Ugly Yards Have Potential
No matter what your current yard situation is, all yards have potential. A healthy lawn, clean edges, and the removal of any clutter can go a long ways toward making your lawn look perfect. The curb appeal will be enjoyable to you and anyone else who passes by.
If you feel like you dont have time to do a total lawn makeover, consider hiring a local lawn care company. Professionals will make quick work of your lawn care. If you arent considering hiring it done, pick one or two items from the list above. Bit by bit, your lawn will start to look amazing.
Have questions about your lawn?
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Problem: Grub Sightings Solution: First Assess Then Address
These milky-white beetle larvae feed on grass roots, which can lead to dead spots in the lawn. Grubs also attract moles and raccoons. But a few here or there might not be a problem, says Kyle Wickings, a turfgrass entomologist at Cornell University. Ten larvae per square foot is a common threshold for treatment, however, this can vary by species. A very healthy lawn can tolerate higher densities.
If there are signs of damage, say dead or wilting turf, ask your cooperative extension for the best treatment, which will depend on the species of grub. Preventive insecticides are applied in spring, and curative measures are done in the fall. In some regions, chemicals are illegal or must be applied by a certified pro. Organic alternatives, such as Heterorhabditis nematodes, are often effective.
Tips On Repairing A Lawn Full Of Ugly Weeds
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Problem: Persistently Thin Patchy Grass Solution: Get A Soil Test
Chronic lawn problems are often about the soil, not the actual grass. Having a soil test done is the best $10 to $15 you can spend. Home and garden centers sell DIY kits, but we recommend working with your local cooperative extension , whose experts will pinpoint your soils pH level and identify any missing nutrients. Theyll also prescribe the best course of treatment, for example spreading limestone if the soil is acidic or sulfur if its overly alkaline. Its prudent to do a soil test every few years, though if you just moved into a new home, you may want to do one annually, at least until the desired results start to show.
How To Fix Your Ugly Yard
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I Think There Are Grubs In My Lawn
If youve spotted more than a few fat, C-shaped grubs in your soil when digging, youll need to take action. Heres the lifecycle: Beetles emerge in early summer, feed on plants, then lay eggs in the soil. The eggs hatch in late summer as grubs, and then go to town eating plant and grass roots. The best way to stop this cycle is to treat the lawn before the grubs hatch. This means applying Scotts® GrubEx® in spring or early summer. Simply set and fill your spreader and apply it to a dry lawn, following the directions on the label, then water to activate the product. To learn more about controlling grubs in your lawn, check out How to Control Lawn Grubs.
Fixing Bare Areas In Your Lawn
Next, its impossible to improve and ugly lawn where there is no grass present. You must have turfgrass to start with. If your lawn lacks turf coverage you will likely need to introduce and establish grass.
Core aeration and over-seeding is a good method to slightly improve an existing lawn, but sometimes more aggressive measures, like slice-seeding, are required for extremely thin or bare areas. Where topsoil is rocky or absent, topdressing might be the way to go. This is a process where a layer of new soil is introduced, so that turf has somewhere to properly root.
If you are unsure of what type of seeding is appropriate for your lawn, you should consult with a reputable lawn care company about the type of seeding necessary and the timing of your seeding job. As an FYI, for Lancaster, Lebanon, Harrisburg, and York, PA, fall is the best time to seed your lawn.
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Ugly Yard Where Do I Start
I spent 2 years fixing up the inside of my house and I’m finally ready to tackle the outside. Here are my problems:- giant rectangle of dead grass where the dumpster was- mossy things growing in one corner- more crabgrass than real grass- sharp things sprinkled everywhere – one whole strip on the border of the yard is just really rich, dark soil with nothing growingI don’t have much money, so where do I start? My biggest concern is the dead spot from the dumpster. Someone suggested tilling a few dead areas and planting grass seed to see if I’m successful, and then doing a larger area as I figure out what I’m doing. Do I buy a small manual tiller? Rent one? I’m clueless!Thanks in advance!
Water deeply and infrequently. Deeply means at least an hour in every zone, all at once. Infrequently means monthly during the cool months and no more than weekly during the hottest part of summer. If your grass looks dry before the month/week is up, water longer next time. Deep watering grows deep, drought resistant roots. Infrequent watering allows the top layer of soil to dry completely which kills off many shallow rooted weeds.
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Overseeding During The Right Time
One of the easiest ways to ensure you lawn looks attractive is by planting lots of different kinds of shrubs, plants, and trees. If the lawn looks ugly, immediately plant some grass seed. Lustrous green grass can make any lawn look picturesque.
The cool seasons are the right time to plant the seeds. You can do it during fall season when temperature has started to drop and weed pressure is much lower. You can keep on overseeding every fall until you have found the desired look for your lawn.
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Problem: Lack Of Sunlight Solution: Look For Lawn Alternatives
Even so-called shade-tolerant varieties of turfgrass wont do well in dark corners of the yard. And pruning trees too aggressively to create sunlight can end up harming the tree. Youre better off cutting your losses and replacing the sun-starved patch of grass with a shade-tolerant ground cover, such as bishops hat or sweet woodruff. Or you might convert that part of the lawn with gravel or a perennial bed.
One Response To How To Fix An Ugly Lawn
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and setting realistic expectations. Ive been looking for one source to follow as I try to get my lawn healthy. I think Ive found that one source with your site. Right now Im battling nutsedge and broad leaf weeds, while faced with figuring out the best pre-emergent to use on my lawn. Ive decided to try Milorganite to fertilize this fall, but Im still lost on pre-emergent and weed killer. Im hoping to find some answers here.
