Dog damage can ruin the appearance of your yard. Whether you have dead spots from urine, holes from digging, or both, there are strategies you can undertake to reverse the damage. The following guide is just what you need to get your yard looking great again.
Step 1: Neutralize nitrogen damage
Nitrogen damage occurs when a dog urinates in the same area often because urine is nitrogen rich. While nitrogen in small amounts is good for a lawn, too much nitrogen leads to the buildup of nitrogen salts. This kills the lawn. You can mitigate the over-saturation of nitrogen in an area by removing all turf and its roots as well as the top 3 inches of soil. Then till in a fresh 6 inches of topsoil, mixing it with the top 6 to 8 inches of soil that remains. If you are concerned that the nitrogen levels may still be too high, you can have the soil tested. The test results will provide a recommendation for any other amendments you need to add to neutralize the nitrogen.
Step 2: Fill in any holes
Filling in holes requires a bit more work then just shoveling some topsoil into the divot to fill it. This is because the bottom of the hole tends to get compacted, which will make it harder for grass roots to penetrate deeply once you re-sod. Begin by breaking up the top few inches of soil inside the hole. Then fill the hole halfway with topsoil and till it into the loosened soil at the bottom of the hole. Finally, finish filling the hole and water it thoroughly with a diffused sprinkler. Watering settles the soil without compacting it as long as you don't use a sharp stream of water. Once the soil settles, you can add a bit more to finish leveling the area.
Step 3: Re-sod
Once the nitrogen is neutralized and the holes are filled, you are ready to re-plant your lawn. Sod is the best way to go because you get a virtually instant lawn. Remove all turf in the areas where you are going to re-sod, cutting straight edges into the turf. Till the soil to loosen the top few inches, then water well so the soil is moist but not soggy. Finally, lay your sod strips or squares, butting the edges of the sod against the existing turf, but not overlapping them. If you need more than one row of sod, stagger the joints so they don't line up. Finally, keep the sod moist but not wet. It should be fully rooted and established within a couple of weeks.
For more help, contact a sod delivery service like Novasack Turf Farms in your area.