Save Your Lawn From These Common Problems

On February 11, 2020 by Preeti Shah

Keeping your lawn beautiful is a lot of work. Even if you have well-established turf, there’s still so much that can go wrong. From weeds to dog damage, insect infestations, low-light areas, and more, your lawn faces a host of challenges. It may need some extra help from time to time, and you’re just the person to give it that help.

But solving lawn problems can be just as logistically challenging as solving any other large-scale problem. Often, lawn problems are the result of insects or disease, but there can be other issues with your lawn that are just as troubling. For example, how do you get grass to grow in shady areas? How can you even figure out what’s wrong with your lawn? Here’s what you need to do to save your garden from these common problems.

Insect Infestations

Insect Infestations

It’s normal to have some bugs outside, obviously, but specific insect infestations can cause significant problems for your lawn. For example, white grubs can cause irregular dead patches to appear in your lawn, and they’re also a tasty snack for skunks, gophers, and armadillos – all critters that will be happy to dig up what’s left of your lawn to get at the grubs. Other bugs, like sod webworm and chinch bugs, can also cause brown, yellow, or dead patches on your lawn.

Diagnosing insect infestation on your lawn is the hard part. If you need help figuring out what bugs are infesting your lawn and what pesticide will most effectively kill them, turn to your local county extension office. With photos and descriptions of what’s going on with your grass, they can tell you what kind of insects you have, and how to kill them. They can also help with other agricultural questions, such as what lawn products are best in your area, how to garden in your local soil, and how to adjust your soil pH.

Fungal Disease

Fungal Disease

Several fungal diseases can cause rapidly spreading dead spots on your lawn. Usually, you can treat these diseases by adjusting your watering schedule, fertilizing less, or fertilizing differently. However, it’s best to get your specific fungal disease diagnosed by the local extension or a local gardener before you take action. One of your area’s local lawn care companies may be able to diagnose and treat fungal disease in your lawn.

Low Growth In Shady Areas

Low Growth In Shady Areas

Many homeowners struggle with shady areas where grass doesn’t seem to grow, but moss grows just fine. You should test your soil pH before taking any further action. If the soil pH is ideal for grass – between 6.0 and 7.2 – you should seed the area with a shade-tolerant turf. Or, you can install shade-tolerant ground cover plants, or give up on growing grass on that spot and put down mulch or wood chips instead.

Dog Damage

Dog Damage The Lawn

If you’re not diligent about rinsing off your lawn when your dog does his dirty business on it, you’re going to get dog damage – a dead spot surrounded by verdant, thriving grass. You can usually help it recover by soaking it with a hose – and taking your dog somewhere else to pee.

Dead Patches

Dead Patches

Dead patches are often the result of insect damage or fungal disease – but not always. Insect damage will usually come with evidence of insects, like webs in the grass, bite marks on the grass, or insects themselves on the grass blades or in the sod. Fungal diseases will cause spots to appear on grass blades as they succumb. But brown areas can also appear in parts of the lawn that dry out the fastest.

Usually, this is the result of excessive soil compaction, especially in areas that see a lot of foot traffic. Aerating the area will help break up the soil. You should also repair any broken sprinklers in that part of the yard.

Stripes

Lawn Stripes

Striping on a lawn is quite often the result of applying fertilizer unevenly. Thick fertilizer application on one side of the spreader burns the grass, causing brown stripes to appear, while thin use, on the other hand, leaves green streaks. Overlap wheel tracks when spreading fertilizer to correct this.

You can also get lawn striping from a lawnmower deck that’s set too low. Tan or brown stripes – rather than the yellow ones caused by uneven fertilizing – are usually a sign that your lawnmower is scalping your lawn. Raise your mower deck so that you’re removing only the top one-third of the grass blades.

When it comes to your lawn, the last thing you want is huge, dead patches or gross brown stripes. Take care of your lawn and address lawn issues immediately, or you could soon find that your entire yard is brown and lifeless.

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