Nowadays, there are many common lawn problems concerning homeowners.
The truth is, weeds are not the only thing that stands between you and the lawn of your dreams. Once the turf is established, you also need to watch out for pests, fungal diseases and even issues like Fido.
If you have been spotting mysterious brown spots or dry patches plaguing your grass, you should not worry about it – and rather than worrying – start seeking help from the top rated lawn care companies in your area.
However, if a lawn care service is not your first thought, keep on reading our post and see the most common lawn problems, their symptoms and how to deal with them (the remedies you need).
But before you do anything, you need to spot the exact lawn problems and see how to deal with it. So, the logical first step is to observe your lawn and see what you can do about it.
1.Observing Your Lawn
As you may have figured by now, lawn problems are common. In fact, anytime when you grow a bunch of the same plants together, the disease problems can take hold and start spreading – before you even notice that they are happening. This occurs to be a real challenge for lawns and lawn owners, mostly because they are made of thousands of the same type of grass plants.
What’s even more frustrating is that even though you provide your lawn with excellent care, the grass can still be infected from various lawn diseases which can lead to dead and/or discolored areas. Since disease spores float by in the air or hide in the soil, they find it easy to multiply which is why it is always a good idea to protect your lawn and fight back when the disease has already taken hold.
But how do you actually spot the problems? And how do you observe your lawn just like a lawn fertilizing company would do?
For a full answer on this question, you can visit the fourth step of this guide named “Lawn Diseases.”
2. The Lawn Maintenance Checklist
A lot of lawn care companies and experts would agree the the two main keys to a great looking lawn are planning and organization. Therefore, a lawn maintenance schedule can be the best asset to you when designing a plan to fend of the weeds and diseases while keeping your maintenance simple and low-stress.
Basically, the goal of a lawn maintenance checklist is to help you keep your grass and landscape as healthy as possible by coordinating your activities with the seasonal needs. Below, we are listing all of the important points in this checklist.
First off, you need to know your region and grass type. There are warm-season grasses (Bermuda grass, zoysia grass, centipede grass, St. Augustine grass, Bahia grass, Carpet grass, buffalo grass etc.) and cool-season grasses (bluegrasses, rye grasses, bent grasses, fine fescue and tall fescue).
Location of lawn
Another big thing in the plant physiology is the location of the lawn. Knowing that an individual blade of grass lives an average of 40 days, understanding a bit about it can make it easier to maintain a lawn. Therefore, the location is important because when only the tip of the grass plant is cut away (and the meristem remains), the grass can grow a new tip.
The typical signs and symptoms include leaf spots, white, powdery growth as well as thin and open grass and large areas of discolored or dying lawn. For more information on the actual symptoms and diseases, you can refer to the first part of this guide where we listed all of them – with each of them important in the identification process.
Weather and sunlight
Weather and sunlight have a lot to do with proper lawn care. The truth is, growing the grass in the shade is one of the most difficult situations. It is also a battle that you can only win if you cover the right bases in the lawn care regimen.
You need to know which types of grass grow better in shade, when to mow and if you should mow differently in shady spots. The answer is – mowing the grass in the morning or afternoon hours is recommended and mowing ½ to 1 inch higher is also recommended in shade, compared to sunny lawn areas.
Mowing the lawn is another major thing you need to focus on. Warm season grasses, for example, can require up to three mowings per week – while the optimal time to mow in the evening is when the sun is down. This will help and keep the moisture in the roots while the blades are long.
Soil condition is basically the capacity of a soil to function, within land use and ecosystem boundaries – and sustain biological productivity as well as maintain its environmental health and promote optimal plant, animal and human health.
To monitor your soil conditions, you simply need to be focus on regulating water, sustaining the plant and animal life, filtering the potential pollutants, cycling the nutrients and supporting the soil structures. If all of this sounds complex to you, you can always use the help of a lawn care expert in Emmaus, Allentown or any other specific location you are based in.
3. Chemical Weed Control
Chemical weed control is a concept that revolves around the application of a chemical (herbicide) to the weeds or the soil to control the germination or growth of the weed species.
In case you don’t know, chemical weed control is a big industry and there are a lot of complex procedures involved. For you to understand it, you need to also understand the specific weed seed characteristics, morphology, ontogeny, nature of competition and degree of association with crops.
The herbicides, on the other hand, are defined as chemicals that are used to kill plants or weeds. One has to exercise a lot of caution when using the herbicides for uniform applications and optimal efficiency.
Basically, there are five types of herbicides:
- Broad spectrum – These work on a variety of weeds
- Selective – These are great for a narrow range of weeds
- Contact – Destroying weed tissue at near the point of contact
- Systemic – These move through the weed and its circulation system and can be directly injected in the weed
- Residual – They can be applied to the soil and destroy by root uptake, remaining active in the ground for a certain length of time
Based on the application methods, herbicides can be classified as ones under:
- Soil application
- Soil surface application
- Soil incorporation (subsurface application)
- Band application
- Foliar application
- Blanket application
- Directed application (spot application)
The best way to move forward with chemical weed control is obviously by hiring an expert lawn care company that specializes in it. After all, herbicide contamination of soil, plants and natural waters should occur infrequently and at low levels.
