Ask an Expert : Gardening

  • Planting grass

  • I know Autumn is a great time of year to plant grass seed, but I have a question. We recently moved and our lawn is patchy-lots of spots where there is just no grass or very little. The problem is, we have a dog. She is out there half of the day running around! I think it may be a futile effort, but do you have any tips on growing grass when we have a puppy that hangs out in the yard?

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  • Hi Julie! If you can get to the area where your pet has relieved himself/herself within the first 24 hours, you can often prevent bare spots from occurring by saturating the area with water. This will dilute the acidic urine and flush out the excess nitrogen. Make sure that your dog is well hydrated too as this will dilute the strength of your dog’s urine. There are also products available that counteract the effects of pet urine, such as Dogonit Lawn Treatment. And some grasses are more resistant to urine burns than others, such as fescues and ryegrass.

    To prevent this issue in the first place you might find it worth your while to potty train your pet to use a designated area. This is more likely to occur if you put down sand or other mulch material that your dog will accept. Make the area dog-friendly with a large boulder, faux hydrant or other type of marking post. That way you avoid multiple bare areas in your lawn. Then you can reseed the bare areas once your dog has confined his outdoor bathroom to the designated location. Good luck!

    Excellent topic. One I was hoping to ask. Great advice. Thanks Kris!

    We have tried getting her to go in just one spot. That hasn’t worked so well! But, maybe if we make it more inviting with the tips above, that could help.

    I am also going to look into those lawn treatments. What a great product idea.

    Thanks so much for the suggestions!

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