4 Common Lawn Issues and How to Fix Them
There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when they look at their neighbor’s lawn and wonder, “how can I get my lawn that green?” You may feel as though you’ve tried every fertilizer and pesticide combo there is, or maybe you’ve purchased top-of-the-line lawn equipment just to achieve the same results.
In truth, lawn care is a precise science for every lawn, a science that takes a good deal of testing and research and understanding of basic landscaping principles. Everything from the type of grass your lawn is planted with to the pH of the soil affects how your grass grows and what pests it’s vulnerable to.
Keeping that in mind, there are some common lawn issues that just about every homeowner and landscaping professional encounters as they mow, edge, and trim. Here are four of the most common and how to approach them.
Compacted soil is one of the most common issues facing the average homeowner today, and one that frequently goes overlooked. When your soil is compacted, the dirt is pressed together so tightly that it’s unable to hold onto the nutrients and air that your grass’ and plants’ roots need to survive.
You may have seen those spikes that you can strap to your shoes to stomp holes in the ground, but according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, they take too much effort and don’t produce the results you want. Instead, you’ll want to rent a professional aerification machine, or have a professional team take care of the process every other year or so. What’s the difference? The aerification machine pulls out small plugs of earth to create instant airflow.
Interestingly enough, thatch is more common in lawns that are frequently maintained than it is in less-manicured lawns. Thatch is the spongy dead matter that builds up amidst your healthy grass that occurs when grass’ natural decaying cycle is interrupted by chemical treatment or similar maintenance measures.
When it’s left untouched, thatch can cause brown patches and even fungal issues when it stays soggy. To fix thatch, you can use a power rake, but be sure to avoid doing this during the summer or at times when your lawn is particularly stressed. You can also hand-rake your lawn, but be prepared for some back-breaking labor. The best solution is raising your soil’s pH levels to realign your grass’ natural cycle of growth and decay.
Mold and Fungus
Here in Florida, we’re no strangers to mold and fungus. Especially during the humid, rainy days of summer, Florida lawns experience a great deal of moisture -- and if your drainage isn’t good, that moisture can wreak havoc on your grass. Plenty of diseases and fungus appreciate a wet area to thrive in.
Keep in mind, when we talk about lawn fungus, we’re not talking about a mushroom or two. A handful of mushrooms aren’t harmful to your lawn and in fact may indicate that your soil is full of nutrients! To avoid harmful molds and fungi, first of all, get your drainage system in good working order well before the summer rolls around. Do what you can to introduce more air to the soil (see our first tip about aeration).
According to UF - IFAS, there are 5 distinct types of crabgrass that grow in Florida. Crabgrass is a grassy weed that can go undetected to the untrained eye and eventually push all of your healthy grass out of the way. Crabgrass is a problem because of how quickly it can overtake a lawn -- and it just keeps spreading.
Crabgrass is best treated before it emerges from the soil; once it’s above ground in full force, it can be difficult to treat as some herbicides may also kill your lawn. Treat crabgrass by regularly mowing your lawn at the recommended height. Also, make sure you’re choosing a fertilizer with the right level of nitrogen -- too much nitrogen can cause crabgrass to spring up quickly.
Mow Your Lawn to Keep Problems at Bay
With a little training, you’ll be able to identify and treat these common lawn issues without too much trouble. One of the most important things you can do to prevent these issues from arising is regularly mowing your lawn to the proper height. Not only will this give you the opportunity to examine your lawn foot by foot, it will also help keep your lawn healthy so it can protect itself from disease.
To learn more about Gator Mower Parts or to find the right replacement parts for your lawn equipment, call us at 407-260-1292.