What Can I Do To Fix It
If your lawn is already experiencing dead patches, thereâs a couple of practical steps you can take before giving me a call. For the average homeowner, the most simple and attainable solution is to water, water, water. Donât overdo it, but making sure that the soil stays consistently hydrated is the first major step in reviving a heat-stressed lawn. For the more ambitious individual, you can use liquid solutions to relieve stress and manage moisture levels in the lawn for an effective and overall successful recovery!
The Bright Color Of The House
The areas around the house that were clearly being hit a little harder were primarily at the base of the home and would be in direct sunlight for most of the day. I realized that the house was painted a bright beige color, which looked great, but was effectively reflecting the sunlight to the lawn below. The constant sun exposure, coupled with the reflected rays from the house were sure to be stressing out the lawn in this heat.
The Leaves Are Stippled Dull Or Distorted
Your leaves might not be turning yellow or coated in any substances, but they still might not look right. Perhaps theyre shriveling and distorted. Aphids, which are small, soft-bodied insects that tend to multiply quickly, have piercing sucking mouthparts that they use to feed on plant sap. Some trees are sensitive to the saliva that aphids inject during feeding and may respond by puckering or distorting. This can begin to happen with only a few aphids.
On the other hand, a mite infestation can cause foliage to become stippled, yellow, and dry. Mites suck juices from the plants, causing their foliage to become dull and ultimately curl up.
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Lawn Is Becoming Yellow Or Browning
Your lawn may turn yellow or brown due to several things such as, being sick with a disease, having gone dormant or simply nutrient deficient.
Once you identify why your lawn is going yellow or brown you can then assume a management plan or rest easy that all is alright.
So what can be causing your lawn to become yellow or brown?
How Much Should I Water My Lawn To Avoid Dormant Grass
Watering your lawn isnt a precise science, but it is important that you dont provide far too much or far too little. Underwatering leads to dormant grass and overwatering can drown the lawn, doing more harm than good by limiting oxygen availability in the soil.
You should aim to water your lawn every other day early in the morning or at dinnertime. The morning is often cooler, which allows the water to be absorbed before it evaporates in the sun. Watering in the early evening means itll still get some sunlight but still lets your grass dry before it is completely dark.
In terms of quantity, your lawn should receive about an inch of water per week from rain or manual watering. You can test your lawns moisture by sticking a screwdriver or other tool into the soil, and if it is wet 6-8 inches down, it is properly hydrated.
You can also tell if you are watering your lawn enough by placing an empty tuna can in the area to be watered. When the tuna can has about an inch or so of water in it then you have adequately watered your lawn.
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How To Revive St Augustine Grass & Why It Died
How often do you look at your once beautiful and lush St. Augustine grass and think what did I do wrong? You are not the only one. A lot of homeowners are in constant search for ideas on how to revive St Augustine grass.
Generally, St. Augustine grass thrives in warm-season and temperate climates. It is drought-tolerant and grows in different soil types. However, cold temperatures, insufficient light, high foot traffic may cause your St. Augustine grass to lose its deep-green color.
If your lawn is filled with dead St. Augustine grass, there are ways to revive it. The best way to revive your St Augustine grass is to water it about three times weekly. Watering the grass deeply will quickly hydrate it and begin the greening process But before we delve into the process, lets discuss why St. Augustine grass dies so often.
What Causes Patchy Lawn
- Fungal disease Fungal disease is a very common cause of bare patches in your lawn as it makes your grass weak and unhealthy, which dies after some time causing a patch in your lawn. To eliminate fungal disease, you need to apply pesticides to your lawn.
- Animal damage your pets or other animals roaming and playing on your lawn can also cause patches in your lawn. This can happen due to digging or heavy foot traffic. To stop this damage you need to fence your lawn or make sure that your pets dont dig up in your lawn.
- Grub damage Grub can also cause patches in your lawn by eating the roots of the grass. Every lawn has some amount of grubs but if you are seeing a lot of them in your lawn then you need to take precautions by applying a grub controller to your lawn.
- Dog urine Dog urine is also a cause of yellow or brown patches in your lawn. When your dog urinates in the lawn it provides excess nitrogen and salts to the soil, which burns the grass making patches in your lawn. We have talked about how you can prevent dog urine from killing your grass.
- Heat and drought Heat and drought are a very common issue for patches in your lawn. Your grass can be burned out due to excessive heat or drought and create an ugly patch. To eliminate this you can reseed your lawn with drought-tolerant grass.
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You Have Left Items On The Lawn For Too Long
Constant use and leaving of items on the lawn prevent light from getting to the lawn leading to brown or dead patches.
The soil in these areas also tends to be compacted, which prevents the air from getting to the grasss roots.
