Organic Lawn Treatment

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Dog Lawns

I recently got a new puppy and already I’ve noticed some deterioration in my lawn. Not only is the entire lawn getting way more traffic than it’s used to but dog urine and dog poop will actually burn my organic lawn. The lawn burning occurs because dog excrement in very high in nitrogen. That’s a good thing right? Wrong. If you were to dump an entire bag of high nitrogen organic fertilizer on a single spot on the lawn then the same burning would occur. Nitrogen is great for the lawn in moderation.

Since my puppy is a female, she pees in a single spot and her nitrogen rich urine burns the lawn and I’m left with patchy dead grass spots. If I had gotten a male then my dog would lift his leg and pee all over the fence or something similar leaving my lawn healthy. Even with males you would still have a problem with the dog poop.

My first thought was to try and train my dog to do her business only in a specific spot. For me this is the very back of my lawn which is infected with Creeping Charlie. As any dog owner knows, this is a long process and I’m still working on it. Hopefully in the next few months my puppy will learn but in the meantime she still poops and pees anywhere she pleases. I should just be happy that she’s learning to only do it outdoors.

Dog Lawns

Cute Puppy on the Grass

The best organic lawn treatment that I found was when she does urinate on my organic lawn, I will immediately start hosing the affected area. If enough water is used on the lawn where the puppy peed then the nitrogen will be diluted and spread out over a larger area. This could even be beneficial for the lawn.

When the puppy drops a load of poop in the middle of my grass, it’s best to remove the poop completely and throw it in the trash or otherwise dispose of it. After the offending substance is removed, water the turf where the poop was immediately. Again this will dilute and the nitrogen rich excrement and actually feed the lawn instead of burning it.

I’ve read that some people use sawdust as well as water on the affected lawn area and that the sawdust actually counters the excess nitrogen and will in time turn to compost. While I haven’t tried this yet on my lawn because I don’t have a ready source of sawdust, it sounds good and also has the benefit of reducing the odor produced by the dogs excrement.

A lot of people also remove the poop and pee along with an inch of soil. They then replace the turf grass with compost and grass seed. This is overkill and also requires a daily watering on the spot for the new grass seed.

On a side note, having a dog is just another reason for practicing organic lawn treatment. All those unhealthy pesticides can seriously debilitate any puppy. A healthy dog will spend long hours in your back yard and if any sort of pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides are used then your puppy can get very sick. For more information or incentive to practice organic lawn care check out the dangers of some of these nasty chemicals.

Lawn Treatment – Watering Lawn

Everyone wants a lush green lawn. A healthy organic green lawn will naturally have lower water requirements because the roots will be deeper and more moisture is available further down. The healthy lawn soil will also absorb water more quickly and avoid runoff.

I’ve read that most lawns need about 3/4″ – 1″ of water per week to retain their crisp green color and to encourage active growth. That’s not really a lot of water. Only water your lawn if you see signs of stress. Watch for footprints remaining on the lawn after you walk across it (instead of grass blades bouncing back up). Grasses also tend to turn darker in color as they go under drought stress.

Lawn Care - Watering Lawn

Lawn Care - Watering Lawn

Thoroughly water the lawn if you do need to water. Ideally you want the water to soak down to the roots. With clay-rich soil, it works better if you water a bit first and then give it a good soaking a few minutes later. Also make sure to do it in the early morning or late evening. This is to prevent excessive evaporation which will occur in the hottest, sunniest part of the day and scorching of leaves from the sun. Avoid frequent waterings to your green lawn which would promote shallower grass roots and also encourage weeds.

Don’t water your lawn excessively. Waterlogged grass may turn yellow and develop fungus and diseases. Mineral and oxygen uptake may be restricted on heavy clay soils. Too much watering can also lead to thatch and fertilizer leaching.