9 expert solutions to common lawn problems

July 27, 2015

Even the most carpet-like lawn can develop problems. Here are some common situations and the steps to take to correct them.

9 expert solutions to common lawn problems

1. Grass won't grow under a tree

Shade can be a barrier to growing grass but it's not impossible. Picking the right kind of grass is important and that depends on where you live. Consider planting shade-tolerant fine fescues in northern climates. Try fall fescue in more southern areas where cold weather has less of an impact.

2. Grass won't grow on a slope

  • Grass tends to dry out on sloped ground, especially in hotter areas.
  • The first solution to try would be to water more regularly and for longer periods to get the water deeper into the soil. You can also try to hydroseed the area.
  • Hydroseed is planting seeds which have been encapsulated in a special material to keep them from drying out.

3. Weeds

  • Weeds are the bane of most homeowners and can be a year long fight.
  • Start early by applying herbicide in the spring.
  • You should apply it again in the fall because each application kills different weeds.
  • If you can't get the upper hand after a year or two you may have to kill the lawn with a non-selective herbicide and then replant.

4. Lawn has bare patches

Dead patches occur for a variety of reasons and reseeding these areas tends to be the best bet to get it green again.

  • In spring or early fall, scratch the bare patch with a rake and sprinkle with lawn seed.
  • Mark off the area with stakes and strings, and water gently.
  • Keep the area moist for the next few weeks, watering daily if necessary.
  • Consider creating a path or patio if the patches are caused by high traffic.

5. Lawn has brown spots or web-like threads

  • This is likely the result of a fungus called fusarium. A fusarium patch makes five to 30 centimetre (two to 12 inch) wide brown spots or web-like threads in thatch and grass in early spring.
  • You will need to improve drainage in the area because , like any fungus, it likes moisture.
  • Apply fungicide in early fall and minimize the amount of shade and fertilizer the area gets.

6. Lawn is dotted with bleached or gray spots

This is caused by another type of fungus called dollar spot.

  • Apply fungicide
  • Fertilize regularly to get rid of them.

7. Lawn is dotted with small orange pustules on grass blades

Rust is the cause of these orange, smudgy spots. Here's how to get rid of it.

  • Fertilize grass and keep the area well watered.
  • Mow frequently and remove clippings.
  • Apply fungicide if condition persists.

8. Lawn has green circular patches that die off

These patches are called fairy rings, which sometimes feature mushrooms as well. Here's what you need to do to:

  • Aerate the lawn
  • Apply fertilizer.
  • Keep the lawn wet for three to five days.

9. Lawn develops large patches of brown grass in late summer

This is likely the result of small grubs in the soil. There are chemicals on the market like Diazinon, isofenphos, or chlorpyrifos that can be applied just after eggs are laid.  This should bring back the grass.

Tackling these common problems when they arise will allow you to enjoy a lush, green lawn all summer long.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu