If you have a dog, you may struggle with brown spots on the lawn caused by dog urine. There is a simple solution. The urine needs to be rinsed from the foliage and there must be adequate water in the soil. Here’s the low down.

Osmosis at work

The urine increases something called the salt index in the soil. Then osmosis comes into play. If you recall your high school biology you may recall how water travels through a cell membrane. Whichever side is saltier basically draws the water throught the cell wall into that side. In the grass this means that it pulls the water out of the grass and into the soil. To solve the problem just add water.

The problem may be worse first thing in the morning if the dog stays inside the house and hasn’t had a chance to urinate all night. In this case the urine will be strongest in the morning. Then it is also important to rinse the foliage with water to remove the urine from the grass blades.

The sprinkler system advantage

A sprinkler system sure helps here. If you have an unused program on your clock such as program C or an unused drip program, just add the appropriate circuits (or zones) to that program for a couple of minutes. Don’t add a start time. Instead start it manually after the dog does its business.

Here’s another trick: Irrigate the lawn every day of the week and use multiple start times such as 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 am. Of course you will need to reduce the duration of the watering run time. By doing this your sprinkler system will rinse off the foliage and wash the salts in the urine down into the soil every morning

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