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View Full Version : Dogs and the quest for lawn perfection


Redline9k
07-28-2010, 04:06 PM
A few of my customers have dogs and always complain about the spotting they get from urine. Recently we've had a streak of 90+ degree days that is making these spots burn up much quicker so hence, more concerns.

99% have no intention of hosing down the spots, or training their dog to go in a single spot only, so im left working on spots each time I go out.

How do you guys handle existing spots in (mostly) fescue lawns? Are you reseeding with anything specific or just raking in new seed with starter fert and telling them to water well?

Runner
07-28-2010, 04:17 PM
You essentially answered the question yourself...You tell them it's like this...You either have a really nice dog, or a really nice lawn. You can't change physics...If they aren't willing to put a little water down when the dog(s) urinates, what gives you any hint of a thought that they are going to water seed and new grass properly to maintain?

Redline9k
07-28-2010, 04:25 PM
well, they pay me to "attempt" to fix it, so i have to give them the benefit if the doubt that they can water it for two or three weeks until it germinates...

...then i go fix other spots in their lawn in the meantime...

Given that though, is there any thing special you guys use when it comes to spot-seeding as far as products go?

bigslick7878
07-28-2010, 05:15 PM
well, they pay me to "attempt" to fix it, so i have to give them the benefit if the doubt that they can water it for two or three weeks until it germinates...

...then i go fix other spots in their lawn in the meantime...

Given that though, is there any thing special you guys use when it comes to spot-seeding as far as products go?

Piss damages soil, it needs to be turned up or replaced and then seeded.

Put Penn Mulch on top heavy.

Tell the customers to get a male dog, I have one and he pisses in the flower beds and along the edges, always in the same place. Either that or On something like the fence not on the lawn.

I had a female before and she would piss in a 10x10 area, in different spots every time so there were spots all over the place.

ChiTownAmateur
07-28-2010, 06:07 PM
Simply a case where people incapable of training their dogs correctly (90% of dog owners imo) assume that it is the lawn guy's job to fix ALL of their problems even if they are preventable (say by pouring water over the spots).

People are lazy, dumb animals, for the most part.

jonthepain
07-28-2010, 07:38 PM
my (female) dog will only pee in high grass. didn't train her to do that; just got lucky i guess.

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e248/jonthepain/017-2.jpg

Smallaxe
07-29-2010, 05:40 AM
Been working on that problem for a while now. Irrigation, for a few minutes, every day around noon. The dogs go out at 6 am, and if it gets watered in before 8 hours, you can prevent the spots.
Also, the sugar/molasses seems to help. Mulch mow only, to build up a nice buffer zone of mulch.

Most importantly, no N fertilizer, whatsoever. The molasses seems to spread the green color around pretty good, so it doesn't seem spotty this time of year. In the spring it looked a two-tone coloration, but once the soil warmed up, I imagine the microbes started working the excess N, throughout the lawn.

Kiril
07-29-2010, 07:28 AM
I have noticed that lawns managed with compost that are a bit nitrogen deficient will not burn out with dog pee. Instead you get your typical flush of growth without the burnout. Not to say this will always be the case, but just something I have noticed over the years.

Harley-D
07-29-2010, 12:02 PM
HOLY S&*#!! Good post with a great opinion and no articles to back it up or publications to post!! Kiril, are you feeling ok? Nevermind, we will take what we can get. I'm sure there is some scientific evidence that could be traced and calculated but i'm glad you have a good opinion and i, and everyone else should, recognize and give you kudos!!!!

Kiril
07-29-2010, 12:11 PM
HOLY S&*#!! Good post with a great opinion and no articles to back it up or publications to post!! Kiril, are you feeling ok? Nevermind, we will take what we can get. I'm sure there is some scientific evidence that could be traced and calculated but i'm glad you have a good opinion and i, and everyone else should, recognize and give you kudos!!!!

I am happy to see you can recognize a presentation of an opinion vs. an opinion presented as fact. If you need scientific documentation, I could probably find something that addresses a soils ability to buffer nitrogen inputs based on current N status and physical properties of the soil.

ChiTownAmateur
07-29-2010, 12:22 PM
I have noticed that lawns managed with compost that are a bit nitrogen deficient will not burn out with dog pee. Instead you get your typical flush of growth without the burnout. Not to say this will always be the case, but just something I have noticed over the years.

extremely helpful tip, ty

Kiril
07-29-2010, 12:34 PM
Here's a pic of one such spot.

