From brown grass to common garden pests, we have some suggestions to address several of the most common lawn and garden problems. We share expert tips to help avoid and prevent most problems before they start so you can minimize chemical usage and keep your lawn and garden healthy and vibrant.
Lawn maintenance professionals and turfgrass managers have provided some of their easiest to apply expert tips for optimal lawn care. These professionals are huge proponents of reducing fertilizer and finding multiple ways of improving soil health longterm whenever possible.
Here are common problems, how to repair these lawn problems, followed by extra tips for healthy green grass.
Common problems include brown grass, too little sunlight, lack of water, too much water, lack of oxygen in soil, as well as other elements of poor soil quality leading to pests and disease.
(Sources include Geoponics associates of turfgrass professionals, including golf course superintendents, sod farmers, as well as landscape and garden experts from ConsumerReports.org and TheLawnInstitute.org.)
Lack of sunlight:
Turfgrass needs, on average, approximately four hours daily of sunlight to survive.
Shade tolerant species in order of greatest tolerance to lowest tolerance (Check with area sod farmers and turf suppliers for optimal species in your specific region)
Warm season turfgrasses:
St. Augustine grass, Centipede grass, Zoysia grass, Bahia grass, carpet grass and bermudagrass are shade tolerant in that approximate order.
Cool season turfgrass species:
Fine fescue, bentgrass, rough bluegrass, some shade tolerant cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue and perennial rye grass are shade tolerant in that approximate order.
- High traffic in shady areas.
- Using herbicides as they stress grass in general.
- Over fertilizing with nitrogen specifically in shady areas.
- Over watering, which leads to turf disease in damp, shady areas.
- Mowing grass too low. Keep at a higher height when possible.
- Keep mower blades sharp to reduce stress.
- Trim trees where appropriate for health of trees and grass.
- Consider the surrounding trees species. Avoid tree species with dense canopies and shallow roots. Those will shallow roots include beeches, maples and willows. Trees with dense canopies include maples, oaks, magnolias, elms and sweet gums.
Lack of oxygen in soil:
Too little oxygen in soil is very common and easy to address. Soil cannot have too much oxygen. Increase oxygen uptake in this slow release form with Agriox. Agriox is applied all spring and summer long by most turfgrass professionals as the optimal way to address anaerobic soils, which are often compacted soils.
Avoid black layer, fungicide usage and many other challenges caused by too little oxygen by using Agriox, a unique product that is the secret in the professionals’ toolbox.
Lack of water leading to dry lawn and dry soil:
First consider the causes:
- Irrigation: Is the lawn irrigated and are there any leaks?
- Not enough rain: There is drought.
- Poor soil quality: There is enough water but the soil is not retaining the water.
Dry lawn solutions:
- Wetting agents can help improve soil quality and health while also helping to retain water in the soil.
- Turf colorant: Colorants can lead to a consistently green lawn while decreasing over-watering, over-fertilizing and harsh chemical usage. Endurant lasts up to 3 months depending on the frequency of mowing. Lawn paints and turf colorants are a great option in drought or dormancy when grass is brown. Colorants are used on golf courses, TV tournaments and other applications and have been used many years. Turf colorants can also assist while working on improving soil health, to cover a disease, animal or pet urine stain, fertilizer burn or similar issues affecting aesthetics and curb appeal.
Too much water leading to soggy turf, puddles or mud:
- Over watering. Reduce irrigation and apply in the early mornings.
- Soil quality is lacking and is not allowing for water to drain.
- Use a soil penetrant. Penterra
Thin, patchy grass
Consider getting a soil test to check nutrients and pH levels. Consider adding organics to the soil. Check out these soil health boosting options:
- Carbotein: All plant extracts for optimal growth in vegetable gardens, improving yields and color.
- Fertaflow: Organic nutrition and more.
- Humawet: Humates, million-year old organic matter and water management tool as a soil surfactant
- SoilPlex: Organic and veganic (no animal source) conditioner and nutrition with other benefits.
Grass is generally hardy and tolerant of bugs, such as grubs, and similar pests. However, unhealthy soil leads to low tolerance. Consider improving soil health as prevention to chemical insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. Increase oxygen in soil with Agriox. Manage water with a soil surfactant that comes with additional soil health boosting elements.
Similar to other pests, most turfgrass is hardy enough to be resistant to disease. Generally disease comes from unhealthy soil. Avoid the use of chemicals by boosting soil health as part of regular maintenance. Check these out: Agriox, Humawet, Fertaflow, SoilPlex. Also, many diseases are caused by too much water. Avoid disease by reducing water usage and drain water caused by too much rain or flooding using Penterra.
Other tips for healthy green lawns:
- Less water is better to prevent disease.
- Over fertilizing will burn lawn or cause it to brown, dry out or even die.
- Water management is key. Too much water, not enough water or a combination throughout soil can lead to patchy grass, yellowing or dried out turf. Consider a soil surfactant.
- Colorants can keep turf grass vibrant green even in drought, in dry conditions or winter dormancy, while avoiding the runoff of fertilizer and other chemicals.
- Boost organic matter in soil. Allow some clippings to remain on lawn.
Please avoid using fertilizers in areas where rain will carry them into storm drains and then directly into rivers, lakes and oceans.