Lawn care

Not open for further replies.


Boxer Booster
I know people have posted about yucky lawns before and everyone says it "comes with the territory" of owning dogs. My yard really needs help though.

I have very thin grass to bare spots all over. Some areas are sunny, more are shaded in summer. How should I go about repairing this? Any lawn experts on the board?

Should I just spread new seed all over and water? Do I have to lay straw over it? Will I have to keep Ali out of the yard for a long time while grass gets established?

Thanks to anyone who can offer advice.

Candy (Ali's Mom)
<A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A>
Ali born 11/29/99
Reverse brindle, natural ears


Boxer Insane
I think it really depends on what part of the country you're from. It's very wet where we live, so if the dogs are out any length of time running, they just wear a track in the yard. We have 2 boxers and a fairly nice lawn.

We replanted grass about 2 years ago and had it hydroseeded. You do all the prep work with the soil and someone comes with a big pumper truck and sprays a mixture of seed, mulch, and fertilizer on the ground. The mulch is green, so you have instant green, then the lawn grows. I think it was well worth it. Once you figure in the cost of seed, mulch, fertilizer, and your time to plant it, it was very close to the same price.

About the straw--that is NOT done around here. When I visited a friend in Tennessee I saw lawns planted like that. I guess maybe it works, but I don't understand it. I would think the straw would germinate and you'd end up with hay for a lawn. :p Around here, peat moss is the norm for mulch.

I would keep the dogs off it for several months. (Especially after you spend a lot of time and money, you don't want holes and bare spots.)

I think the most important part of planting a new lawn in the preparation of the soil. You could just spread seed over what you have, but if you're soil is lacking, you won't get a good result. We had horrible clay and had to add quite a lot of topsoil and till in sand to break it up.


Boxer Booster
Well, Candy, I'm not a lawn expert, but you would think my husband is from our lawn. Even though we have two dogs in our yard all day everyday, boxer and lab, our lawn is the best in the neighborhood. It takes some time, patience, and money though. As Linda said, the main ingredient is the soil. Being in Illinois, I would think you would have some decent topsoil? I grew up in Iowa, but we've been here in Virginia for over 5 years, and all of the ground is red clay. We brought in top soil, fertilized, seeded, watered, etc. until the lawn was going. Keep in mind, it's best not to mow for a while when you're trying to start new grass, until the roots and blades are pretty firm, and a little more mature.

We have a friend, fortunately, that owns a landscaping business in Richmond. He comes out twice per year to aerate (sp?), reseed, and fertilize. Prior to this, Jason (my husband) always uses round up to kill any unwanted weeds or foreign grasses in our yard. Once these are dead and brown, Todd comes in and does his thing. We have to be careful to not let the dogs run heavily onthe yard for several weeks (no frisbee, catch, etc.) and water a lot! This is our yearly routine and our lawn already looks great. I would think it would take quite a bit of time and patience to get a needy lawn going again. And, it would be best to keep the dogs off. They trample the new, fragile grass and can even carry off seeds on their paws.

I'd try contacting a local Chemlawn company or landscaper to come out and give you a free estimate. You might find it's not any more expensive than doing it yourself, or that you could do the necessary steps yourself once you get their advice. Good luck! Jessica

Zoe-9 mos, plain fawn, cropped, spayed, docked
Jake-2.5 years, yellow lab


Completely Boxer Crazy
Jessica gave really good advice. Maybe our husbands are long lost brothers! :) My husband alternately rents an aerator and then a plug seeder once a year. Our developer striped off the top soil and sold it to another developer (I worked for the company for a while) so we had bad soil. We have done quite a few things to amend the soil in our yard. The plug thing actually takes cores of dirt out of your lawn and drops it. Unfortunately it literally looks like you have a zillion piles of dog poop all over you yard for about a week, until it redistributes. After you pull the plugs from the soil you can cover it in a variety of material depending on your problem. We over the 3 1/2 years we have been here have used topsoil, compost, sand, and lime. The sand and lime work to break up the clay soil we have and the topsoil and compost increase the organic matter. My husband then re-seeds. For small problem areas, we have had great success with a purchased item called patch master from scotts. It is a bagged item including the mulch (shredded newsprint, fertilizer and seed) that you sprinkle on and then wet down. It works very well. In our last house we had large expanses of lawn that we had difficulty with when we moved in. We amended the soil with compost, seeded and then covered the large areas with an item called "excelsior matting" It came in very long sheets and covered the area in a man-made straw-like material(no weed seeds) and you pinned it down with biodegradable spikes. This is a commercial product, it works well for large areas but is a bit expensive. Good Luck!
Not open for further replies.