Diagnosing Simple Lawn Care Problems

This time of year, lawn start to green up. It’s pretty exciting for me as I watch my neighbors’ lawns that have been neglected and stressed out all summer begin to relax and green up again. The fall is a great time for grass.

Fall is also a great time to see what is really going on with your lawn space. You see, when the summer is blaring heat and drought down on your turf, and the entire thing is brown and dormant, it is difficult to see what is truly going on as far as problems. But when we get rain and cool temps, and certain spots or areas in the lawn don’t green up, we know there is a bigger issue to be addressed.

Here are some tips or guidelines to help you on your quest to discover the cause of those brown areas.

1) Look at yor lawn overall. Is the problem dedicated to just one area of the lawn or the entire yard?

2) Check out neighbors’ lawns. Is the problem ONLY in your lawn or do most of the neighbors also have the same issue? The ones who don’t: do they do anything differently than you do such as mow taller, irrigate more or less or have a professional lawn service?

3) Is the area in a “hot zone?” A hot zone is an area surrounded by concrete sidwalks and driveway. These areas heat up a lot more in summer sun and can cause issues for the surrounding turf.

4) Did you recently spill or spray anything in the area? I have seen folks who sprayed flower beds with Roundup and the product leached into the lawn and killed large areas. You should always be mindful of what products you have used in the general area of the brown spot.

5) Has this area appeared brown in the past? Strangely enough, some parts of your lawn will always struggle, year after year no matter what yo do. This generally indicated something is shallow buried underground stunting turf growth.

The key here guys is to check out the environment around you before you go diagnosing a problem, slathering a bunch of chemicals all over and hoping to fix the issue. Sometimes, the solutions is pretty simple.

Foot Traffic And Your Lawn

Summer is officially here and that means we are all getting out and playing games on our lawns. As always, however, I have to give you some warning about this. What, did you think I was going to let you off the hook?

Just as in winter, the lawn will many times go dormant during the hot summer. This is a natural defense and is not unhealthy for your turf, unless you trample it!

I know you like to get out and play bean bags and football and volleyball on your front lawn during July and August, but please be careful. Too much trampling can break brittle grass crowns and kill areas of the lawn. Heavy foot traffic can also compact the soil, making it hard like concrete.

How To Prevent Lawn Damage From Foot Traffic

I am not telling you to “keep off the grass,” guys! I just want you to take care to help it rebound. Here are some tips:

1) Keep the lawn mowed tall. The more grass blades, the more green and healthy.

2) Keep the lawn properly irrigated. If the grass has proper water, it will stay green and flexible.

3) Aerate the lawn in spring and fall. If you do play a lot on your lawn, it is vitally important that you have it aerated every spring and fall to keep the soil loose and air flow going.

So have fun this summer; just don’t let the lawn get all flat and trampled!