If you are starting to notice what may appear to be a burn on your lawn and you have dogs, there is a good chance that their urine could be the culprit. To make sure that what you are seeing is actually due to urine and not some type of lawn disease, you can easily test your lawn by simply pulling on the burn area. If the grass does not come right out and appears to be securely rooted into your soil, then there is a great chance that you are experiencing lawn burn from your dog’s urine. Know your grass. Kentucky bluegrass, and Bermuda tend to be the most susceptible to burns, while perennial rye grasses and fescues are more resistant.
What causes the burn to your lawn is the level of nitrogen found in your dog’s urine. While some nitrogen is good for your grass, too much can lead to damage. For example, female dogs are more likely to cause lawn burn than males because females void their entire bladder in one location instead of lifting their leg and marking, like males. Large dogs, and dogs with a high protein diets, can do damage to a lawn, especially an over-fertilized lawn. Too much fertilizer means too much nitrogen, and nitrogen from your fertilizer compounded by nitrogen from dog urine may be all that is needed to put your lawn over the edge. Lawns that are stressed are even more susceptible to damage. Lawns that are suffering from drought, disease, or are newly sodded or seeded are highly likely to burn.
There are ways to prevent or minimize the effects of lawn burn. You can reduce the stress on your lawn by not over, or under-fertilizing, along with watering frequently. Saturate urine spots with water from a watering can, or a hose. Train your dog to urinate in a specific location that is hidden, or easily watered.
If you are unsure of what is causing these burns on your lawn, give us a call and we can come out and evaluate the situation and develop a treatment plan for you that will bring your lawn back healthy, green and lush.