Are you noticing uneven clusters of grass around your landscape or one spot that just always seems to look out of whack? Do these spots have rich, green grass circled around a dingy yellow patch?
The reason for this may or may not be what you expect. Believe it or not, dog urine has a huge impact on your turf.
Dog urine consists of nitrogen, which can be very beneficial to turf, if used modestly (just like lawn fertilizers). While the urine can actually give grass a boost in healthy growth (the bright green circles), a high concentration of nitrogen-filled urine will burn and kill a spot that it continues hitting (yellow patch).
You may conclude that a dog who returns to take care of business in the same spot repeatedly will damage that spot. On the other hand, if the potty spots vary, the concentration of nitrogen won’t be as high and repetitive. Therefore, a wandering potty-goer creates clusters of slightly taller and slightly darker green grass all over the place.
The nitrogen impact from the urine is dependent upon each dog. For instance, dogs with high protein diets will have urine with a higher concentration of nitrogen. As a landscape-loving pet owner, your first step in fighting yellow patches of grass would be to lower your dog’s protein intake if you can.
This is a common challenge that we run into. And although you may not have a dog, you may have noticed the uneven mixture of grass or yellow spots in the shared spaces in your neighborhood or commercial property. Combatting this issue can be tricky, as we proactively apply fertilizer and nutrients across the turf to sustain it and help it grow. If our furry friends apply an extra layer of “fertilizer” in certain spots, there lies an imbalance in which that spot of grass becomes overloaded.
If you are noticing this issue on your property, fear not. The burst of grass growth that comes with the warmer temps each Spring usually cures the doggy discrepancies. We closely monitor the grass growth, as we begin our first rounds of mowing. If any bad spots remain despite the fresh new grass, we can use chemical treatment as a last resort. This may include the use of certain fertilizer and proper irrigation, to hydrate and counteract the damage, bringing a balance back to that spot.
When will the grass grow? As temperatures rise with the onset of Spring, your landscape heats up. The trees and plants across your property are exiting dormancy. Flowers are beginning to blossom and your grass is itching to grow. Each year, this happens right around the end of March and beginning of April.
BUT, grass is not officially ready for growth until soil temps are 55 degrees or higher for at least 5 consecutive days (including nighttime).
This stage in the season should be just around the corner, but we are currently facing a 7-day forecast with nighttime temps beneath 45 degrees. So those of you who are eager to see bright green across your property, hang tight.
If you’ve read this far, you now are assured of another “tail” as old as time. The culprit of damaged grass is sometimes our beloved animals.
We will consider and watch for this issue as we care for your turf and gear up for another Spring blast of grass growth.