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Thursday, May 23, 2024

6 Common Lawn Problems and How to Address Them

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Do you own a property in the United States with a lawn? According to experts, Americans spend more than $39 billion yearly on lawn care. This statistic shows that most US homeowners invest money into their property’s aesthetics. However, despite spending a lot of money on their lawns, some homeowners still experience lawn problems that bring down the home’s curb appeal.

You may encounter several common lawn problems, such as moles, poor soil aeration, brown patches, etc. Knowing how to deal with these problems before they arise is wise and can save you time and money.

So if you’re experiencing some problems with your lawn, keep reading. You may find the solution you’re looking for here.

1. Brown Patches

One of the first lawn problems we’re looking at is possibly the most common one that people encounter and one that quickly brings down the aesthetics of the area. We’re talking about brown patches.

Several things can cause brown patches, such as excessive nitrogen, compacted soil, shade, and too much thatch. Fungal disease can also cause your grass to turn brown in patches.

This fungus problem is called Rhizoctonia Blight and is caused by the presence of organisms called Rhizoctonia solani. This fungus is nondiscerning and attacks any grass it finds.

Solutions

Your solution for brown patches will depend on the reason they appeared. Once you’ve pinpointed what is causing your brown spots, you can begin to treat it.

If your brown spots only appear where there is shade, your lawn is not getting enough sunlight. Most grasses require around four to six hours of sunlight a day.

To solve this problem, you can do one of two things. If trees cause excessive shade, you can thin out the branches to allow more light to get through. Or if something more immobile, like a building, creates shadow, you can plant shade-loving grass in that area.

If your brown patches are due to a disease, such as the one mentioned above, you may need to apply a fungicide to your lawn. If you’re uncomfortable handling these chemicals, you can hire lawn care services to help. They can also assist if insects are causing your brown patches.

2. White Grubs

White grubs are another lawn problem you may encounter; if you’ve done any container gardening, you’ve most likely encountered them. These worms are beetle larvae that live in your soil and feed off the roots of your plants and, you guessed it, your lawn. While these insects are not a concern in small numbers, a large population can cause brown patches on your otherwise pristine lawn.

  • Gardening Pro Tip: If you notice an increase in wildlife, such as gophers or skunks, it can be a sign you may have a white grub problem

A simple way to determine whether or not you have a white grub problem is to inspect an area of your lawn. You can do this by locating a brown patch and cutting the sod near the edge.

If you have a white grub problem, your lawn will lift easily due to a lack of roots, which the grubs eat. Another sign is if you notice more than 15 white grubs per square foot.

Solution

If you use an insecticide or pesticide, ensure it’s formulated specifically for white grubs, as general formulas are ineffective against these white larvae.

Instead, you can contact a lawn service company for a customized pest control program. This way, you can deal with several lawn pests simultaneously if you have more than one problem.

3. Improper Soil Aeration

Another common problem you may have with your lawn is improper soil aeration. A common symptom of this problem is soil compaction. If your soil is too compacted, the grass will struggle to grow roots and start to thin or die.

Soil aeration is important because it breaks up the compacted soil enough so plants and grass roots can grow deeper within the loose dirt. Additionally, aerating your lawn can encourage your grass to make better use of fertilizer and water.

Improper soil aeration means more than impacted soil. It can also tell you’re aerating at the wrong time of year.

Solution

To solve the problem of improper soil aeration, you must aerate it at the right time of year. The time of year will depend on the grass, but typically if you have cool-season grass, you fertilize in spring or fall, and late spring to early summer for warm-season grass.

You can also rent lawn equipment like an aerator to run over your lawn. This machine will penetrate the soil so the grass roots can get the air circulation they need to thrive.

  • Gardening Pro Tip: A healthy soil should consist of 50% solids, 25% air, and 25% water

4. Soggy Areas

The fourth on our list of lawn problems is soggy grass. This problem can occur for several reasons, most commonly because of compacted soil or overwatering. Overwatering your lawn can cause a few issues, some quite severe.

For example, overwatering your lawn or heavy rains can cause excess water to pool in one area. This pooling can cause root rot which will quickly kill your grass.

Soggy areas also create mud which can cause the grass to suffocate and die because, as we discussed above, grass needs air to thrive. Furthermore, having muddy areas on your lawn can also make it treacherous to walk on, as you risk falling and seriously injuring yourself.

Solution

If your wet areas are caused by overwatering, the solution is simple: stop overwatering. If you’re using a manual sprinkler system to water your lawn, don’t leave it running for long periods. Instead, keep your lawn watering to a maximum of 30 minutes.

If you notice wet areas after heavy rain, you want to look at how aerated the soil is. If this is the problem, try aerating it so the water can drain away naturally.

5. Weeds

The fifth on the list of lawn problems we’re discussing is lawn weeds. While a few weeds here and there aren’t a problem (some, like dandelions, can benefit our bee population), many weeds can be.

Your lawn needs adequate water, air, and nutrients to thrive and become lush and green. This is possible by watering correctly, aerating your lawn as needed, and using products like lawn fertilizers to provide nutrients.

A large weed population means your lawn constantly competes for those resources. Unfortunately, because of how weeds function, they’re often the fastest to use up these resources before your lawn can benefit from them.

Solution

There are several ways you can deal with weeds in your lawn. You can spend time manually digging them up, which can be a cathartic activity. You want to use tools made explicitly for weeding; otherwise, you risk breaking the weed off at the stem and leaving the root intact to regrow.

You can also browse your local nursery or garden store for a herbicide that will kill weeds but not damage your grass. There are several products on the market for this, but if you need help deciding which product to use, ask one of the employees for advice.

  • Gardening Pro Tip: When you’re spraying for weeds, you want to do so in spring or early fall

6. Moles

Moles are often seen as a lawn problem but can benefit your lawn. Moles can help keep your lawn aerated, and because they feed on bugs, they can control the grub and insect population simultaneously. Additionally, their tunneling mixes the soil nutrients and helps with drainage.

However, as beneficial as they can be, many don’t want their lawn ruined by unsightly tunnels and mounds, which can happen as the moles travel around your yard. If left untreated, the moles can quickly destroy your plants’ roots, flowerbeds, and lawns.

Solution

While there are many DIY remedies for moles in your yard, the only real solution is to trap them and relocate them elsewhere. This may be difficult to do independently, so it’s best to contact a pest control company to help you.

  • Gardening Pro Tip: Never use poison because other animals, like birds of prey, will die if they eat a poisoned mole

Say “No More!” to Lawn Problems

Many homeowners and renters aim to have a lush, green lawn. After all, a healthy lawn can add visual appeal to the property and raise curb appeal.

However, there are several lawn problems you can run into during the year that you need to deal with before they get out of hand. Examples of these lawn problems include brown patches, moles, weeds, soggy areas, and insect infestations. Knowing how to identify each problem will help you understand how to solve them.

Please view our other sections if you enjoyed this article. We have more covering Home, Health, Technology, and Finance.

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