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ECO gardener

We all want a pristine lawn that’s nice and green all year round but maintaining the lawn is by no means an easy feat. Sadly, the lawn could turn patchy and unsightly if the conditions aren’t right or if your outdoor space is ill-maintained. Certain situations are, of course, out of our control but there are ways to get around the problem and build a healthy, lush lawn!

The good news is, most lawn problems are easy to fix. From brown spots to uneven growth, here are 10 common lawn problems and solutions to fix them:

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Uneven Growth in Shady Spots

Uneven growth is inevitable in shady spots because the grass will not grow in these areas. If the trees are blocking out the sun and causing these shady areas, consider pruning the tree foliage regularly. However, do not prune the trees aggressively because this could stress out the trees.

If proper and regular tree pruning is not helping, we highly suggest using shade-tolerant varieties of turf grass. Do your research to determine what type of grass is best grown in your region. You can also turn to shade-tolerant ground covers to conceal the shady areas like Ajuca, creeping golden Jenny or Vinca. If you are not keen on using shade-tolerant ground covers, just add a layer of gravel or perennial blade on the shady areas and make these spots a part of the landscape.

Weeds

Nothing ruins the look of the lawn quite like uncontrolled weeds. Weeds are a pain to get rid of especially if you have a large lawn. Practicing healthy lawn habits is key to a pristine yard. Start by mowing the lawn regularly. Make sure the lawn mower’s blade is sharp at all times.

Most lawns need about an inch of water every week. Get regular weather updates to check for rainfall and measure the rainfall so you can hydrate the yard as needed. During dry spells, water the lawn in the morning, just before the temperature rises to prevent weed growth. Add fertilizer when needed. You can also leave some of the grass clippings on the lawn, these will biodegrade nicely.

Avoid using chemical herbicides if you could. Use organic herbicides that are formulated with clove oils or citrus extracts. However, limit the application to the weed-ridden areas only as these herbicides could kill the grass and plants nearby.

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Bare Spots

Often times, foot traffic and diseases cause bare spots. These bare areas could make a yard appear ill-maintained and patchy. One of the simplest solutions for bare spots is to reseed these areas.

You have to work quickly to cover these bald spots because weeds could grow in these areas and ruin the look of your outdoor space. Start by digging up the bald spots and at least 6 inches of the surrounding area. Enrich the soil with organic compost and fertilizers. Add the grass seeds, cover them with straw and keep the soil nice and moist until the new grass sprouts.

For sloped areas where the grass would not grow, try deep watering the slope especially during the summer season. Laying sod in these areas may help establish grass growth. Stepping the incline also helps minimize runoffs, which could encourage grass growth.

Patchy, Browning Grass

Patchy, browning grass has a way of standing out from a verdant yard, which ruins the look of your lawn. If this issue is persistent then the root cause of the problem could be the soil’s pH. Bad soil causes grass to thin out and slowly die, which leads to a patchy, messy-looking lawn. The wrong type of grass could also be the culprit behind your sad-looking lawn.

To prevent browning grass, conduct a soil test in different parts of the lawn. A soil test gives an accurate assessment of your soil’s pH levels so you can amend the soil pH in key areas of your outdoor space. The test could also identify any missing nutrients as well as recommend the best course of treatment. You can either take the soil samples to a testing facility or have it done yourself using DIY soil testing kits. If say, the issue is caused by the wrong type of grass, do your research on the best lawn grass to grow in your region.

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Moss

It's amazing how moss could sprout and spread all over the yard within a few short weeks. Usually, lawns that are always shaded, under-fertilized, and/or wet have severe moss problem because moss thrives in dank environments. You can eliminate moss in the yard by reducing the shaded areas. Always prune the trees and shrubs regularly to avoid moss growth. Regular pruning helps aerate dank, shaded areas in the garden.

De-thatching the lawn is also recommended if your outdoor space is prone to moss growth. De-thatching helps improve grass health and prevent compacted soil. It helps to till the ground lightly to discourage moss growth. Finally, check the soil pH and keep an eye on the amount of water the yard receives to prevent moss from taking over the lawn.

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Burrowing Pests

Voles, moles, raccoons, and other pests tend to dig all over the lawn in search of food, causing unsightly patches and holes that ruin the look of the yard. To address the problem, you have to eliminate these pests’ foods, such as grubs or insect larvae. Depending on the level of infestation, you can either treat the grubs or remove the affected areas and reseed. Our advice is to conduct a weekly check for grubs. This way, the grubs won’t attract unwanted guests to the yard.

Rusts

Rusts are plant diseases that cause yellow-orange, powdery spots all over the yard. These are caused by fungal spores, which can cause grass to discolor or die. Extremely under-watered or over-watered lawns are prone to rusts so water your lawn appropriately. Try using fertilizers to protect the grass from infestations and make sure the lawn is aerated. Mowing the lawn regularly also helps reduce the risk of rusts.

An annual soil test is also recommended for lawns that are prone to rusts. Adding a balanced combination of phosphorus and potassium can make the lawn resilient to rusts.

Caring for the lawn is a full-time job but with these gardening tips, you can address common lawn problems and enhance the look of the yard! Subscribe to our newsletter right now to get the latest gardening tips and resources straight to your inbox.

For more tips on planning your yard, check out Easy Ways to Start Planning Your Yard Now

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