Does your lawn have yellow patches of grass and brown areas? Discolored grass indicates an unhealthy lawn that needs fixing. Most lawns, including the well-maintained ones, are prone to damage. There are, however, ways to restore your yard and make it aesthetically appealing again. First, you must identify the problem to find the appropriate solution. Then you can begin to restore your lawn.
Causes of Lawn Damage
- Thatch. Thatch is a dense layer of dry leaves, dead roots, and stems that combine with grass. This layer prevents grass roots from accessing adequate water and air. As a result, your lawn dries up. You can remove thatch using a rake or a dethatcher. Ensure that you frequently weed out dead leaves and roots before forming a thick layer of thatch.
- Pests. The presence of harmful pests like armyworms, grubs, and aphids damages your lawn. These pests feed on grass leaves and roots, thus destroying the yard. You can fix pest infestation with pesticides.
- Drought. Dry seasons and water scarcity make grass dry, therefore turning your lawn brown. You must regularly water your grass during hot and dry seasons to keep it from dying. Also, grow grass that is suitable for the climate in your area.
- Salt buildup. Brown and yellow grass along the edges of your lawn could signal salt buildup. Salt buildup results from feeding your grass and not watering it. While it is essential to supply your grass with nutrients and fertilizer, feeding without irrigating the lawn can be harmful. Fertilizer without water leads to a high salt concentration in the soil that destroys grassroots.
Salt accumulation also comes from ice melt, snowplows, and road salts that combat snow buildup in winter. These salts dehydrate and damage grass, as it removes moisture from the soil. Frequently water your lawn after feeding to prevent salt damage.
- Shallow watering. Damaged lawns could result from shallow watering. Most people irrigate their lawns daily for about thirty minutes using sprinklers. The water from the sprinklers remains on its surface, where it rapidly evaporates. This evaporation process also pulls out water from lower levels of the ground through capillary action leaving the soil dry.
This watering system also contributes to a shallow root system, where roots grow on the surface level of the soil to access moisture. Shallow roots and dry soil, therefore, weakens and destroy lawn grass. Watering your grass three times a week for 30 minutes each time allows moisture to soak into the soil and reach the roots. Consequently, you will have healthy grass with deep roots and a green, lush lawn.
Strategies for Reviving your Damaged Lawn
Whether you are reviving a damaged area or the entire lawn, the following strategies will help you grow healthier grass.
- Weed out the thatch. Heavy layers of thatch prevent water and air from getting to the soil. If your lawn is not completely damaged, you can save it by removing the dead matter with a rake. Weeding will allow the soil and roots to access air and water, and as a result, your grass will grow back healthier.
Weeding also involves removing weeds competing with grass for soil nutrients and moisture. Weeds ruin the aesthetics of your lawn and make it unattractive. You can also use organic weed killers to eliminate these stubborn plants.
- Aeration. Brown patches in your lawn could indicate that your soil lacks air and nutrients. Aerating your lawn involves removing small quantities of soil and digging small holes to reduce soil compaction. Compacted soil has few spaces between its particles, because the weight of the soil presses them together. Soil compaction, therefore, lowers infiltration rate and water drainage. Aeration creates more space between soil particles to allow for movement and absorption of air, moisture, and nutrients. As a result, it promotes root development and makes grass grow. You can manually aerate your lawn by digging holes and removing soil or using an aerator.
- Fertilizer. Nutrient deficiency is a common cause of lawn damage. Nitrogen and Iron are vital nutrients for a healthy lawn and are key ingredients in most lawn fertilizers. Discolored grass and stunted growth are indicators that the soil in your yard lacks nitrogen. Nitrogen deficiency causes grass in the entire lawn to turn light green and then later to yellow. Lawns with iron deficiency, on the other hand, have patches of discolored class with yellow blades and green veins. Feeding fertilizer with nitrogen and Iron to your damaged lawn will help restore these vital nutrients to your soil and revive your lawn.
- Irrigation. Water is essential to plant growth. A damaged lawn could be a result of inadequate moisture. How frequently you water your yard and your irrigation equipment contributes to the quality of your grass. Contrary to popular belief, using your sprinkler daily does not help water your grass. Sprinkling water daily leads to water wastage as most water evaporates. It is, therefore, vital that you irrigate your lawn thrice a week to allow for water absorption into the roots. Also, water your lawn after feeding it fertilizers to flush out excess salt that destroys grassroots.
- Grow new grass. You can start over and grow fresh grass if you have a severely damaged lawn.
Steps to Planting Grass
- Prepare the site by using rakes and herbicides to remove weeds, old grass, and thatch. This preparation ensures that the lawn is clean and ready for new grass.
- Till your soil to a depth of 5-6 inches. Tilling helps with aeration and further removes old grass and any remaining weeds. You can also incorporate organic compost at this stage to boost soil fertility.
- Test and feed your soil. You will need to test your soil to ensure that it has essential nutrients like phosphorus, which is vital for root development. Apply fertilizer if your soil lacks nutrients.
- Plant the new seed/ sod as per the instructions provided.
- Roll and irrigate the lawn. Rolling keeps your sod/seed firmly in the soil. Irrigate with enough water to keep the soil moist.
There are several causes of lawn damage. It would help if you first established the cause and extent of damage before reviving the lawn. A thorough assessment of the area will help you find the appropriate solution, whether it needs fertilizers, pesticides, or more water. Also, ensure that you properly maintain your lawn after reviving it by mowing, watering, and feeding the grass. Need more help with your lawn? Contact Cortada Landscape today.