Wyndmere, N.D., man's dog inspires new lawn product
The yellow patches of dead grass on Edd Goerger's lawn gave root to his latest business.
Goerger, an organic farmer from Wyndmere, N.D., came up with the idea for Rascal Spots, a ready-to-spray concentrate designed to protect and cure grass damaged by dog urine. It's the first product for his company, Natural Solutions.
"I know this issue's out there. I have it in my own lawn," Goerger said.
Rascal Spots - named for his lovable but mischievous mutt, Rascal - is an all-natural product. It contains nitrogen-consuming bacteria, humates and a wetting agent that reduces lawn-surface tension.
Goerger said the product consumes ammonia from the urine, binds the salts that cause long-term damage and increases soil permeability, allowing the salts to wash away. He worked with a soil scientist to develop the formula. It's manufactured in southern Minnesota and bottled in Anoka, Minn.
Goerger has worked to market the product, attending a couple of trade shows and interviewing with national media.
He said the biggest obstacle has been overcoming a legacy left by products with similar promises, including dog diet supplements, that haven't worked. That's why he offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. A quart bottle sells for $34.95.
"For those that have tried it, they like it and keep coming back to buy more," Goerger said.
It's available online and locally at Waggy Tails, a dog bakery and pet accessory store in Fargo.
Waggy Tails owner Jamie Tate said he had researched the product for his own use and then started stocking it.
"I put it out in the winter, and a number of people looked at it," Tate said. "Now that the weather changed, customers are starting to purchase it."
The bottle attaches to a garden hose and is sprayed across the lawn. One bottle covers 5,000 square feet and takes eight minutes to apply. Directions say it should be reapplied every eight weeks.
Rascal Spots was first produced last August. Goerger said about 1,500 bottles have been manufactured so far. He plans to release one or two other natural lawn-care products, hopefully next year.
Steve Aune, who lives in south Fargo's Woodhaven neighborhood, said his dog, a Hungarian pointer, "does a good job of damaging my lawn. ... We've been digging (the spots) up and reseeding and all that over the years."
He knew Goerger from networking events. Goerger asked him if he wanted to try Rascal Spots.
"Lo and behold, it actually works. It grows back stronger than before," Aune said. "I have one of the plushest lawns in the neighborhood, even with a dog."