To understand how PetiGreen’s unique formula works in combating urine damage, it is important to take a look at the underlying causes of how the damage occurs.
People often want to know how to neutralize dog urine. Generally it is not the pH of the urine that is the problem. Though pH might vary, it generally won’t vary enough to kill your grass. The primary offender that damages grass from dog urine is something we’ve all heard of called urea. Dog urine contains urea, CO(NH2)2, which is an end product of protein metabolism. A whopping 46% of urea is nitrogen. Urea is often called ammoniacal nitrogen because it contains ammonia NH. It is why dog pee has the odor of ammonia.
Grass is known as an opportunistic feeder. That means if food is available in a form that it can consume it will consume it. Urea is in a form that grass can consume and it will try to consume all that becomes available. When dogs urinate on grass it is the high amount of urea that causes the damage. The rapid uptake of nitrogen causes an imbalance in something called osmotic pressure in the grass roots. We often equate this to stuffing our mouths so full of donuts that we can’t drink anything. In the same way roots become so full of nitrogen that they can’t take in any water. The grass literally dies from dehydration even when an abundance of water is available.
The secondary offender that damages to grass from dog urine is salt. Salt, in the form of sodium chloride NaCl, allows water to permeate through the cell walls in the roots of plants. When there is too much salt a cell will take in so much water that the wall of the cell burst. All of the water is released from the cell and the cell is destroyed. When enough cells burst the root is incapable of functioning and the plant dies from dehydration and starvation.
Do I need to stop fertilizing my lawn?
This raises the question; do I need to stop fertilizing my lawn? Since an excess of nitrogen is what is killing your grass, adding more nitrogen to it will make the problem worse. Until you get the urine spots under control we recommend that you stop fertilizing your lawn in the areas where your dogs have access. When using the PetiGreen program your lawn may occasionally need some fertilizer, especially in areas of the country that receive quite a bit of rain. If you do need some fertilizer, you can cut the amount you would usually use in half or more. We recommend applying it only if needed. If your dog makes the rounds all over your lawn you might not need to fertilize at all.
How PetiGreen Works
As we mentioned before, people often want to know how to neutralize dog urine. Instead of thinking about ways to neutralize dog urine, it might be better to think in terms of neutralizing the damaging effects of dog urine. One of the functions of beneficial soil microbes is to assimilate and metabolize nitrogen.
When urea enters the soil, immediately certain beneficial microbes begin to metabolize it transforming it from urea CO(NH2)2 into nitrites NO2. Unlike urea, nitrites are not immediately available for grass to consume. When the nitrogen is converted from it ammoniacal form it also eliminates the odor of ammonia. It takes a lot of these beneficial soil microbes to convert the vast amount of urea from the dog urine into nitrites. Generally the environment of the soil that supports your lawn does not support a population of microbes large enough to process so much urea. This is true especially because the lawn is assaulted by urine multiple times a day. It takes time for the population of soil microbes to grow in population. Eventually they can get to the point that they can prevent urine spots from forming in your lawn.
Improving the environment of the soil
PetiGreen works to improve the environment of the soil. As it improves a larger population of beneficial soil microbes can thrive. Over time the population can grow large enough to metabolize the vast amount of urea before it can damage the grass. True organic activity continues metabolizing the nitrites NO2 into ionized nitrates NO3. These nitrates are then bound to soil particles and carbon particles in the soil by a static charge. It is stored in the soil this way where the grass roots have access to them. But now the roots cannot just consume the nitrates. They have to release carbonic acid which acts as an anti-static spray to release the nitrates from the soil. The grass plant only produces enough carbonic acid for normal consumption of nitrogen thereby regulating its own diet.
How PetiGreen protects against salt damage
PetiGreen consists of a combination of a proprietary blend of organic acids, beneficial soil microbes and a little nitrogen and sulfur (to keep the microbes dormant until it is applied). The organic acids work synergistically with the soil microbes to break up sodium chloride NaCl molecules into their base elements of sodium Na and chloride Cl. They are buffered to the soil this way so that they cannot join back together into salt. As individual elements they are not harmful to plant cells. They can however, bet taken up as individual nutrients when needed by the plant.
How PetiGreen works to improve our environment
By improving the environment of the soil we are able to improve the growth of our lawn. Where brown patches spotted our lawns, grass can once again grow. Lawns become greener and generally grow thicker and this growth takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The carbon from the carbon dioxide is used for plant structure and function while the oxygen is returned to the air.
Converting the excess urea into nitrates allows us to reduce or eliminate the application of additional fertilizer. This reduces nitrogen from leaching out of the soil into the ground water. Nitrogen free groundwater means cleaner streams and rivers downstream. Cleaner streams and rivers allow aquatic life and other wildlife impacted by nitrogen pollution to recover.