Spring Clean Up

FertilizerFertilizing the homestead? Looking for ways to solve those pesky brown spots? Still want green grass and a dog? Yes it is that time of year, Spring Clean Up.

Many people are concerned about the use of fertilizer on lawns where the family pet will romp with the children.. The good news about fertilizers is most are very safe for use around pets and children, provided that a few safety measures are taken. First, if you use a granular product, make sure that the product is watered into the grass well immediately after application. This will start the product dissolving into the grass and minimize the potential for your pet to eat small quantities. If you are using a liquid, make sure the pet stays off the grass until the grass is completely dry.

Kitty In GrassMany weed and feed type products request that you not water the product into the soil for 24 hours or more. If possible segregate your pet from part of the yard and cover that portion. A few days later reverse the areas and your pet should still stay safe. Additionally, most weed and feed products contain herbicides in small quantities. These herbicides (plant killers) tend to be safe for all pets unless the pet is eating large quantities of the product. We still do not recommend feeding it to Fido!

You should also make sure that any toys, dishes, blankets or other items that your pet may keep in her mouth or lay on should be picked up prior to applying the fertilizer.

Those ugly brown spots can be resolved by the use of gypseum about once monthly throughout the summer and fall. The brown spots begin as bright green spots from those special areas that Fido “waters.” Because there is limited black soil under your grass the high nitrogen in “Fido’s rain” promotes top growth without the development of roots and the grass flourishes then dies. That is when the brown spot will appear. Gypseum will loosen the soil and change the pH to make the soil more friendly to the grass when “Fido rain” appears.

Dog In GrassMost pets and lawn products are compatible, but please keep Fido off the lawn while you are making the application and until it is watered. Those simple thoughts will prevent burns of the skin, gastrointestinal tract and injury to the internal organs from exposure to fertilizers. It will also keep more money in your pocket by saving a visit to your friendly veterinarian on an emergency basis.

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