Lawn Care Information, Tips And Tricks

Repair Your Lawn, FAST


We love our dogs!
We love a great looking lawn as well.

Sometimes our dog's urine can leave brown or yellow spots on our lawn. These burnt looking spots are caused by the amount of nitrogen in our dogs urine. It's natural and normal. It's often said that only female dogs leave these spots, but it has more to do with the concentrated squatting position of the female as opposed to the scattering / ricocheting off objects action of the male. It goes without saying that the bigger the dog the more chance of a good sized burn.

The cause of the burning relates to the amount of nitrogen in your dog's urine. Your lawn actually loves nitrogen to a certain extent, but high concentrations of it will burn the grass dead. Lawn fertilizer has nitrogen in it to help your lawn grow strong and green, but if you've ever accidentally spilled a small amount of spring fertilizer on your lawn you will soon see the same result – a yellowish burn mark.

So what can we do about these spots?
One answer is to dilute the urine with water right after you see your dog urinate on the lawn. This is great if you're always out in the yard and are paying constant attention to what your dog is doing while you're out.
Most of us don't watch every move our dogs make while we're out in the yard with them and will only notice the spots as they appear.

A great solution:

A fast and easy solution to damaged spots on the lawn has been to use a grass plugger. This "lawn claw" (below) was purchased at the local hardware store almost three decades ago, it still does an excellent job at quickly and easily repairing the spots from the dogs, as well as repairing any other normal wear and tear areas of the lawn.

With a grass plugger you simply walk up to the dead spot, push the plugger into the grass and remove a plug. Once the first plug is removed, you just find a donor area that you can move some healthy grass plugs from and start transferring the good grass to the burnt area (and the damaged grass plugs to the good area if you choose). Give the plugs a shot of water when you're done - and that's it. A dog urine burn can be repaired in under a minute if your donor grass is right next to your damaged grass and there's no waiting for new grass seed to grow, no buying peat moss or top soil to help grow the seed etc. This is also a great way to replace weeds with good grass, just un-plug the dandelion, weed, or crack grass and replace it with a plug of good grass.

lawn claw lawn pluggerrepair lawn spots

The old model referred to here is called a “lawn claw” and apparently they are no longer available. It's basically a pipe about 4 foot long with a T-handle at the top, 3 blades at the bottom and step at the base to assist when pushing it into the ground An ejection handle runs down the pipe to eject the plug in it's new location. It only takes a 1" or 1.5" wide plug so pushing it into the grass is easier than many larger pluggers. You may be able to find a used one of these or you can search the net for “sod plugger” and find a few different models to choose from.
  • Lawn Care Tips And Tricks Index