Seven Quick, Easy and Cheap Fixes for Common Lawn Problems
“People are surprised to learn that common lawn problems are often easy to solve,” says Jeff Linderman, RepairClinic.com’s in-house landscaping expert. “It may be as simple as raking and watering.” Here are common problems, their likely causes and possible solutions.
Problem: Widespread yellow hue at grass tips
Likely cause: Dull lawn mower blades that tear rather than cut the grass.
Possible solution: Replace blades. They are inexpensive and easy to install. Be sure to use your engine’s model number to find the correct blades. Universal blades are not recommended, due to safety issues.
Problem: Yellow or brown stripes
Likely cause: Uneven fertilizer application. If the stripes are brown, your lawn mower may be scalping.
Possible solution: The best way to apply fertilizer is to use a drop-type spreader. Make sure you overlap wheel tracks. If stripes are more tan or brown than yellow, your lawn mower may need to be adjusted to cut more evenly.
Problem: Thin patches
Likely cause: This often occurs in shady areas. Grass grows through photosynthesis, so when sunlight is restricted, growth is hindered.
Possible solution: Consider pruning trees to enable a greater amount of sunlight. Aeration may also kick-start growth. If that doesn’t work, consider an alternative grass type better suited to shady conditions.
Problem: Brown, dead patches that are round in shape and surrounded by healthy grass.
Likely cause: A dog has left territory markings.
Possible solution: Give those spots extra water during weekly watering. These spots usually recover quickly.
Problem: Large, dry patches
Likely cause: Compacted soil due to heavy foot traffic and/or insufficient watering.
Possible solution: If you have a sprinkler system, check to make sure there are no clogged or broken components. Spend time watching your sprinkling system in action. It could be that water simply isn’t reaching those areas. If heavy traffic is the cause, consider a gravel walkway. Also, annual aerating will improve water penetration in compacted soils.
Problem: Spreading brown and dead patches of grass.
Likely cause: This can be caused by disease and/or infestations by pests.
Possible solution: Consult professionals at your local gardening center for diagnosis and repair advice for your particular grass type.
Likely cause: The growth of weeds such as dandelions may mean that your grass has unhealthy roots or that there are insufficient nutrients in the soil.
Possible solution: You can pick up a soil-test kit at a hardware or lawn and garden store. The results will help you determine what is required to balance your soil.