Regrowing Grass in the Wake of a Black Lab

My dogs hate my grass. Sure, they haven’t come out and said it, but actions do speak louder than words. When I say dogs I suppose I should say dog, singular. Singular being one 90 lb. black Labrador retriever that goes by the name Hurley. From his actions over the past year and a half I can only surmise the he has a deep rooted hatred for grass.

It seems that he has a specific dislike for the grass that grows (or used to) in a three foot wide strip which runs the entire length of the both fence lines. Admittedly, I’ve never been much of a grass connoisseur. As long as it’s green and can be cut by the lawn mower it has had permission to take up residency in my backyard. Apparently Hurley and I differ in this opinion.

Since I don’t care much about the way my grass looks I normally wouldn’t worry about the swatch of death that has been left in Hurley’s wake. However, seeing that we live in Nebraska, we experience a vast variety of seasons, often in a matter of days. This leads to an amazing amount of mud in the areas of the yard where the grass has been beaten to a pulp. Combine this with my rather rambunctious lab and his irrational fear of the bathtub faucet and you can begin to see the dilemma that I am in.

After a considerable amount of research on the internet, it appears that other owners of Labradors experience similar problems. Also, as a product of my research, I have found that a grass with the cojones to stand up to this type of abuse is only a thing of myth. My only recourse, preventative measures combined with a dedicated campaign of reseeding and watering.

My first step in reclaiming my yard and my sanity is to nurse a new crop of grass to life. With Spring, and Spring rains, just around the corner speed is essential here. My weapon of choice, Scott’s Turf Builder Quick Repair Grass Seed. Although not the heartiest of grasses, I chose this little beast of a seed because of its ability to quickly and effectively cover an area of ground.

In order to give the grass seed a fighting chance of populating the area I have taken a section of orange plastic snow fence, and using long wooden stakes, set it up at a 45 degree angle against the existing chain link fence. Using a small amount of bailing wire I attached the top of the snow fence to chain link fence ever 12 inches to add a small amount of support. Hopefully this, combined with a watchful eye, will be enough to keep Hurley out of the new grass seed. Scott’s recommends staying off of the seed until it has sprouted and grown long enough to be cut once.

After the grass has reached maturity I plan to remove the snow fence and then send in reinforcements. Now that a foundation has been laid with the quick growing seed I plan to send in back up in the form of Kentucky Blue Grass Sun Shade mix. After asking around at the local hardware stores and asking a few friends who work in the landscaping industry I have determined this grass to be the heartiest and toughest grass that grows well in the mixed season climate of Nebraska. Though much more slow growing, the foundation laid by the initial grass seed should offer the Bluegrass seed a chance to establish itself and fill in where the weaker seed has left off.

From here I know that it will be an uphill battle of reseeding and watering. Although Hurley has brute strength and four paws of fury on his side I have diligence and intelligence in my corner.

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