Growing Grass when Having Pets
Growing grass can be a timely process at the best of times without pets being involved, but if you are a pet owner, you will be more than aware of the unintentional damage that pets can cause to your lawn. For dog owners especially, you will notice that there are areas of your lawn that have taken more of a hammering than others.
This could be because your dog walks these areas frequently, urinates in these places or because specific places are more prone to waterlogging than others which combined with the movement of your dog can result in the very churned up placement of earth.
If you are wanting to grow much healthier and better-looking areas of grassland in your garden, then there are things you can do to help this, even if you are the owner of multiple pets. It doesn’t have to be hugely time, effort, or financially costly for you to do so either if you just follow the tips we have for you carefully.
Green Green Grass
Choosing the correct variety of grass isn’t as difficult as you may initially think. The idea of thinking this step through before you financially commit to enhancing the look of your garden is fully supported by that of Best of Machinery. They advise their customers wanting to rejuvenate their lawns to look out for grass varieties that have longer roots.
This enables them to be sturdier, harder to dig up, and tougher when it comes to getting trampled by your pets. It also means that they are more able to survive droughts as their root systems are much more substantial and are able to travel much deeper into the earth in order to find a water source for their own survival mechanism.
Not only are these deep rooting grasses ideal for homes with pets, but they are also ideally suited for families with athletic children. If you have children within your home who like to play football, run around a lot or just generally spend a lot of time playing outdoors, then you may want to spend a bit of time looking into the hardier rooted varieties of grass so as to avoid patches of bare earth and dead grass.
The best heavy duty grass varieties to take into consideration would be those of the Zoysia grass family. This is an Asian derived grass type which thrives in Mediterranean style climates and does not need vast amounts of attention as it grows. Alternatively, you could also look into using Tall Fescue Grass for similar reasons.
There are always specific areas of any lawn which are more problematic than others, and there are also times of the year when your lawn will require some manual labor. In the spring and the autumn, it is advised that you manually aerate your lawn in all areas. This prevents the earth from becoming too compact, and the grass will be able to grow, stay healthy, and increase in the length and strength of its roots. Without doing this, your lawn is more likely to die as it will not have the stability it needs to be able to survive the more difficult seasons.
Having undertaken thorough aeration of your grassed areas, it is then a good idea to apply fertilizers to them, as well. This can be done seasonally so that grass has all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it requires to grow to the maximum, increase its strength, and enhance its greenness. Use fertilizer with a 20-10-10 mix and be sure not to fertilize your grass at times too close together.
Once every couple of months should be more than enough. During winter, your grass does not need to be fed at all as the grass will have gone into its own variation of hibernation and will be purely doing whatever it needs to do to survive and nothing more. Growing at this time will be at a minimal rate, and roots will not be seeking moisture.
Dilute Any Problems
Pet owners will be aware of particular areas of their gardens where their pets prefer to go and “do their business.” If nothing else, these are the areas of grass which usually go yellow or brown and remain like this for months at a time. This is due to the high levels of nitrogen found in animal urine, and when it sticks to grass in high heat, it burns the grass, resulting in it turning yellow or brown. There are two very effective ways in which to you can get around this and prevent patches of your lawn from turning unattractive colors.
Firstly, if you are an incredibly vigilant pet owner, then you can water down the areas your pet uses as its own personal toilet to decrease the potency of the nitrogen in the urine. This needs to be done as quickly as possible when your dog, for example, has weed on the grass, as burning occurs so very quickly and you will also forget the areas in which it has happened until it is too late.
Alternatively, you can increase the amount of water your dog drinks so that the nitrogen levels are decreased naturally. It is the concentrated urine that burns the grass, so diluting it enables the grass to continue to be healthy without burning or dying. Whichever one of these methods is easiest for you is definitely worth a go so that you can strive towards that perfect green grass without holding any resentment towards your beloved pet.
Pet-friendly Garden Areas
If despite the above points, you are still struggling to obtain wonderfully green and healthy looking grass, then there may be alternative solutions to succeeding in your quest. If you have a big enough garden, you could always try building a specific area solely for your pet to use which prevents all of the garden from being at risk from its urination, running around and digging habits. The best areas to create runs in, are areas that are out of the way or hidden from view so that they do not become a bugbear to you on a daily basis.
You could try wearing your pet out in different ways so that it does not go absolutely berserk when it gets into the garden. This could involve taking it for shorter but more frequent walks, employing a dog walker, or putting your dog in to some form of kennel club so that your grass can have a break from any substantial damage and allow it some time to recover whilst resting assured that your much-loved pup is in safe and reliable hands.
Dogs usually run up and down gardens because they are bored, so if you are able to find a way of decreasing the boredom levels, you will soon see that the grass is just as grateful to you for this as your dog.
Another idea for you to keep in mind is building some form of dog-friendly activities in out of the way areas. A good activity example would be a sandpit or a dirt mound. You can bury toys, treats or bones in these pits and your dog can dig till its heart is content without it making a monstrous mess of your lawn if this is a particularly frequent habit of your dog. This could also be helpful for outdoor cat owners who may need ideas for litter trays, where cats like to flick earth up to bury their excretions.
If there is a very specific area of your grass that is not looking healthy because it takes such a heavy footfall, then there may be a lot of sense in looking at using artificial turf in this area. This will decrease the amount of time, money, and effort you need to spend looking after that area of grass and will ensure that it always looks good. Artificial turf is very heavy duty, and there are not many things it cannot cope with. For example, if you have a grass route that children and dogs use daily, this could be the best solution for you.
There are many ways in which you can grow grass and have pets at the same time. You don’t need to forsake one for the other. If you are looking to buy new grass seed, then make sure that you buy a very hardy variety with long roots so that it stands as much chance as possible at surviving both the weather conditions where you live and can compete against the animals you own. Aeration and fertilization of your lawn throughout the year are imperative if you want to have healthy, aesthetically pleasing, green grass.
For pet owners, making sure that there are not large quantities of non-diluted urine on the grass is an excellent way to prevent grass from dying or burning in high temperatures. Reduce the nitrogen levels either by watering down the urine soaked areas or by increasing the hydration of your pets.
If this is not a solution that works well or easily for you, give over certain areas of your garden to your pets for their sole use but make sure that they are in a place that you are unable to see them otherwise this will be just as irritating as a trashed lawn.
Alternative ideas for you to keep in mind are to create games for your pets, to ensure that your pets get enough exercise and mental stimulation to stop them from digging up your garden, and if all else fails, think about using artificial turf in the areas where your grass is in the worst condition.