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Problem: Crabgrass Invasion Solution: A Multi
Youre smart to tackle this pesky weed. Besides being an eyesore, crabgrass typically dies off at the first frost, promoting soil erosion. Applying corn gluten meal, a natural alternative to chemical herbicide, in early spring can help contain the problem. Follow with a spring fertilizer. As the mowing season begins, dont cut the grass too short, since this can open the door again for crabgrass. Set the deck on your mower or tractor to around 3½ inches. Most decks have notches, not inches, so getting the height just right can take some trial and error.
Killing And Preventing Weeds
Weeds make your lawn look ugly and irritating for you. So, you have to remove these weeds from your yard for a beautiful and healthier lawn.
Weeds can be removed from various tools such as weed snatchers. But you can also kill the weeds from fertilizers. That is the most effective way to kill and prevent the weeds in your lawn. Weed control or weed killer fertilizers work best to fix weeds in an ugly lawn.
These fertilizers kill weeds quickly plus stop the germination of weeds for up to 4 months. But before buying the weed killer fertilizer, make sure the type of grass and the type of weeds you have on your lawn. Because fertilizer kills a specific type of weeds. Also read the instructions and guidelines, before applying the weed killer.
This is where most people get it wrong! And its so easy. The simple method would be to apply a crabgrass preventer. Then use the ready to spray weed sprays, starting with killing crabgrass and then moving on to the harder weeds. Just leave a few weeks in between to allow your grass to not get stressed.
But if the weeds are tough and not killed by one application. Then apply the weed killer fertilizer after a few weeks.
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Water And Mow Properly
Giving your grass the right hydration goes a long way toward making it look great. Of course, you run the sprinklers longer and less often. Ideally, grass needs about an inch of water every week from rain and irrigation. You can check the moisture levels using a soil gauge. Giving the grass a quick shower with the hose each day isnt going to do much, though. Instead, run the sprinklers for about an hour, early in the morning, 2-3 times a week.
Mowing properly also makes a big difference. However, cutting the grass too short causes it to burn. It also reduces the shade on the soil, giving weed seeds a chance to germinate and take over. Instead, only cut the grass down by about one third, and make sure your mower blades are sharp. Vary the mowing pattern every time you move as well. When you always cut in the same pattern, it can affect how the blades of grass grow and contribute to thin or bare patches.
Ways To Save On Lawn Care
Add compost. This will improve your soil and eliminate pests and diseases, which means less money spent on fertilizer and water. Apply a quarter-inch of top-dressing compost once or twice a year, including right after your lawn has greened up. Going over the lawn with an aerator first will help mix the organic matter into the soil.
Water wisely. An established lawn needs about 1 inch of water per week in the growing season. A light daily watering will encourage shallow root systems. Instead, water thoroughly once a week, using a 1-inch deep empty tuna can as a makeshift measuring device. Early morning is best, say before 8 a.m., when evaporation rates are low and more water is absorbed into the soil. Also, dont be afraid to let grass turn brown during dry spells. Most species can easily go a month without water. Its time to water again when the grass goes from tan-brown to straw-colored.
Mulch, dont bag. Your grass clippings are a free source of slow-release fertilizer, so let the mower discharge the clippings back onto your grass rather than bagging them. This can cut fertilizer costs by up to 30 percent. The only time to bag clippings is when your lawn is having a disease breakout, often signaled by irregular brown patches or rings in the lawn.
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Apply A Starter Fertilizer:
Now as you put your seeds down once thats finished you have got to go back over the area and you do want to apply a starter fertilizer.So till now, this is the first chemical that youre gonna put in your lawn. And you are just gonna follow the direction of the starter fertilizer, put it in, spread it out and this will help those seeds begin germination.But remember, starter fertilizers are specifically designed for new lawns so if you use regular fertilizer then you may increase the risk of burnout of the seeds.Okay now start watering those new seed lines because new seeds need to stay wet as much as possible.Although thats not mean you should go out watering the seeds. Experts suggest doing some watering after you wake and after you get home from the office. But dont forget to give water to your lawn seeds every day.Note: For this stage, keep your kids vehicles and other heavy equipment far from your lawn. Dont run any mower in your lawn for the first four weeks .
Youre Not Cut Out For This
The surest way to end up with an ugly lawn is to not maintain it, Phipps says. If, on the other hand, you follow basic recommended practices, your lawn is probably going to be just fine. Take a hard look at your yard, and then yourself. Are you sure youre up for this?
The cure: Go with a rock garden. Or a succulent garden. Or some other low-maintenance patch of ground. There are plenty of aesthetically pleasing options that dont involve growing and caring for grass. Theres no law that says youre required to have a lawn.
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The Absolutely Terrible Lawn
This is the lawn that has more bare spots with crabgrass and weeds taking over than it does healthy grass. The lawn is so bad that its going to need a complete renovation to get grass growing again. Whether its insect damage, lawn disease, neglect, or all of the above, when we talk about the absolutely terrible lawn, were talking about a lawn that has major problems.
Other Lawn Care Challenges
There are a number of other factors that factor into your turfs health as well sharpness of mower blades, environmental conditions, too much shade, and steep grade the list can go on for a while.
If youre following the above practices and are still struggling, or you simply have questions, we would be more than happy to discuss your lawns needs, and partner with you to improve it. Please dont hesitate to contact us!
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