Planting and maintaining your yard can quickly develop into a lost cause when you have dogs which often play and remove in the areas you’ve planted. New grass demands a window of time free of damaging aspects like playful pups running around on it. Fertilizer, on the other hand, can be a danger to your furry family members.
Seed Vs. Sod
The one major advantage of seeding your new yard above buying sod is cost. Another advantage is the various hybrid mixtures available in seed. But when you have puppies, seeding can pose problems, as you want to keep your pooches off of the young tender grass for a period of time. Sod, on the other hand, is slightly more hardy against foot traffic, although you and your dogs should steer clear of the new sod for the first 4 to 6 weeks. Planting from seed should always be done in the spring or fall, waiting until the danger of frost has passed in the spring as well as you allow plenty of time for the roots to develop until cold temperatures hit in the fall. Generally speaking, warm-season species should be planted in spring and cool-season grasses should be planted in fall. Plant sod anytime throughout the calendar year, except during very cold temperatures or extreme heat.
Protecting New Grass
Once you’ve sown the seeds for planting, cover them with 1 inch of a medium layer of straw to help maintain the required moisture and provide a little protection to the seed from the dog’s paws. While the grass is sprouting, take your dog out on a leash or give him a tie-out which will keep him off from the germinating grass or new sod. You can also put up a temporary fence made from poultry wire and stakes, much like you would do to keep animals from a vegetable garden.
Generally speaking, lawns are fertilized while the grass is growing. To get cool-season grasses, this is during the spring and fall. Warm-season grasses tend to develop during the summertime. You can generally use a pesticide specifically intended for new lawns, but a soil test will tell you exactly how much and what types of fertilizer to use. The fertilizing time does not change because of your dog, however you will have to keep your dog safe from the potentially hazardous side effects of the fertilizer.
Some fertilizers are completely safe for the dog, even when he eats it. Others, however, can cause mild to serious side effects and deaths have happened from fertilizer exposure. The fertilizer you choose will most likely mention the level of security to pets around the label. The package should also record how long to keep your dog away from the fertilized area. Even though you do not see your dog eating the fertilizer off the ground, it may get stuck on his paws or coat and ingested during cleaning.