ChiTownAmateur
07-29-2010, 01:40 PM
that's exactly what a homeowner would want kiril

you may not want to go back over all the details but in short --

is this someone who does not use any nitrogen fertilizer?
how often do they spread compost?
any other related tips?

would love to do this instead of fertilize, or do some combination. making a lawn basically dog friendly like that is really brillant management imo.

i'll admit at first i found your style a bit casutic kiril but the more i see you post the more you prove your wisdom

Kiril
07-29-2010, 02:16 PM
that's exactly what a homeowner would want kiril

you may not want to go back over all the details but in short --

is this someone who does not use any nitrogen fertilizer?

He usually follows my recommendation ... so no, no ferts other than what little might be added in with a molasses mix to offset any temporary microbial N immobilization.

how often do they spread compost?

Typically once in the fall with over seed. Sometimes twice, depends. To be honest, this sites soils are a damned mess, as corner lots typically are.

any other related tips?

Take whatever necessary steps that will help reduce the concentration of the dogs piss.

i'll admit at first i found your style a bit casutic

Yea ... some people find directness caustic .... oh well.

Harley-D
07-29-2010, 02:59 PM
I am happy to see you can recognize a presentation of an opinion vs. an opinion presented as fact. If you need scientific documentation, I could probably find something that addresses a soils ability to buffer nitrogen inputs based on current N status and physical properties of the soil.

Hope that's not an insinuation, Kiril. I don't remember ever telling anyone that what i said was anything other than an opinion of what i read or that they should not do their own research but i'll double check my posts. And this is a public forum so you have to take some of it with a grain of salt. We wouldn't want to infringe upon anyone's right to free speech, even if it insinuates false or misleading information. Caveat emptor

Kiril
07-29-2010, 03:03 PM
We wouldn't want to infringe upon anyone's right to free speech, even if it insinuates false or misleading information. Caveat emptor

Nor would we want to infringe on someones right to correct that false or misleading information.

Harley-D
07-29-2010, 03:14 PM
Good point. We may have our own opinions on articles. Why they are written, how they are written, how vague the wording in them may be to pursuade people one way or another. If the word biostimulant is vague, why would VA tech use it in a result of a study? Seems like their idea of biostimulants for this study was "selected metabolic enhancers" That could mean a whole lot of things so stating that could mislead someone or it could lead them on a path of self education to learn more about the use of biostimulants in cooperation with herbicides to reduce application rates.

Harley-D
07-29-2010, 03:17 PM
Here's a link where i read the biostimulant definition. http://www.livingturf.com/documents/Prof%20Schmidt%20on%20Biostimulants.pdf

GrassStitcher
07-29-2010, 05:04 PM
The ammonium needs to be dissipated somehow then reseeded, try this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPwHIJWBEfk), it works and you can make money.

Redline9k
07-29-2010, 07:29 PM
ok, im new here so forgive me, but wow, do you just hawk the grass stitcher at every instance you can? For an overpriced tool geared to the homeowner this forum seems to miss your market.

/done

Thanks for everyone else' help. Ill keep working with my clients and see if any are interested in being testers for various ideas we've discussed here.

jonthepain
07-29-2010, 08:02 PM
did you know that you can get custom door hangers that will stick right to that grass stitcher? :laugh:

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e248/jonthepain/hunter2.gifhttp://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e248/jonthepain/tongue.gif

bigslick7878
07-29-2010, 08:33 PM
ok, im new here so forgive me, but wow, do you just hawk the grass stitcher at every instance you can?


Yes........

turfcobob
08-02-2010, 09:27 AM
A few of my customers have dogs and always complain about the spotting they get from urine. Recently we've had a streak of 90+ degree days that is making these spots burn up much quicker so hence, more concerns.

99% have no intention of hosing down the spots, or training their dog to go in a single spot only, so im left working on spots each time I go out.

How do you guys handle existing spots in (mostly) fescue lawns? Are you reseeding with anything specific or just raking in new seed with starter fert and telling them to water well?



Have them teach the dogs to go in the house and the spots will go away. But if they let them outside they will have spots. You can only be responsible for so much. Dog spots are the owners problem unless they want to pay extra for the fixes.

