It’s no secret that your lawn can require a lot of attention, and there are lots of ways to get it wrong. Not having a good understanding of your climate and soil health can cause lawn problems.
Some common lawn problems include aesthetic issues, issues with pests, and issues with turf diseases. Getting your soil’s pH levels nutrient balance tested can help you revive grass, repair brown patches in grass, and determine what the next steps are if you’re working to bring grass back to life for a healthy green lawn.
Here are six common lawn problems and how to revive your lawn in each scenario.
Thin and Bare Lawns
If your lawn has lost volume and is no longer the lush, green ecosystem that it once was, you’re not alone. Bare spots in lawns and thinning grass are common symptoms of soil imbalances, inadequate water, and damage from pets.
Thinning lawns and bare spots can both be repaired with a reseeding, but you should first have the soil tested for pH and nutrient imbalances. Then, check out our recent posts to learn how and when to properly water your lawn, and how to reseed/overseed your lawn.
Wondering how to fix dead patches of grass? Repairing dead patches in lawns is a multistep process, but when done properly, can help restore your lawn’s natural beauty. Repairing dead spots may also require a reseeding, and may also be good justification for a soil test. This is unless, of course, there is an obvious external reason for dead patches, like recently excessive foot traffic or a spilled herbicide that isn’t grass-friendly.
Weeds In Lawn
Another problem is excessive weeds that invade your grass. While some weeds are to be expected, if you have unusual green patches or an invasive weed species that’s killing your grass, it’s easy to investigate.
Chances are that weed invasion can be partly mitigated with a good aeration and reseeding in the fall. You can hand-pull many weeds by grasping them near the root with a garden glove, and twisting while you pull upward to uproot them. Be sure to add them to your home compost or toss them far outside of your lawn’s perimeter. Be mindful of any seeds that may still bloom and take flight when you dispose of the plant. Plants biodegrade and add nutrients back into the soil, so avoid throwing them in the trash.
In the meantime, consider your lawn’s root system. Is your grass getting the nutrients it needs from the soil? Are you watering frequently enough without over watering? Has the lawn ever been aerated as part of your fall or spring lawn care routine? These factors may be causing your weed invasion.
There are many weed-killing herbicides on the market, which can be an effective solution for immediate weed relief or for any invasive weeds you may have. However, excessive weed control is not usually required, and you should spend more time resolving the root issue which is usually a lack of nutrients and a proper reseeding. Be sure to check that any products you choose are grass-friendly, without harsh chemicals that can further damage the lawn or harm wildlife. Also, beware of using any weed control during hot weather as that can damage your lawn. If you have a lot of weeds during the hottest months of the season, it is best to wait to do a seeding in the fall. Green Roots Organic is proud to carry only the highest-quality products and strives to balance our use of traditional weed control to only the most stubborn weeds and use either organically acceptable or low toxicity weed control on the rest. Give us a call and we can point you in the right direction if you need a professional opinion.
Brittle, Brown Grass
Brittle or brown grasses are often an indication of hydration issues, but can also indicate weakened root systems, turf diseases, pest infestation or improper mowing. If you’re looking at brown patches wondering how to make grass green again, fret not! Restoring your grass is as simple as checking in on your soil health, using the correct grass seed for your climate, and watering and mowing your lawn regularly.
Firstly, consider your watering schedule. If you’ve been watering properly and there have not been any recent instances of extreme weather, it’s probably not that. Next, let’s check your soil.
Your local lawn care expert can take a soil sample to test pH levels, as well as soil nutrient levels. In the meantime, you can check your lawn for a potential pest invasion.
Take a look at your yard, particularly where you see dead grass. Dead grass patches in lawns might be accompanied by shallow or rotting root systems, or an insect or grub invasion just below the grassroots surface. More on pests below.
You might also consider whether you’ve used an appropriate grass seed for your lawns sun/shade balance and climate. Here’s the grass seed we recommend for your lawn type.
Is your new grass turning yellow, or are you suddenly experiencing weird discoloration in your once beautiful green lawn? This could also be attributed to a variety of factors, so here’s how to tell which applies to your lawn.
Discoloration can be the result of any of the above and below mentioned lawn challenges. To start simply, always consider the watering schedule, your mowing schedule, whether your lawn has been properly aerated, and whether you’ve used the correct grass seed. These are all easy and free ways to assess your lawn’s basic needs.
Secondarily, check in with your lawn’s root systems and whether you have a pest infestation that’s affecting your grass roots. If the roots appear healthy and you don’t notice excess pests in the lawn or soil, it’s best to have your soil health tested by a professional. This could indicate an imbalance that’s preventing your grass from getting the nutrients it needs.
Pests in Grass
Do you see unusual lumps or bumps in the lawn? Does the grass and root system easily lift away from the earth when you pull it? Do you notice excessive grubs or other pests? It might be time to call an expert to handle your invasion.
Grubs can eat away at and burrow through grass roots quickly, leaving you with grass that appeals healthy but has lost some of its root structure and will likely soon start to die. Grubs can ravage an otherwise healthy lawn very quickly, so if you already see lumps and bumps in the lawn and grubs beneath the surface, there’s no time to waste. In the northeast, Grubs usually
present a problem toward the end of summer into early Fall.
A good lawn care company can help you prevent a pest invasion without harsh chemical products that harm other species in your local ecosystem. Make sure you always read the labels of your pesticides for high-quality, non-toxic ingredients. If you’re not sure what to look for, check with a local lawn care expert.
Overwatering or watering too late in the day can create great conditions for fungus and turf diseases to attack your grassroots. Watering late in the day as temperatures cool might mean that your lawn is sitting in excess moisture overnight, which invites fungus to grow among your grass roots. These fungi and other turf diseases can deprive your grass roots of the nutrients they need to grow.
Roots that can’t dig deep into the earth or can’t reach and absorb the nutrients they need create weakened grass. Be sure you’re giving your lawn the water it needs, on the appropriate schedule.
If you’re still unsure of the cause for your lawn challenges or think your challenge is something unique, give us a call. Green Roots Organic is your local lawn care expert and is ready to help you achieve the beautiful green lawn you’ve always wanted. Come grow with us!