Lawn care & lawn Burn

Make sure your lawn is safe for your children and pets by following organic care practices. Studies have linked canine cancers to lawn chemicals. (See Below) In addition to coming in contact with pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals and tracking these chemicals into the home, many dogs enjoy eating grass. Why do dogs eat grass?

Studies Link Canine Cancers to Lawn Chemicals

Dogs Absorb Lawn Chemicals

urine burn is a nitrogen problem, not a pH problem.
— Shea Cox DVM

Brown spots on the lawn can be caused by bugs or fungal infections. Lawn burn can also be caused by nitrogen in dog urine which works like a liquid fertilizer. Nitrogen in small quantities fertilizes the lawn and can create green patches, excess nitrogen burns the lawn. This is why you may see a dark green ring around the yellow spot on the lawn. Lawns that are heavily fertilized will burn with even a small amount of added urine. Female dogs generally cause more burn spots because they squat concentrating the urine in one spot which kills the lawn. Male dogs will often lift their leg and urinate on vertical surfaces which can minimize the amount of urine in a small spot on the lawn. Male dogs can kill small plants due to the concentration of urine they leave on them. It stands to reason that the larger the dog, the greater the amount of urine deposited in one location making lawn burn more likely.

When grass is dormant or slow growing the urine has little effect on the lawn. When temperatures start to warm and grass is actively growing the roots will absorb water, urine, and nutrients which can damage the grass. Some types of grasses are more sensitive to excessive nitrogen then others. So research a more tolerate grass for your area. Lawns that are watered regularly tend to not be as affected by dog urine. 

No More Yellow Spot Products?

I would never use any of the lawn burn prevention supplements for dogs. They either add salt to the dog's body so they will drink more to dilute the urine or they change the pH of urine. Most dogs likely do not need more salt, and using "medications that alter the pH of the urine, you run the risk of causing urinary crystals or bladder stones in your pet." [1]

“the pH of the urine has little or no effect on the urine damage to the lawn. The addition of acidifying agents, including nutritional supplements like D-I, Methionine (Methioform), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), or fruit juices will have no benefit for this problem and may predispose the dog to an increased incidence of certain bladder stones.” [2]

D,L. Methionine (See Ingredients to AVOID)

Also avoid supplements like Yucca schidigera for preventing lawn burn since it can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients. [3]

Dog Rocks? This is the reply I received from dogrocks.net when I inquired about their product testing. " we found a slight decrease in Tin, ammonia and nitrates after the rock had been submerged for a period of time." I’doubt a “slight decrease” in nitrates will have much effect for most dogs with regards to lawn burn.

What can you do to prevent lawn burn?

  • Water the area immediately after your dog urinates to dilute the urine.

  • Have plenty of fresh water available to your dog to increase water consumption to dilute the concentration of the urine.

  • Feed a higher moisture diet. (Raw, lightly cooked, or rehydrated foods)

  • Feed a higher quality food that has a higher digestibility so the proteins are able to be used by the dog and not converted into nitrogen.

  • Exercise your dog so that the body will consume the protein in the food so less nitrogen will be created and deposited onto the lawn.

  • Teach your dog to eliminate in a designated area. (This requires you to be there to teach)

Keep your Lawn Free from Urine Spots

Dilution is the solution to pollution    Shea Cox, DVM| July 26, 2012

Dog-On-It Lawn Problems

Dr. Steve Thompson, DVM - Director Purdue University Veterinary




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Fly Exterminators

Add Fly Exterminators beneficial insects to your operation Fly Exterminators are gnat-sized Parasites that feed upon and breed within developing (pupal) stages of manure breeding flies, eliminating the adult pest fly As the natural enemy of flies, tiny Fly Parasites target the next generation the Flys The female Fly Exterminator seeks out her host and deposits her eggs inside fly pupae. These eggs begin to grow and feed on the developing fly, thus stopping the adult pest fly from hatching. Fly Parasites reproduce in 2 to 3 weeks, constantly reinforcing the beneficial insect population.Pest flies reproduce at a faster rate than Fly Parasites; therefore, Fly Exterminators must be replenished on a regular basis.We recommend releasing a shipment of Fly Exterminators every 3 to 4 weeks under a fly control program that lasts throughout the duration of the fly season.


Dog Poop - Environmentally safe in-ground pet-waste disposal system (No Stink Dog Poop Disposal)


The Top 5 Pest Complaints

The Pest: Snails & Slugs

The Problem: Leaves with irregular chewed holes with smooth edges. Fruits near the ground with large holes eaten out of them, especially strawberries.

