Posts Tagged ‘fertilizer’

Dog Spots

Dog Urine Spot Before TurfPro 

A Better Understanding of Dog Urine Spots on Grass

To be able to deal with dog spots you first need to know why they happen and the effects they have on grass and the soil.

  • Dog urine whether it is from a male or a female is 95 percent water and 5 percent water-soluble organic materials and ions.  The amounts of substances present in urine vary with time of day, diet and nutrition, but the chemical structure of dog urine is fairly constant.  Beside the water, urine contains; urea, creatine, uric acid, carbohydrates, enzymes, fatty acids, hormones, sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, calcium and ammonia.  It is the hormones that makes dog urine different from human.  Any dog can tell the sex, health and even the breed from smelling the crystals that are left when it dries.
  • Lets look at what a ‘Dog Spot’ is.  You will hear people say that the grass or plants are is burnt.  Actually what happens is the salt in the chemicals drawing all of the moisture out of the plant leaves, its roots and killing the beneficial soil biology by dehydration.  Technically it is called ‘hygroscopic’ action.  You will notice that at the edge of a ‘Dog Spot’ the grass is very green and healthy.  This is where the amount of nitrogen is down to a level to where there is enough water available so the nitrogen is feeding the grass instead of damaging it.
  • We talk mainly of the damage to lawns that are more likely to be caused by female dogs than males but shrubs and other tall plants can be damaged by male dogs, if they are located where dogs regularly mark them.  The other thing that can reduce damage is to install a post of some type at a critical point so the male dogs will use it instead of your plants.  Female dogs can be trained to use specific areas if you have the time and the patience to do it.
  • Dog spots in lawns vary with the type of grass you grow and the type of soil you have.  Because of the varied climate conditions we have in this country you need to get with a local expert as to what grass is best in your area.  Keeping a healthy level of organic material in the soil and doing what you can to get the grass roots to go deep can make a difference.
  • The first thing you need to do when you see a new dog spot is to thoroughly water the spot to dilute the urea to where it cannot remove all of the water from the plant.  In most cases you are still going to get crown burn but you will save the roots and soil biology.  The thing you do not want to do is put any type of fertilizer on these areas. It will just compound the problem.
  • You will hear that things like saw dust will help.  It does because of the lignin in it can bind up chemicals and it helps store water the plants will need.  Worm tea and compost tea if fresh will replenish the soil biology so it can work with the roots.  The other thing you have to fight is the chemical imbalance that locks up many of the other nutrients that plants need plus the nitrogen chemically breaks down the organic material in the soil thus reducing its fertility.  This can be corrected in part by adding Humates.
  • The reason we recommend TurfPro USA products for use on dog spots is that it is a 100% organic material that has all of the things we talk about above.  It contains lignin, beneficial soil biology, trace elements and has one of the highest levels of Humates available. It also will diminish the odor that is caused by the ammonia and sulfur in the urine.

Treating Dog Spots:

v    For the fastest recovery dog spots need to be treated as soon after they happen as possible.  I recommend using an adjustable rate hose end sprayer set at 2 ounces a gallon or one of EZFLO’s hose bib units EZ Flow Fertigation set on fast.  In coastal regions of the country and from the Rocky Mountains west I would recommend Turf and Garden Pro with Iron and for the rest of the country Turf and Garden Pro works well.  Water the spot down to where you dilute the urine and give good coverage with TGP.

v    For older spots where the grass is dead you need to remove surface thatch to allow good aeration of the soil.  For best results I recommend spreading some of our AgriPro on the area at a rate of 1/4 cup per every one (1) square feet of area. This adds a high level of biology to the area to hasten recovery.  It is available in 2 pound bags that can cover 20 square feet. Also available in 40 pound bags.

After spreading the dry product soak the area down well using our liquid product at a rate of 2 ounces per gallon of water.  Do not water to where you get runoff.  If your soil is real dry you may have to water a little bit at a time till it loosens up enough to hold water.

v    Do not get fertilizer on these areas till you see good recovery or you could reverse the entire process.

Our web site is  www.turfprousa.com  or contact me at  jloepp@turfprousa.com

B007                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4/14/2011

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Weed and Feed

Weed and feed fertilizers were developed to make things easier for the homeowner without thought to the environment, human, pet or wildlife health.

Fertilizer and herbicides are not compatible. Fertilizer needs to be watered in quickly so it gets to the grass roots to feed the grass. Herbicides need to penetrate slowly so it stays on the weeds leaf to do its job. Wash it off and it ends up in the ground water as a pollutant.

I will not write here about the health effects of the main weed killer products used in these because there is a large amount of data available on the web about them. The main three herbicides are 2,4-D, MCPP and dicamba and all of them have been linked to possible health problems. Many synthetic fertilizers that are used in producing Weed and Feed fertilizers contain harmful elements in the unregulated portion of their mix.

I have not been able to find any studies that address the chemical compatibility of N-P-K and the various weed killers to see if they combine to create an even more dangerous chemical compounds.

Articles such as the Thurston County Washington on weed and feed http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehcsg/weed_feed.html tells the story.

Another problem that makes fertilizer and weed killer’s incompatible is that many times the weed killing agent needs to be applied a number of times to be effective. This means over fertilizing to where most of it runs off. Also, if you are not careful you can kill or do major damage to broad-leaf plants you want to grow, such as shrubs and trees.

Some of the herbicides used in these products along with over use of nitrogen can cause major damage to beneficial soil microorganisms, which are necessary for healthy soil.

The possible health effects that this type of synthetic fertilizer can have on your children and pets alone are reason enough to look at alternatives. Canada has banned weed & feed fertilizer use (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/pest/_decisions/rev2010-01/index-eng.php ) for a number of reasons.

Great lawns can be achieved using organic methods with a much reduced chance of health related problems to family and pets plus diminishing environmental pollution. We use a mixture of a liquid fish hydrolysate called MegaGreen for the fertilizer portion

( http://www.multibloom.com/megagreen.html ). It has a mint extract added to it to control the fish odor. With it we apply Turf & Garden Pro for trace elements, beneficial soil biology and lignin.

Weed and Feed fertilizers were developed for connivance of use without consideration of environmental, animal or human health.

If you have and questions please contact me at jloepp@turfprousa.com or call (407) 340-7639.

www.turfprousa.com