What’s sabotaging your lawn care efforts?
We all know that lawn care is necessary to maintain a beautiful lawn. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a beautiful lawn without having to sacrifice endless hours to achieve and maintain it? Paradise Lawns is here to help. You can have a nice, healthy lawn without it feeling like an additional job. Start by learning five things that can ruin your lawn and what you can do about each one. Once you have this information, you will know what to do and can get back to living your life. Let’s take a look at the first one.
Foot Traffic & Lawn Equipment
Compaction is the number one problem that often goes unnoticed until damage is done. You strive to have a lawn that you can enjoy and use, but by doing so, the soil is being compacted every time there is foot traffic. Add in bicycles and kids toys and your lawn will soon start showing signs of distress. If you think it can be remedied by simply putting up a “Keep off the Grass” sign, you will be both unpopular with your family and unsuccessful. Why? Because even mowing your yard causes compaction where the lawn mower tires press down on the ground (not to mention your feet if you operate a push mower).
Compaction negatively impacts your grass root system. According to the MSU Extension Office, “when pore spaces are reduced to the point that air and water cannot move freely and plant roots cannot grow easily into the surrounding soil, the soil could remain overly wet longer than is healthy for plants growing there.”
Pets and Lawn Care Concerns
We love our pets, but they can cause significant damage to our lawns. Soil compaction can result from dogs that run the perimeter or the same pattern in the yard. These worn areas often turn into bare spots that look like dirt trails.
If you have brown spots in your lawn, they could be caused by your pet’s waste. “Dog urine is rich in nitrogen, which is known to kill grass when concentrated amounts collect over time.” It’s not just urine you need to worry about. According to the EPA, “dog poop is actually considered an environmental pollutant in the same category as herbicides, insecticides, oil, grease, toxic chemicals and acid drainage. It actually does the opposite of fertilizing your lawn, leaving your perfectly green grass with discoloring and even burns.”
Paradise Lawns can help with the soil compaction, but the other two are a bit more DIY. As tempting as it is to simply mow over piles of dog waste, it is best to pick up your dog’s feces and dispose of it properly. Several companies in the metro area offer dog waste removal services if you don’t care to deal with this unpleasant side of having a pet. When it comes to combating urine spots, there are several things you can do. Doody Calls offers 7 Tips to Prevent Dog Urine Spots on Your Lawn. If you are thinking about adjusting your fertilization methods or planting a different type of grass seed, contact us first for assistance. We are happy to help answer your lawn care questions.
Although it is common for grass to take on a brownish, straw like appearance during the hottest part of summer, your lawn can make it through and still look good with some simple changes to your routine. First, determine what type of grass you have. Cool lawn-grass like Kentucky Bluegrass or tall fescue is less tolerant of high temperatures than warm season lawn grass like buffalo grass or zoysia grass.
Watering your lawn early in the morning versus afternoon or in the evening is recommended. When you water later in the day, the heat is locked into the soil and “puts tremendous stress on the roots.” This can lead to weed outbreaks and promote turf disease.
Your mowing practices also affect your lawn’s health during the hottest part of the summer. You hopefully had your mower blades replaced or sharpened at the beginning of spring. Now it is time to make sure your blades are still sharp. “Dull blades cause grass to fray. Frayed grass is far more likely to brown.” Mowing in the morning and cutting your grass longer are also good practices during extreme summer heat.
Too Much & Not Enough Water
Just like humans, too much or not enough water can have a huge impact on your lawn’s health. In the summer, our lawn experiences hot, dry periods marked with sporadic rain downpours. If we are lucky, we will have a nice, gentle rain, but that isn’t usually the case.
As homeowners we help our lawn by watering it. However, too much water can actually suffocate your grass. How much is too much though? It depends. If your property is new, you will need to water more frequently than a well established lawn. Another thing to be aware of is automatic sprinklers. Are they potentially causing problems by adding water during wet weather? Are your sprinkles programmed to water in the morning during the heat of summer? If not, they could be hindering more than helping.
Not enough water is equally detrimental. The type of grass you have matters when trying to determine if your lawn has received too little water. “The best drought-tolerant grasses in cool-season climates include Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue, and Kentucky Bluegrass.” If your grass is not drought tolerant, you may notice that your grass quickly turns brown. This can also be “due to shallow roots or the poor ability to go dormant.”
In case you missed it, we discussed turf disease in our recent blog, “Don’t let turf disease ruin your summer (or your lawn).“
There are several different types of turf disease. All tend to present with patches or noticeable affected areas in your lawn where infected. You can take preventative measures to try to avoid turf disease, but once you notice a problem it is best to have Paradise Lawns visit to identify it and customize the best plan of action to stop it and keep it from spreading.
To prevent turf disease, follow some basic tips such as mowing with sharp blades; watering in the morning; not over-watering; and applying proper fertilization regularly.
Paradise Lawns to your lawn care rescue
The best thing you can do to have a healthy lawn is to call Paradise Lawns and schedule your annual fall aeration, overseeding and topdressing with compost. Aeration will eliminate compaction by opening up air pockets in the soil. This gives grass roots room to grow and spread out. Overseeding adds new and improved grass seeds to your lawn and topdressing with compost provides your lawn with the nutrients it needs to thrive and fight disease. These three simple things can have a huge affect on the quality of your lawn all year long.
Even if your lawn looks great, think of it like your yearly physical with your doctor – a time to assess the health of your lawn and give it what it needs to thrive. When you follow a yearly maintenance schedule, you prevent problems instead of reacting to issues later. Like the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” meaning you can do a little each year or you can wait and have to invest more time and money to tackle problems down the road. After all, what you do in the fall affects the quality of your lawn next spring. So, don’t let these five common things ruin your lawn. Instead, call Paradise Lawns today at 402-612-1527 or visit us online.