need lawn help...please

Greetings,
I have a small back yard, maybe 50 x 100, that is in horrid shape. A couple of years ago my dog did his business everywhere, and I think all that piss messed up the soil.
For the past 3 years I have laid lime, fertilizer and seed, as well as grub killer the past two years, but my lawn looks like a lot in the ghetto. About 1/2 grass of 5 different shades of green, 1/4 giant mutant weeds and 1/4 bald spots.
I have been using a mulch mower - should I switch to bag? Different chemicals? start all over? Pave it? I don't want Fenway Park, just something that looks somewhat green w/o having to spend a fortune.
Thanks,
Bluesman
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Get rid of the stupid dog. Forget about a lawn and grow a vegetable garden instead.
Why do you need a lawn anyway? Are you intending to put a miniature golf course in your back yard?

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On Mon, 12 Apr 2004 12:10:25 -0400, Bluesman wrote:

You did all those things but did you NEED to? Did you have your soil tested? What's the soil's PH? Is it missing anything nutient wise?

What *I* would do is bring a soil sample to your local co-operative extension agency to be tested. They do this for a small fee. You need to know the PH of the soil. Also what other nutrients are in it or not in it. They can tell you what you need to do. Take a small amount from various areas of the yard and mix it up in a small container and bring that.
You could also do this yourself at home with a home test kit from a garden center but they have the experience and knowledge!
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I doubt your dog did too much damage - dog waste is essentially a fertilizer, much the same that any animal manure would be. So is the urine, although in concentrated amounts it could burn the grass. It is certainly unlikely that it had any longlasting effect on soil pH or its chemical composition. I have gardened for years with up to four dogs (now have only 3) and my lawn looks great.
Poor grass is usually the side effect of poor soils. Check on drainage and soil fertility. You may be much better off simply removing the weeds and tilling it all up and reseeding after amending to increase fertility and drainage. Using a mulching mower is recommended above bagging the clippings - it adds to soil fertility by allowing the clippings to become a natural compost, reducing the need for much additional fertilizing. Mow often but long (no shorter than 2 1/2 to 3 inches) and water infrequently but deeply and limit its chemical dependence to a minimum.
pam - gardengal

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Start with a soil test. Correct the soil as indicated You may also have some compaction in the areas where the dogs ran or were confined. Have your cooperative extension reccomend a seed suited for your area. Mulching is the way to go provided you keep the mower blade sharp. Your reference to Fenway indicates you are in the northeast. The Red Sox mantra -wait til next year.
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