Tips For Dog-Proofing lawn turf
Dogs are wonderful pets, that absolutely love playing and nosing around home gardens. However, they can become a nuisance in the garden, especially if you’re growing a wildflower lawn turf full of precious and vibrant flowers. However, there are ways to avoid problems like how to protect grass from dog urine, that can be solved with some additional protection and a regime for lawn feed. Read more, you’ll be able to have a beautiful garden that is also strong enough to survive even the most playful of dogs!
Choose natural grass
A major plus point for natural grass is how well it drains most natural liquid. Most people worry most about dog urine damaging their lawn when they have one of their own, but on natural grass, it just soaks in without the need to hose it away, disinfect the area, or worry about stains or smells. Natural grass definitely makes the best lawns for dogs.
Natural grass makes for the best lawns for dogs because as it grows on soil, it is supported by a very high population of soil microbes, which are Mother Nature’s cleaners. They break down organic substances – dead grass, dead insects, spilt tea, dog urine, and so on – and turn them into plant food. You won’t find them in artificial lawns, however don’t give up just yet. There is a simple way to handle dogs on turf lawns.
Choose tough turf
Dogs can inflict quite a lot of wear and tear on a lawn, especially if they are young, active and accompanied by children. If you have a dog, make sure your lawn contains tough grass species like dwarf perennial rye and smooth-stalked meadow grass. By using a hard-wearing mix on your lawn turf, one which is able to withstand and recover quickly from wear and tear, you give yourself the best opportunity to have the lawn you’ve always longed for. Perennial ryegrass is not only fast-growing but hard-wearing, and is a key ingredient in our best-selling Jubilee Lawn Turf.
Moreover, meadow grass reproduces via underground stems so if you do get a bald patch, the lawn will repair itself. Our Jubilee Turf also comprises a high percentage of meadowgrass to resist disease and rejuvenate itself, so it will flatter any design from contemporary to a cottage-style garden.
Mow little and often
Your mowing regime will make a big difference to the appearance of your lawn in the case of dog urine. Pee patches tend to spring up faster on a lawn and are a darker green than the surrounding area which makes for a very unpleasant blemish on your otherwise perfect lawn. Lawn fertiliser will ensure that your lawn grows back quickly, so if you mow twice a week, these taller patches will be less noticeable. Maintaining the grass at around 2.5cm tends to keep the whole lawn greener and still looking good. We don’t expect you to go out with an ultra-precise ruler measurement, so instead think of 2.5cm as the height of a regularly-sized ping-pong ball. If it gets higher than that, it’s time to cut it down a peg.
Products that can help…
Feed your lawn regularly
Keeping your lawn well-fed not only helps the grass plants cope with wear and tear, but also tends to even out its colour. Choose a good quality lawn feed, like our Vivid Green’s spring/summer lawn feed, and apply every 6-8 weeks. The only difficult thing about feeding your lawn is remembering to do it, so mark the dates on the calendar or put a reminder on your smartphone so you don’t forget next time.
If you can, get your dog (s) into a routine. That way they’ll become used to relieving themselves whilst out on walks and they’re less likely to use your lawn.
Plus, they’ll burn off excess energy on a walk and then sit quietly on the lawn instead of running around. At least that’s the theory.
Stuart Reed from Waggy Tails Dog Training has two lively dogs and a beautifully manicured lawn. He attributes his successful lawnmanship to plenty of walks and interacting with his dogs to keep boredom at bay. His dogs are well trained which makes walking and spending time with them a pleasure rather than a chore.
Stop. Don’t read any more until you’ve digested this first sentence. DO NOT ADJUST YOUR DOG’s DIET BEFORE CONSULTING A VET.
Got that? Good.
Excess protein in your dog’s diet get excreted in the urine. It contains an element called nitrogen. Nitrogen is a plant nutrient. Too much nitrogen in one place will scorch a lawn. …which is why you must be careful how you apply nitrogen fertilisers.
By reducing the amount of protein in your dog’s diet you can reduce the risk of brown pee-patches appearing in your lawn. BUT if your dog is very young, very old, very active or has an underlying condition, you can make him or her poorly by messing with meals. Always consult the vet if you are thinking of changing its diet. And don’t listen to people who tell you to add ketchup to the dog’s dinner or put rocks in the water bowl. Neither of those things actually work.
If all else fails, just don’t let the dog on the lawn. It’s an awful shame but some gardens get ruined by dogs that race around all day. A fenced-off doggy play area with plenty of toys, a bowl of water and some shade and shelter is a superb compromise.