When I see other people’s gorgeously green and healthy lawns, I am filled with both envy and awe. Beautiful lawns just don’t happen overnight. They are a result of consistent care and maintenance. A labor of love, if you will. But even the most attended and well-maintained lawns are not invincible to damage. Many factors contribute to a lawn’s declining health. Our lawns are constantly under attack. From extreme weather changes to infestations and diseases, the battle seems to be never ending. Here are some of the most common lawn problems and how to deal with them.
Lawn weeds are opportunistic and will grow where there is available space and sunlight. Once they take root, they will compete with your lawn grass for water and nutrients. If left unattended, they will spread out of control.
The best way to deal with weed problems is to stay on top of it before it goes out of hand. Hand-weeding remains the best defense against weed overgrowth on small yards. Pull weeds out the moment you catch them. Doing this when the weeds are still young will prevent them from rooting deeper into the soil. When weeding, make sure to include all traces of the roots to avoid regrowth.
Improving soil condition and making it conducive to the health of your grass is another important way to prevent weed overgrowth. If your grass is healthy, they leave little to no room for unwanted weeds to grow and thrive.
Weeding is easier to accomplish when the soil is moist. There are also tools available to make the process easier. Here are some of the best weeding tools that can help you out: 7 Best Weeding Tools to Free Your Garden from Annoying Weeds Easily
One of the most common lawn problems is the appearance of dead patches. Even well tended lawns will have dead patches from time to time. There are many factors that contribute to dead spots in your lawn. Urine from pets and wild animals that wander into your lawn can be one factor. Grub and insect infestation can also be another culprit. Fungal diseases also cause these dead patches.
Faulty lawn practices can also add to the problem. Water sprinklers that are wrongly placed can miss certain areas in your lawn. As a result, missed areas may dry out, turn brown and go dormant. In addition, over-fertilizing can also contribute to this issue. Applying too much fertilizer may burn your grass, leaving you with ugly looking dead spots in your lawn.
The first step in addressing the issue is to determine what is causing these spots. Isolating the cause will help you to know the appropriate course of action. Once you have taken care of the cause, the next step would be to repair the dead spot by reseeding the area, or by adding a new sod patch.
To learn more about dead patches in your lawn, this post will help you out: How To Tell If My Grass Died
Grub and Insect Infestation
There are several signs that pests are invading your lawn. These signs include: brown patches, wilting grass, cuts, tears and bite marks on grass blades, severed or missing roots and holes in the soil.
Some of the most common pests that wreak havoc on lawns are white grubs, chinch bugs, sod webworms, armyworms, and cutworms. These pests feed on grass and roots, causing damage to your lawn. If left unchecked, the damage can be irreversible.
The easiest way to take care of the problem is by using pesticides and insecticides to control these pests. However, pesticides are harmful to the environment as well as to household pets that frequently venture into your lawn. Fortunately, there are safer, natural alternatives available. There are organic, non-toxic products for pest control. In addition, using natural predators like ladybugs or nematodes also helps with getting rid of unwanted pests.
Fungus and Other Lawn Diseases
Fungus is one of the most common lawn problems that attack the lawn. The 4 major types of fungus infecting lawns are fairy ring fungus, rust fungus, pink snow fungus, and slime fungus. Other fungal diseases that infect lawns are anthracnose, red thread, fusarium patch, and powdery mildew.
Fungus thrive in dead, organic matter. Dead grass clippings, wood chips, tree stumps, dead roots, and other organic matter present in the lawn will invite the emergence of fungus. Other causes of fungal disease include drought, improper mowing, overwatering, overfertilizing, compacted soil, moist conditions, and high humidity.
The best way to prevent fungal disease in lawns is to remove as much decomposing matter from your turf. Complete removal is, of course, an impossible task. However, minimizing them will greatly reduce the chances of fungal appearance.
Dethatching or aerating your lawn will help remove thick buildup of thatch in your lawn. This allows your lawn to breathe, and will help prevent fungal diseases. Organic treatments such as neem oil, baking soda solutions and compost tea are also great methods of dealing with fungus. Since fungal spores are hard to kill, applying fungicides will do the job if all else fails.