How to make grass safe?
I have a huge fenced backyard, so I am planning to use chicken wire and wooden posts to make a permanent guinea pig run. Here are my concerns: I have a dog who frequently uses the backyard as her potty area. She will not be able to get into the pen once I complete it, but how long do I have to wait for the grass to be safe? (There are no fertilizers or pesticides, but there might be a little dog urine) I have a neighbor who mows my lawn for me with a power mower. I am going to instruct him not to mow this section of the yard anymore, but will the grass be safe? Will I need to wait? Can I rinse everything with a hose and then will it be safe?
Sorry for all the questions, I just want to make sure I can let my guinea pigs play outside safely. I will be supervising them the whole time, and will provide cool water, shade, and stepping stones to rest on. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!
Re: How to make grass safe?
If you can just spray the area down with a hose it should be fine. Dog pee isn't exactly toxic or anything and it does wash away quickly. Since it's also your dog and you know it's healthy I wouldn't worry too much about it. Just rinse it if you can and it should be safe to use.
What I would be concerned about is that with a dog around chicken wire isn't going to be all that sturdy of a pen unless you put in lots of posts to hold it in place. Dogs also can dig a hole large enough for their body to go under a fence within a few minutes. I know your going to watch them but even a slight distraction can have disastrous results. I would stake the pen to the ground every 1-2' and then lay some of the wire flat on the ground alongside the pen for 1' out on every side. Fiberglass rods would work best instead of just using a wood frame like most people do. That will afford you probably another 10mins before an animal manages to get into the pen and if you are supervising them that should be plenty of time to stop the animal. You can also cover the fence along the ground with mulch to keep the weeds from growing around the pen. Then the person who mows can just mow the edge of the mulch and if necessary you can take a little edger to clean up any weeds without worry of getting it caught in the side of the pen. That way you don't have a weed patch around your pen.