5 Common Lawn Problems & How to Fix Them

How to fix patchy lawns

As a homeowner, you know that your lawn is the first impression of your home. 

It's important to you that your lawn looks full and healthy...but it's not easy! As you well know, having a beautiful lawn takes hard work and effort.

We've created a list of the 5 most commonly found lawn problems and how to fix them:

  1. Lack of sunlight
  2. Diseases and mold
  3. Crabgrass
  4. Pests and insects 
  5. Thin and patchy grass

1. Lack of sunlight

The Problem

All grass - even the most shade-tolerant - need sunlight to survive and thrive. Those areas that don’t get enough sunshine might start to get thin and patchy.

The Fix

Consider extending mulch or hardscape areas further into the grass that is too shaded. Or, if possible, cut back the shrubbery or trees causing the shade, then overseed the grass to bring back growth.

2. Diseases and Mold

The Problem

Disease and mold is a normal problem for lawns to have, but a few basic tweaks in lawn maintenance can mean it will no longer be an issue for you.

The Fix

Unhealthy or stressed lawns are much more likely to have a disease or issue, so the healthier it is, the stronger your grass will be.

Start by making soil testing a habit each and every year; this will proactively protect your lawn against potential harm. Look for the right levels of phosphorus and potassium, among other nutrients healthy grass needs.

If fungus is the problem, know that fungicide is preventative; so if your grass is already brown, it’s too late. If this sounds like you, speak to a professional.

Read more: 6 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Lawn Quality Without Replacing It

Crabgrass and how to fix it

3. Crabgrass

The Problem

Crabgrass looks like a crab in a way, so it’s easy to recognize. With long stems of hard grass sprouting up and out in all directions, no one likes crabgrass because it makes your yard look unhealthy. Crabgrass can thrive in compacted soil and clay soil, while pushing other (healthy) grass out over time.

The Fix

The best way to get rid of crabgrass without using chemicals is by spreading corn gluten meal. However, if your yard is completely overrun by crabgrass, then you’ll have to apply a herbicide.

We also recommend using a pre-emergent herbicide with fertilizer. This will allow you to kill the crabgrass before it emerges while still supplementing your turf. 

4. Pests and Insects

The Problem

Grubs, or white beetle larvae, feed on the roots of your grass. This can not only lead to dead spots throughout your yard, but also attract larger pests like moles or raccoons.

The Fix

Establish whether you have grubs by pulling up any dead grass to see if there are any grubs attached to the roots underneath. (You should be able to see their white bodies easily against the dark soil.)

In general, strong pesticides or insecticides aren’t necessary to eradicate these pests. Instead, apply a preventative insecticide in the spring and consider hiring a professional for finding grubs in the fall. (Grubs are so large by this time, they are more difficult to get rid of.)

Other more natural fixes include using either a milky spore disease bacterium (which can be purchased at a garden center) or insect-parasitic nematodes. Both of these solutions are not harmful to people or pets.

5. Thin and Patchy

The Problem

Just as it sounds, a thin and patchy lawn will show less than ideal grass and much more soil underneath. While it may seem easy to blame thin, patchy grass on the grass itself, much of the time this condition is due to poor soil conditions.

The Fix

Consider having your soil tested by a professional to ensure you have a healthy foundation for your lawn. In addition, you can have your lawn aerated and overseeded to safeguard against future thin and patchy areas.

Read more: How to Fix a Patchy Lawn: 5 Common Issues for Thin, Dead Grass Spots & How to Fix Them

We hope this list has helped you better understand the most common lawn problems and how to fix them. 

If you still need more help, don't worry! For help in the greater Buxton, Maine area with your landscaping needs, contact us at Prime Cut Landscaping & Lawn Care today!

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