To fix this issue, remove the items that might prevent the grass from receiving the sun rays.
If there is a lot of thatch in the area, remove the dead grass material by raking the dead grass using a mechanical de-thatcher.
You should then go ahead and aerate the soil. You do this using a garden fork. Insert the fork into the soil to open up the soil.
If you dont want to use a fork, consider using a mechanical lawn aerator. You can rent or buy one from your local store.
Causes Of Grass Dying
Below are the major causes of dead grass:
- Poor preparation and installation: Properly preparing the area and installing new grass is much more than spreading seed or laying sod over the area and if done incorrectly, seed and sod wont properly grow and can eventually die.
- Cultural Practices: Keeping your lawn green and happy involves properly watering, feeding and mowing at the proper height for the particular grass you are growing. In the turfgrass industry, these are called cultural practices. When not correctly carried out, any of them can lead to your turfs demise.
- Grass Type: Make sure the grass you are growing is hardy in your particular climate and grows in the light conditions present in your yard. Planting grass that prefers a sunny location in the shade, or using grass not hardy in your area of the country leads to its eventual death.
- Pests and Diseases: Various pests and diseases affect turfgrass, leading to a weakened state and possible death. You can take a sample of the affected turf to your local garden store for diagnosis or contact your local county Extension Office. Its imperative to treat the pest or disease problem before installing new grass in the area.
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Too Much Oil In The Mowers Reservoir
If your carburetor is clean and the spark plugs are firing, the problem might be too much oil.
I believe its human nature to want to over-fill a lawn mowers oil reservoir, especially if youre not particularly handy. You feel so accomplished that were doing the job yourself that you go overboard and over-fill the tank.
It happens, and its not the end of the world .
White smoke coming out of the engine is a tell-tale sign that excessive oil is the culprit.
If a lot of smoke is coming out, your mower might be running, but not for long. In this case, the excess oil will eventually drown out the engine and cause it to die.
How do I fix it?
This is actually an easy fix. If you have too much oil, you just need to drain some. You can use a siphon, or you can tip your mower and drain the oil from the hole where you add it.
What I Do
Im guilty of overfilling the oil tank sometimes too, so Ive learned to go slow when I add oil. I check, and check again with the dipstick and gradually bring the level up to the proper place.
If you have overfilled your oil tank, I advise that you use a dipstick to measure the amount of oil in the reservoir before removing it, and then again after to make sure you get the right level.
Not enough oil is another problem, and you would not want to inadvertently trade one issue for another.
After draining some oil and checking to see if you have an adequate amount, start the mower again.
How To Avoid Dead Grass In The Future
Once you have revived your lawn from dead grass, take care of it properly with these things in mind:
- Irrigate the newly seeded patches with a low amount of water 2-3 times a day to keep it moist in the beginning, then gradually reduce the frequency by increasing the amount of water.
- Make a proper schedule for mowing your lawn. Mowing once a week will promote the growth of the grass as well as make your lawn look good. Do keep in mind that dont cut the grass more than 1/3rd of the total height as it can harm the grass and make it stressed out.
- For the initial period fertilize your lawn every 2 months and after one year, when your lawn is established fertilize it every 6 months.
- Aeration and dethatching are very necessary for a healthy lawn so try to aerate and dethatch your lawn every 1.5 to 2 years.
- Keep your pets out of the lawn or try to create a specific spot where they can urinate as the urine can harm the lawn and make it acidic.
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What About Weeds Are They Dormant Too
Some weeds may grow while the grass is dormant. Dandelions, for example, are perennial weeds with tap roots that reach into the soil for moisture. They can survive heat and drought. The best way to keep weeds in check is to maintain a healthy lawn. If you see weeds actively growing when your lawn is dormant, pull them by hand or spot-treat with an organic herbicide .
If hot weather and drought make your grass turn brown, just remember that brown lawns are not necessarily dead lawns. Good lawn care practices and a little patience are all you need.
What To Do About Lawn Disease
Treating disease all starts with a professional inspection in order to determine the best course of action. In some cases, fungicides may be needed. However, its possible that cultural practices such as removing thatch or performing seeding can be enough to do the trick. A professional can help educate you on the options you have available and guide you toward the best course of action. Oftentimes it can differ from lawn to lawn. Everything from your specific site conditions to your budget may all come into play.
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Check And Improve Your Soil Quality
Even after de-thatching and improved watering, poor soil wont help your St. Augustines revival project. As earlier stated, St. Augustine grasses thrive well in well-drained soils. You should work on yours.
Use these steps to improve your soil if you must revive your grass.
- Ensure there is an ample volume of soil available to support the root development of the St. Augustine grass.
