Dear Joan: Help! My husband and I own a house on a corner lot. We are very proud of our lawn and front garden, and we spend a lot of time and money keeping it looking nice.
Our problem is that a lot of people walk their dogs in front of the house and around the corner, and they let their dogs pee all over the yard. Most people pick up the poop when they let the dogs go on the lawn, but what do you do about the pee? There's no way to pick that up.
We love dogs, but we love our lawn, too. I know a lot of people have taken out their lawns and put in rocks and dirt, but we like having a green lawn in front of our home, so don't tell me to take it out.
The dogs' urine is creating burns in our grass, and we've had to reseed several areas. When I see someone walking their dog, I'll shout at them, in a nice way, to stay off our grass, but I can't be out there all the time, day and night.
Do you have any suggestions for stopping the dogs from peeing on our lawn and for fixing the burned areas? We don't even know most of the people walking by.
-- Lawn Lover, Campbell
Dear Lawn Lover: First of all, responsible pet owners do not let their dogs do their business on other people's lawns and yards, so that needs to stop.
And secondly, I would never try to force you to rip out your lawn. Lawns use a lot of water, but they also give back to the environment by absorbing carbon monoxide, filtering pollutants and keeping high temperatures down. They are not for everyone, but like everything in nature, we need balance; a mix of lawns and no lawns.
It's not likely you'll be able to stop people from letting their dogs urinate on your grass, even by shouting at them nicely. You can ask the people you know to curb their dogs, but there's no way to control them or the strangers that pass by.
So, barring building a wall around your lawn, you can look at certain deterrents.