4.Common Lawn Diseases (And How To Identify Them)
These are some of the most common lawn diseases and how to identify them.
The grasses it affects include tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, bentgrasses, Kentucky bluegrass, St. Augustinegrass.
Brown patch commonly affects lawns in hot and humid summer weather. This lawn disease shows up as large and roughly circular patches which appear to be dry or dead. Also, it demonstrates darkening on the outside of the patch (compared to the inside).
If the disease has been active for a long time, the inside of the patch may recover but also leave a ring of dead or thin grass around it. With the St. Augustinegrass, the brown patch can look like a brownish interior patch with a yellow outer ring.
The grasses it affects include bermudagrass, bluegrasses, fescues, bentgrasses, perennial ryegrass
Red thread thrives in cool and humid conditions like the ones that are common in the Pacific Northwest. It shows up most frequently in lawns that are grown in nutrient-poor soils. If you see thin and red hairs or strands that extend from the grass blades, your lawn most likely suffers from this condition. Red thread can survive for years if left untreated.
The grasses that they affect include zoysia, perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass
Rust diseases are seen as irregular light-green or yellow patches on the lawn. However, if you look closely, you will see the orange-yellow rust spores on the individual grass blades. This disease typically shows in late summer and early fall, especially in shady areas which have poor ventilation.
The grasses it affects include ryegrasses and creeping bentgrass.
Snow mold appears in two types: as pink snow mold and gray snow mold. Even though this lawn problem generally grows under snow cover, the pink snow mold can also grow during cool and wet weather and when there is no snow on the grass. It can appear as grayish white or whitish pink patches of crusty and matter grass and is most noticeable in early spring when the snow begins disappearing.
The grasses it affects include Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, annual bluegrass, bentgrass.
Summer patch is one of the common lawn diseases carried out by lawn care companies near Allentown, Emmaus and other regions in Pennsylvania and the entire territory of the United States in general. It usually appears between the months of June and September and during periods of high humidity – when the daytime temperatures are over 85 degrees. Showing in the form of irregular brown patches, rings and crescent shapes, this disease is fatal to the lawn (and it may also be present during cooler weather).
5. Lawn Pests (Moles, Voles, Grubs, Chinch Bugs)
A lot of homeowners don’t realize that there are just too many insect pests which can attack their lawn and potentially cause significant harm if they are left unprepared.
And if you already suspect that you already have some uninvited guests walking around your lawn and damaging it, you should first identify the lawn pests and take proper action before it’s too late.
The Common Lawn Pests
If you have uninvited guests in your lawn, they might come in the following forms:
- Black or African Lawn Beetle – These are often blamed for damage to lawns and move throughout the soil. Despite their movement, they never stay in a single place too long. However, the most worrying part is that they are active during the growing cycle of the lawn.
- Army worms – These pests are a caterpillar stage of a white/grey/brown moth and adult moths.
- Cutworms – Very similar to army worms, these feed and cut off the grass near the soil, hence their name. Thereby, they are known for causing serious damage.
- Sod webworms – These greenish caterpillars have black spots along their body and are about 3 cm long. The damage that they cause is very similar to the army worms and cutworms and they are often found operating at the same time.
- Wireworms – This is a less common pest in the stage of a larvae of the click-beetle, known for causing damage to the underground roots and stems.
- Two spotted mite – Very small, these mites can affect some buffalo grasses, couch and kikuyu grasses in the summer months, leaving a webbing appearance on the lawn.
- Mole crickets – Common yet rarely seen, these insects tunnel through the soil and eat the roots of the lawn.
The Main Indicator That You Have Lawn Bugs
One of the best signs that you have lawn pests or lawn bugs are birds. Even though they are wonderful guests to the homes and gardens, they are also a sign that your lawn is full of pests. When they begin digging and making a mess of it, their presence can be a sign that something is wrong with your lawn.
Birds will flock in numbers if there are a lot of lawn pests (to feed on) in your lawn. And while they can help you remove bugs and weeds, their destructive behaviour can leave you with a lot of holes and damage to your lawn.
The Best Way To Deal With All Lawn Problems? Call Green Turf Care!
Now that you know all of the common lawn problems, you are probably left without a clue on where to start – and treat or prevent them in the future.
Luckily, our team at Green Turf Care has the answer. As a leading lawn care company in Allentown, Emmaus, Macungie, Alburtis and many other locations, we have the tested-and-true approach to success with lawn care.
For more information and a free estimate on your lawn care needs – or any lawn problems – contact us today by calling (484)-452-3595 or directly from our Contact Us page.