- Examine the nutrient needs of your lawn by carrying out a soil test. Look out for the proportion of organic matter in your soil. If the percentage composition of organic matter for the soil in your lawn area is lesser than 5%, try to improve it.
- Add nutritious topsoil that is rich in humus and compost to your lawn. It will improve the St. Augustine grass chances of survival for your
Your Lawn Has Poor Growing Conditions
There is no way your lawn will have lush green grass while it has poor growing conditions. Some of the issues your lawn might be having include:
Soil quality varies on the lawn. Poor soil occurs in patches leading to brown, bare areas or moss. For you to fix this problem, you need to push a screwdriver into the soil.
If you have problems pushing it, the soil is most likely compacted.
You should try aerating and top dressing the area to incorporate organic matter into the soil.
If you have an old piece of buried lumber under the grass, you are bound to have patches on the lawn.
With a screwdriver, poke around the affected areas and see if there is anything underneath the sod.
Water runs off slopes, carrying seeds and young shoots with it. It leaves the bare ground or dried out areas behind.
For you to fix the area, you need to aerate the lawn to increase water absorption. If the slope is steep, consider building terraces. You can also plant groundcover to hold the soil.
Large trees or shrubs near your lawn draw a lot of water and nutrients from the grass leading to dead spots.
If you cant remove the trees, consider undertaking mulching. You can also naturalize the areas under the trees and shrubs.
When its dry, the grass might not be receiving enough water to grow healthily, leading to dry, compacted spots.
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Why Is My Lawn Dying 8 Common Reasons For Brown Spots
Its a beautiful morning. You grab a cup of coffee, stretch, and step to the window. You look out over your lawn and cant help but notice that instead of vivid green, your grass is fading towards brown. How can that be? You give your lawn a lot of love and attention!
The good news is that it may not be your fault. But then again, it could be something youre doing that is making your lawn lose its luster. In any case, when your lawn starts to turn brown it is telling you that something is wrong.
Here are 8 of the most common reasons lawns start to brown and what you can do to fix the situation.
Choosing A Lawn Care Company To Meet Your Needs All Year Long
Whether its summer or any other time of year, the overall health of your lawn will come down to the lawn care program youre using. This means that choosing the right lawn care company will be key in the overall success of your lawn.
At Joshua Tree, we offer three lawn care programs so that you can find one that best suits your needs. Regardless of which program you choose, you can have the peace of mind that by having a professional regularly on your property, problems will be caught early and your lawn will be receiving the care it needs to survive summer stress.
If youd like to find out more about our lawn care programs in Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA, which include three lawn care pricing options, then contact us for a free consultation or give us a call at 610-365-2200.
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What Are Grub Worms And How To Keep Them From Damaging Your Lawn:
Grubs are beetle larvae. These larvae are found in almost every lawn. They have a life cycle and continue generations year after year. They are born of eggs from the Japanese Beetle, enter into the soil, become hatchling grubs in the late summer July and August and begin to feed on your lawns root system at that time and on into September.
Cause Of Lawn Death: Rain
The Winter of 2019 going into 2020 was a very very wet one. When you get prolonged heavy rain day after day week after week it is constantly washing through the grass, soil and roots, and taking away all the nutrients with it, weakening the plant.
Eventually, the grass suffers and if it is sat in a flooded area, some parts will inevitably die off as though they have drowned.
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Can A Brown Lawn Be Saved
Generally, yes. If the lawn is brown because it has gone dormant, it will bounce back by itself and turn green again during its growing season. However, if your lawn has turned brown all over due to drought, there is no way to revive it.
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Recommendations For Your Summer Lawn Care Schedule
Proper lawn care throughout the summer can help protect your grass even as temperatures heat up. This includes avoiding some of the common mistakes leading to lawn stresses that we mentioned above.
As part of your summer lawn care schedule, you should be sure that youre doing the following:
- Practicing Proactive Lawn Care: While many of these issues are not completely preventable, how your lawn handles them will come down to how healthy it is. By being part of a regular lawn care program, youre already being proactive in preventing your lawn from succumbing to summer lawn stressors. A strong and healthy lawn can better withstand the stresses that will arise during the summer months.
- Proper Watering: If you suspect that your summer lawn problems are a result of drought, youll want to be sure that you are watering your lawn properly. How much water your lawn needs is all dependent upon how much moisture is in the soil. Your lawn needs approximately two inches of water each week and if its not getting that from rainfall, youll need to supplement with irrigation. Be sure to water in the morning hours to reduce evaporation and to also not agitate turf diseases.
- Regular Inspections by a Pro: By having a professional on your lawn on an ongoing basis, theyll be able to spot problems with insects or diseases early on, before they become a major threat to your lawns survival. That means youll be able to start treatment early and restore your lawn to good health.
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