When your lawn is looking good, it’s a lush, green retreat. But when your lawn isn’t looking its best, there are few things less relaxing to look at. It’s a problem that dog owners know all too well. Before you know it, your outdoor oasis can become sad and trampled-looking when your beloved buddy has been digging holes and scratching up your grass.
Creating an expanse of green that you and your dog can both enjoy isn’t impossible. In fact, it’s easier than you think. Patience, a good strategy, and strong grass seed are the key ingredients to repairing a lawn.
1. Survey your grounds
If your lawn looks trampled, start with a slow walk-through of your green space. You will need to assess if the grass is actually damaged and in need of some long-term TLC or if it could be fixed with a little bit of perking up. If you notice brown or yellow patches, areas where your dog has been digging, or parts of your lawn that have clumps of grass missing, it’s time to build a plan.
Grass that's been simply "matted down" underneath your fluffy friend's eager paws can easily be brought back to its best by using a leaf blower to perk leaves up from root to crown. If it’s spring, summer, or fall, dry weather may also have your lawn looking a bit puckered. Add some extra watering sessions to your weekly lawn care routine if trampled, limp grass strands can’t seem to stay pert.
The more action your lawn has seen from your precious pup, the more areas you may notice need direct and immediate treatment.
2. Identify traffic patterns
To give your trampled lawn a reset, you’ll need to venture off the beaten path -- and we mean that quite literally. We’re talking about changing the traffic pattern that leads to long-term lawn destruction.
Those areas of your lawn that look dingy, muddied, or uneven? Those are your high-traffic areas. The path-of-least-resistance that is the most direct route to the shed? That’s high-traffic, too. Your dog’s favorite patch of lawn for doing its business? That’s a soon-to-be bare patch.
Consider making a rough sketch of your lawn and draw a red “x” over the grass that’s taking the most abuse from foot traffic and dog visits. This can help you come up with creative solutions to temporarily redirect the flow of activity over your backyard or front lawn while you repair damaged areas.
After you’ve enacted your plan to give high-traffic areas a break, you will be able to decide if your lawn needs to be patched or reseeded due to trampling, dog digging, or even dog pee spots.
3. Go back to your roots
With BarkYard™Good Boy™ you can use a technique called “overseeding” to fill in spots of grass that have become thin or are showing wear. The best time to overseed will vary according to the climate in your region, but it can be done during late spring or early fall - when soil temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Usually, it’s best to keep your grass blades on the longer side (around 3.5”), but to prep your grass for overseeding, you’ll need to mow your lawn shorter to approximately 2 inches. Shorter grass blades will allow grass seeds to make contact with the ground, giving them access to water and sunshine as they begin to grow. You may also want to do a light dethatching, going over damaged or trampled areas with a rake to get rid of dead undergrowth that will block seeds from taking root.
Pick a day where there is not a lot of wind to overseed. Apply seed using a spreader or integrated shaker bottle according to the label directions. Good Boy™ makes it easy to grow with grass seed, fertilizer, and soil-improver all in one - no need for extra fertilizer to jumpstart your seedlings.
4. Protect your investment
While your new seeds take root, you’ll need to keep the area well-watered. You’ll also need to supervise your dog more carefully as some dogs may be drawn to trying to dig at seeds, or investigate newly-laid fertilizer.
It might be impossible to keep your dog off your lawn completely as your lawn grows in. Try to limit your pet’s roaming for the first 2 weeks after overseeing. It will take up to 4 weeks of growth before you can start to see the full results of your overseeing effort. Thanks to Good Boy™, when your lawn grows in, it will be much more durable than before and perfect for your dog’s fun-filled future of happy romps in the grass.
If you are repairing an area where the lawn has really taken a beating (we’re talking bare spots, dog pee spots, and deep, muddy trenches), you may want to cover the over-seeded area with a protective barrier, such as a seeding mat or seeding mulch.
Even if your lawn isn’t looking like it is trampled or thinning, applying a layer of grass seed and pet-safe fertilizer during the spring and early fall is a great habit to establish. Overseeding regularly with Good Boy™ is a sure-fire way to help keep your lawn growing in healthy and thick, year after year.
5. Give it a little patience
Grass doesn’t grow in a day -- or even in a week. Your trampled lawn might need to take a month or so to show signs of life again. Make sure that you’re watering the grass seed regularly, and don’t mow new growth until your lawn is between 3 and 4 inches.
In the meantime, work on establishing traffic patterns that bring life back to your outdoor space. Cultivate behaviors in your dog that will allow your efforts to take root. Pay attention to the ways that your family (and your pet) are using your lawn, so that you can maximize the space that you have. As your formerly trampled lawn transforms into a lush green carpet, you’ll be so glad you made the effort to create a space that feels good to spend time in.
*Results 28 days after application, applied and cared for according to label directions