Fertilizer – Dog Safety

Q: I have bermuda grass in full sun in my backyard where two big Labs play and tear it up. I really care about my dogs so I do not treat the grass with any fertilizer or weed killer. Would it be a waste of money to rip it all out and put in sod ?

A: Bermuda grass is a heavy feeder, especially in full sun. Without nutrients, it can’t easily recover from dog damage. I am not a veterinarian, but I don’t think you have much to worry about regarding applying fertilizer. I suggest you apply a water-soluble fertilizer (Miracle-Gro, etc.) according to label directions three times each year, beginning in late April, and water it in afterwards with a sprinkler. Once the fertilizer is washed off grass blades and into the soil I don’t think the dogs would have much contact with it.

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