Kids, Pets, Wildlife & Safety

Safe way to kill moss


I want to kill the moss, but I don't want to kill my dog...

Hi Lana

Presuming you want to get rid of the moss as well then the first thing is to rake it out. Won't affect the dog at all.

The second thing is to spray what is left with a solution of ferrous sulphate. This is a naturally occuring salt and the only possibly side effects are that the grass will be a little saltier and rich in iron (as is spinach) should the dog decide to eat it.


Lawn feed and pets


Can you recommend what I can buy from you to feed the lawn which is dog friendly and a product to clear up the patches

Andy – thanks for your question

You've highlighted a weak spot in the information we provide on our fertiliser products pages so these are going to be updated over the next 24 hours to state that your lawn is safe for use by kids, pets  and wildlife straight after applying any Lawnsmith® Fertiliser. This includes puppies that will eat anything! Just keep the bag away from it!!!

The fertilisers we use do not contain any pesticides or herbicides (weed killer) as we believe this is better for you, your family, pets, wildlife and the environment. You can read more at Weed and Feed is OUT. Two of our fertilisers do contain Iron and this may cause staining of feet or footwear for a day or so after application but otherwise safe.

This means our Autumn Lawn Feed will be fine for your needs. It is soluble once applied and will quickly dissolve into the soil where it can feed the grass roots.

With regard the patches; you can find more about dog urine burn at Dogs and the Lawn. Though this may not be the answer you want, keeping a high level of moisture in the soil is the only thing that works for certain. It is also beneficial to keep the lawn mower on the high side as this promotes grass strength and deep roots. A feed in the spring as well as autumn will also keep the grass in good health. For spring I'd recommend either Extra-LONG for Clay Soil or Extra-LONG for Sandy Soil.


Natural or Organic Weed Killer


I would like to use organic or natural weed killers on my lawn. Can you suggest anything other than vinegar?

Hi Melanie

You can use vinegar or a strong salt solution to kill weeds, the problem is it will kill any plant, grass included so it is not ideal for the lawn. If you are going to do this be very accurate and I would suggest 'painting' the solution on the weed. If your concerns are to reduce pesticide use for the environment then I would suggest using a lawn spot spray weed killer. This way it only goes on the weed with minimal impact on anything else.


Lawns and hens


I keep a small flock of hens (mainly bantams) in my back garden and this year the lawn is looking very bare and sparse.   Amazingly the grass usually grows back each year but the condition and thickness of the grass is diminishing year by year.

I want to reseed parts of it and perhaps feed it, so I could do with advice on when to do this and what type of grass seed and fertilizer would be suitable plus any other tips in maintaining a lawn that gets hard use.  The lawn is well aerated by a vast number of worms that surface at night (I think they have moved from the borders to escape from the hens!) Thanks in advance


It shouldn't be any problem managing a lawn with hens though sometimes priority will have to go to the grass otherwise you'll end up with mud.

The hens lifestyle usually means little thatch, moss and few weeds. Sometimes though it can mean little grass particularly after a long winter. Also on the upside hen poop adds some useful nutrition and plenty of organics hence a thriving population of worms.

What you're lacking is an opportunity for the lawn to recover together with the fact that the lawn requires more nitrogen than the hen poo can supply. So, wait until things warm up and the grass gets growing which would perhaps be early to mid April in Shropshire and get some fertiliser and grass seed into the area. Try and keep the hens off for two weeks or alternativley do one half then two weeks later do the other half.

I would recommend the Spring & Summer Feed for Clay Soil as this is the most cost effective for your needs. For seed I'd go with EasyGreen as this is the fastest germinating and growing whilst being very robust and once again cost effective.

More help can be found in the directions for recovering a lawn after scarifying plus over seeding


Rabbit Safe Lawn Feed


I have a giant rabbit that has free-run of the garden. I would like to give the lawn a boost with some feed but need something that is safe for the rabbit even if he goes out the day or morning after it is applied and eats the grass, what would you recommend?

Hi Tracy

Ours certainly are - it says so at the bottom of 'Additional Information' on all of our granular fertilisers - rabbits included. Just go to the Lawnsmith Shop.


Soluble lawn food


Can children and pets  go on the grass  after I put down the lawn food - is it safe?

Hi Daniel

On the bag we recommend not using the lawn until the spray has dried to prevent transfer of the product, otherwise it's completely safe. The only precaution that is required is when grazing animals (rabbits and guinea pigs) are likely to use the lawn in which case we recommend 3 cuts before allowing them back on.


Rabbit safe weed killer


We have a lawn full of weeds and three rabbits who hop around the garden. Do you have or know of any weedkiller that we can put down that will not kill the rabbits?

Good question Paul

I have checked the box label and also the Safety Data Sheets and nothing would appear to prevent the use of Vitax Lawn Clear Or Verdone Extra. The lawn should be allowed to dry before use.

If you want to go that extra mile keep them in a different area for a few days and ideally until after mowing.

Hope that helps


Is lawn weed killer harmful to wild life?


I usually garden organically and have a very healthy population of birds that visit and feed.

My lawn is regularly scarified and fed and its worms feed a good population of blackbirds but there are weeds galore.  I don't want to do anything to hurt the wildlife but would love to have fewer weeds.

Is lawn weed killer harmful to wild life? Am I just being a bit silly not using it or will it hurt my worms/blackbirds? The situation is well beyond any hand weeding solution!!!! 


Due to the mowing routine there is next to no wildlife actually munching on your weeds, therefore the risks are miniscule. The chances are many other things we use in our day to day lives are far more harmful.

Just follow the basic directions on the container but if you also do the following you will bring risk down to virtually zero:

  • Spray very late in the day after the bees have gone to bed
  • Do it on a warm evening to speed drying
  • Fertilise the lawn 2 weeks prior to weed killing. This will improve the kill and reduce the number of times you have to apply weed killer
  • Spring treat in late May or June
  • Autumn treat in August/September

That should keep you weed free but still with happy birds and worms

Suitable weed killers and fertiliser for lawns can be found in the Lawnsmith Shop


Blackbirds digging in my lawn in winter


I have had black birds digging in my lawn, I have dug holes to see if there is any bugs that they might be trying to get at and i can't find any bugs but a large amount of worms, is it possible that this is what they are digging for and if so what can I do to stop it, perhaps bird feeders.....

Hi Victor

At this time of year the chances are good it's just worms they're after. First of all be pleased you've got worms - in the lawn that is! They make for a healthy soil, however, if you want to reduce their activity using 'Lawn & Worm sul-pH-ur' eventually acidifies the soil surface and the worms stay below out of reach of the blackbirds.


Dog and bitch urine


How do I repair damage caused by a female dog urinating on the lawn?


When any animal, male or female urinates in one spot on the lawn the amount and concentration kills the grass. During wet weather or by keeping the lawn watered, the urine dilutes quickly and less or no damage occurs.

Once the damage occurs the dead patch just needs raking out to expose the soil and rough the surface. You can then add a sprinkle of grass seed (10-20 seeds per square inch) to repair.

Hope that helps




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