When someone mentions lawn care, many people think of the obvious problems and maintenance such as mowing and watering. While mowing and watering are very important to your lawn, things like acidity, fungus, and malnutrition, can pose a very serious threat. This article is to keep you informed on the issues that may not see every year. Let’s start with acidity.
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Acidity in the soil can be changed or influenced my many different factors.Rain water in certain areas can slowly add to acidity to the lawn through the years. Large trees, especially fruit-bearing trees, are one of the worst contributors. Have you ever seen a great looking lawn that’s got e rings of dirt extending outward from different pieces of horticulture? This is an acidity issue. Many times moss will accompany the rings of bare dirt. Even without bare areas, moss is an indicator of high acidity.
And lastly, pet urine can make a huge difference in the acidity in your soil. Often appearing as large splotches where the grass turns yellow, your pet’s favorite places would highly benefit from an application of lime. If you don’t have acidity issues now, this doesn’t mean you’ll never have them. It’s a good idea to send a soil sample off to the university. A soil test can give you an exact number for PH. Most turf grasses prefer a PH of between 6.5 and 7. With the correct acidity, the lawn color and thickness will be much easier to maintain.
Another on problem that we see on our lawn is fungus activity. There are many different types of fungus active in the mid-west that can live in your turf-grass. Some are quick acting. Some are slower. As a rule of thumb, anything that’s got a color to it, that’s not grass or a weed, is a fungus. Many types of fungus won’t hurt your lawn at all. This includes brown mushrooms which are actually a sign of a healthy yard. Other mushrooms, though they won’t damage your lawn, can be an indicator of other types of fungus. Puffball mushrooms which are large, spherical, and white; can be an indicator that you’ve got fairy ring. Easily recognizable, fairy ring will cause large circles in the grass that appear darker green and grow much faster than the other grass. Fairy ring is a slow acting fungus that will expand outward and eventually kill your grass.
A simple fungicide application will solve your problem. There are several fungi that don’t appear directly in the lawn. Summer brown patch will turn the grass brown without showing its physical attributes at a topical level. For these fungi a closer inspection is needed. If any type of fine thin hairs are found, there’s a good chance you’ve got a fungus. If any rotting in the crowns of the grass exist, and the area has proper drainage, you’ve got a fungus. The good news is that all types of lawn fungus can be solved with the use of a proper fungicide.
The last issue I’d like to discuss today is the presence of grub-worms in your yard. Most yards will have at least some grub-worms. It’s if their populations get too high that you will see damage. Grub-worms, or beetle larvae, can chew through your lawns roots before you even notice the damage on the surface. This is why I always use a preventative. Applied in the early summer, a grub-worm preventative can save you a lot of money in reseeding and renovations. If you notice large circular areas of grass dying out, check to see if the grass will pull up. If you can roll it up like carpet, you’ve got grubs. This is a very important issue to stay on top of as the damage can be lawn-wide.
And that’s about it. Keep a good eye on your lawn for problems that can pop up, and thanks for reading.
By: Vernon Quarles
Watch this video about common lawn problems: