What’s your lawn problem? Is it a shady or wet spot where grass looks crummy, is it fungus or moss eating away at your grass, or bugs? Whatever your problem is, you have to fight back. Such problems never go away by themselves.
One lawn grass problem that is very hard to fix
A very common lawn problem is lack of sun. Most of us have shady spots around our house, be it under trees or in the shadow of the house itself. In most cases, turf grass will not grow well in such locations. If you live in the city and are in a neighborhood where there are many trees, your whole lawn may be in the shade most of the day. Although there are grass varieties that are somewhat less demanding when it comes to exposure to sunlight, all varieties need a fair amount of sun to grow healthy.
To get good grass density in shady spots, you must use special varieties of grass that are able to survive in the shade and you must take very good care of your grass. Fertilize it regularly, mow it as often as possible, ensure that it gets enough water but not too much. If you get just enough sunlight and if you are lucky enough, after a few years, your grass may appear healthy and dense. But remember that it will always be in survival mode. You will always have to give it special care.
If, on the other hand, you’ve painstakingly worked on those shady spots for years and you’ve never been satisfied with the results, forget it. Your efforts will probably never be rewarded. The grass will always look sparse and weeds will always come back in force, year after year. You may even have moss mixing in with the grass. And all the efforts and fertilizer in the world won’t make much of a change.
Since nothing can replace the sun, the only solution is to look for a lawn replacement idea for those dark spots. For general information on lawn grass and for grass replacement ideas, refer to Lawn landscaping.
Lawn grass problems that can be fixed
Also ranking high among lawn problems is lack of drainage. Lawn grass will not grow well in locations that remain too soggy. In such spots, grass slowly withers away as its roots rot and become more sparse. And as time goes by, the thinning lawn is more and more on the loosing end of the battle with plants that are more resistant or better suited to wet locations, such as crabgrass or moss. For more information on how to make your soil better adapted to growing plants, see our pages on green fertilizers and lawn drainage.
Lack of water and plants that are not well adapted to local conditions are also common problems. A solution is to start switching to plants that are better suited, but this involves time and money. Some green fertilizers can come in handy, as they can reduce water dispersion and evaporation.
The simplest way to fix this is, of course, to get the hose and sprinkler out and to water your lawn more regularly. If you don’t have the time to do this or if you can’t water your lawn during daytime hours, because of local regulations, then an automatic sprinkler system may be the answer.
Poor lawn aeration is often a problem known by people who take good care of their grass lawn. It comes from the fact that the grass grows so dense that it creates an almost impenetrable barrier, blocking both water and oxygen and chocking the lawn and soil. It also happens when there is too much dead grass on your lawn or when your soil is too compacted. Using a lawn aerator can fix all these problems.
Weeds are a problem faced by almost everyone who has a grass lawn. In those days when we used to almost drink industrial chemicals from the bottle, most people sprayed their yards with weed killing chemicals. Many of these chemicals are now banned and more and more people are afraid to use those that are still on the market, by fear of making their children or pets sick. The Sensible Gardener considers the sensible approach the most viable solution so why don’t you have a look at our Lawn weeds page.
Moss, fungus and thatch
Moss is a problem that can also be fixed using chemical solutions, but there are also sustainable solutions to that problem. There are also natural solutions to get rid of fungi in your grass. The same goes for brown patch or thatch.
Grubs are beetle larvae that live in the roots of your turf grass. They attract small animals, such as raccoons, that dig holes in your grass to get to them and eat them. Getting rid of grubs is probably one of the easiest problems to solve and it can be done using using a natural approach. Using nematodes, a worm that eats grubs, can be an effective and simple solution.
Lawn grass problems that can’t be fixed
And if your problems can’t be fixed because you don’t have good grass growing conditions, then maybe you should think grass replacement.