RussellB
08-30-2010, 07:36 AM
http://www.soillogic.com/products/liquid-gypsum?gclid=COe2uJqK4aMCFcHs7QodghVmrQ............I will be resodding my back yard with Jamur Zoysia tomorrow. I have two female and one male dog. I am hoping that this new zoysia will heal/fill in damaged areas as they occur. I have heard that gypsum will wash the salts out of the grass caused by urine. Has anybody tried gypsum spray? Does it have any negutive effects? Positives?

Smallaxe
08-30-2010, 08:05 AM
The salts from urine? Dog spot are caused by N burn. the first step is to stop putting N on your lawn, and the second step is to activate microbials to digest it quickly enough to stop the damage.

If this is your home, you can easily prevent the problem with sugar/molasses and daily rinsing of the grass.

RussellB
08-30-2010, 08:17 AM
Thanks Smallaxe. Two questions.....Is there a edit funtion on here? I'd like to correct my spelling. 2nd....What mix of sugar/malasses and how is it applied/quanities? Will a daily application with a hand held sprayer and irragation work? Thanks again and yes it is my yard.

Smallaxe
08-30-2010, 08:50 AM
Just a handful of table sugar sprinkled around where the dog goes, will help the microbes, metaolize the urine more quickly. Or spraying a solution of Molasses about the yard will work. They say rinsing the lawn within 8 hrs of the urine contact, wil prevent the burn as well.
You should notice that the spots should become less in size and the dark green ring should spread out over time and all the lawn be a more uniform color. Overseed the yellow spots with new seed whenever you see them and be sure that all your grass is dry by night fall so this daily rinsing doesn't become a fungal disease nightmare...
3 dogs, is a big risk, hope you have a large enuf lawn... :)

RigglePLC
08-30-2010, 10:52 AM
Redline, you could just resod the spots as they appear. Charge what it is worth of course. Seed is also good--I suspect that a good sprinkling is enough to dissipate the toxic elements. Turn it over with a spade or--yes--use the grass stich thingamabob.

How about it Stitch? Do you have any data or photos to prove the worth of your product, when used with seed, on actual dog spots? Millions of yellow spots are waiting for your help. If it actually works you could sell millions.

GrassStitcher
08-30-2010, 11:06 AM
Redline, you could just resod the spots as they appear. Charge what it is worth of course. Seed is also good--I suspect that a good sprinkling is enough to dissipate the toxic elements. Turn it over with a spade or--yes--use the grass stich thingamabob.

How about it Stitch? Do you have any data or photos to prove the worth of your product, when used with seed, on actual dog spots? Millions of yellow spots are waiting for your help. If it actually works you could sell millions.

Yes, I tried to explain but got heckled, hey I'm not trying shove it down your throat, I'm only offering a solution, I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone but hell it works??? BTW the Grass Stitcher is not targeted for homeowners, (the new 2011 model is ) its designed by and built for professionals, I know I've been in the industry for over 30 years.

Check out this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPwHIJWBEfk&feature=channel

Kiril
08-30-2010, 01:34 PM
Seriously .... who is going to water down, spray some junk, stitch their lawn every time their dog(s) or clients dog(s) take a piss? :dizzy:

Seems to me the best way to deal with this issue is by doing what you can to keep the dogs urine from becoming super concentrated and manage your soil/turf so dog urine doesn't lead to dead grass.

RussellB
08-30-2010, 01:39 PM
Heck I guess if all else fails I can let my dogs run loose so they pee in everybody elses yard like they do in mine. jk

Darryl G
10-09-2010, 08:30 AM
I can personally testify that the Grass Stitcher works very well for dog spots and that it is no homeowner tool. If someone has a better way of dealing with this issue, I'm all ears, but I think the Grass Stitcher is the way to go.

I can also testify that they stand behind their product 100%. I have been using mine extensively this fall and had broken some tines on my unit. I'm a pretty energentic guy and maybe get a bit crazy with it, lol. I emailed Grass Stitcher and received a quick reply. Frank, the owner, personally delivered a whole new set of tines to me within 12 hours of my email. I'm talking drove to my house, got out of his vehicle, had a half hour or so meeting with me and left me a whole new set of tines and told me to go ahead an beat on them and try to break them. Granted we live in the same state and I'm sure he's can't do this for everyone, but where are you going to get that kind of product support?

GrassStitcher
10-11-2010, 09:30 AM
Darryl

Thanks for the kind words!!

I was able to deliver those because I was in the area dropping off Stitchers at the Guilford Ct John Deere Landscapes.

FYI - You can buy your Grass Stitcher at any John Deere Landscape service center, if you don't see them in the store ask them to order some.