Know Your Enemy: Snails & slugs like cool weather and are most active on cloudy or foggy days and at night. A slime trail is a tell-tale sign that they've been around. They are one of the easiest pests to find: they are big!

Solutions:

Sluggo Plus: 
Environmentally friendly bait effectively kills many of the gardens most prolific pests. Unique blend of iron phosphate, a natural soil element, and spinosad, which is derived from a naturally occurring soil dwelling bacteria, and bait additives compressed into easy-to-use pellets.

Slug Saloon
A safe, efficient, non-toxic method of slug and bug control. The Slug Saloon is a durable lifetime trap for slugs and earwigs. Child and pet safe.

Handpicking 
Wet down infested area in the late afternoon with a hose. Come back out after dark with a flashlight, gloves, and a pail of soapy water to drop them in. Repeat daily until there's been a noticeable decline at which point weekly handpicking should be adequate.

Copper 
A flexible copper strip is a powerful deterrent for slugs and snails because it creates an electrolytic effect that repels them when they touch it. A reaction between their slimy secretion and the copper causes the shock.

Reduce Hiding Places 
Eliminating overgrown areas, low-laying boards, and rocks will force them further from your garden to find a day time hiding place. Also, while mulches can be very beneficial in a garden, there is a trade off: mulches provide hiding places for slugs & snails.

Beer Traps 
Dig a hole in the ground for a tuna can or similar container so that the lip is even with the ground. Fill it with beer and the slugs and snails will have a final toast. They can't resist the smell and taste!

 

The Pest: Earwigs

The Problem: Chewed leaves and stems and/or gouges in soft stone fruit or strawberries

Know Your Enemy: Earwigs are most active at night and prefer cool, moist, dark places

Solutions:

Insect Baits, Traps & Sprays

Dozens available at GrowOrganic.com, including, organic traps, baits, and sprays.

Diatomaceous Earth
Fossilized shells of tiny water-dwelling organisms called diatoms which, when ground, have microscopically fine, sharp edges. Used as a barrier to crawling pests such as slugs, snails, earwigs, etc.

Earwig & slug trap: The Slug Saloon 
A safe, efficient, non-toxic method of slug and bug control. The Slug Saloon is a durable lifetime trap for slugs and earwigs. Child and pet safe.

Trapping in cans
Fill multiple tuna fish cans with 1/2" of water with a drop of oil and soy sauce or bacon drippings and place them throughout your garden. Capture daily, dump earwigs in soapy water, refill cans, repeat daily!

Trapping in rolled newspaper
Moistened newspaper, rolled up in a tube, provides the perfect hiding place for earwigs. Pick the newspaper rolls up daily and drown them in soapy water daily.

Reduce Hiding Places: 
Eliminating overgrown areas, low-laying boards, and rocks will force them further from your garden to find a day time hiding place.

The Pest: Aphids

The Problem: Leaves that are curling, yellowing, and/or exhibiting oozing honeydew (the aphids suck the fluid out of the leaves). Leaves will often be covered with aphids.

Know Your Enemy: Aphids are very small, soft bodied insects that congregate most frequently on the underside of leaves and do not move quickly when disturbed. They are often in large clumps rather than a solitary insect. They come in all colors as well, from pale green to dark brown

Solutions:

Monitoring

Check your plants a couple times a week to catch infestations early. Remember to look on the underside of leaves.

Eliminate the Ants if they're around

Ants actually help aphid populations, protecting them in some cases from beneficial insects (see more on ants below).

Beneficial Insects

Introduce aphids' natural predators like parasitic wasps, lady bugs, lacewing & syrphid fly. Planting things like sweet alyssum or anything in the apiaceae family help to attract beneficial insects. The main defense against aphids is to increase beneficial habitat. You can also mail order beneficial insects

Row covers

Use a light weight row cover to protect seedlings which are more vulnerable than mature plants.

Reflective Mulch

Aphid and whitefly numbers can be lower in plants grown on reflective mulches. Reflective mulches were also shown to lower the numbers of cucumber beetles by 6 times in a study written up the American Society of Horticultural Science.

Wash 'em off

Using a strong stream of water, wash the aphids and their honeydew off plants.

Insecticidal soap

Spray infested foliage with neem oilSafer SoapPyganic for temporary control. Multiple applications may be necessary as they will only kill aphids present at time of spraying