When it comes to lawn care, there is little that is more frustrating than dead patches in your grass. You have put a considerable amount of time and effort into getting the beautiful lawn you want. All of a sudden, a patch of brown interrupts your awesome sea of green. This could be happening for a number of different reasons. Whether it is a disease, insects, or human error, it is vital for you to find out the reason your grass has dead patches.
Damage From Animals or Humans
There are several ways that you or your pets could be harming your lawn. Fortunately, most are quick and easy to remedy. Keeping the blades of grass on your lawn sharp is very important to maintaining a healthy lawn. Dull blades will tear and pull the grass, which will lead to damage that slowly kills the grass. Each time after you mow, take the time to check your grass to make sure the cuts are clean.
A mower blade that is not set to the proper height, or raised areas in the lawn, will cause you to cut the grass too short. Make sure your blades are cut to a height of around 2-3”. Take the time to smooth out any high spots on your lawn. Simply remove the soil and replace it with fresh sod.
Certain chemicals can be detrimental to the health of your grass, such as pesticides, fertilizer, gasoline, and herbicides. Fertilizers and insecticides that are not applied correctly will burn the grass. Always follow the directions carefully on such products. In addition, when pouring chemicals, such as gasoline, do so in the driveway and not on the grass.
Dog urine is a common grass killer. The urine will cause yellow spots on the lawn, often with a green edge because of the diluted nitrogen. Water your lawn immediately to dilute the urine. Make sure your dog is properly hydrated to reduce the strength of the urine. A better solution would be to train your dog to do his business in a designated area away from your lawn.
Unfavorable Growing Conditions
Poor soil quality can cause your grass to have dead patches. Try pushing a screwdriver into your soil. If this is difficult, the soil is compacted. Aerate the soil and add a top-dressing of organic matter to improve soil quality.
Oftentimes, debris can become buried under your lawn. Something as simple as a piece of old lumber under the sod could kill the grass. Another reason to aerate your lawn is to aid in water absorption and prevent erosion. For steep slopes, you may want to add terraces or plant some type of ground cover to keep the water from washing away seeds and new growth.
It is also important to ensure your lawn is not losing the battle for water to large trees and shrubs. To keep roots from monopolizing all of the moisture and nutrients that the grass needs to thrive, add some mulch underneath the shrubs and trees.
Lawn Pests and Disease
Late in the summer, grubs are a common culprit for lawn death. Other insects, such as chinch bugs and caterpillars, could also be the reason for the damage. Fortunately, insect problems can be easily taken care of with products sold at the local garden center.
Melting snow in the spring and high humidity in the summer can lead to excessive moisture. Increase sunlight and air circulation as much as possible to prevent fungus, which thrives in moist areas.