water and diluting the salts is the simplest way to decrease damage to the lawn.
I know this might be a hassle and look a little odd to your neighbors but if you follow the dog around with a bucket of water and dump it on the urine spot immediately after it is done, you have a good chance of reducing or preventing damage.
Now, if you could just train your dogs to do it evenly over the lawn and turn on the sprinklers.