7 Reasons Your Lawn Isn't Ready for Summer
The onset of summer means getting outdoors, but that doesn’t just mean on vacations and at local hotspots.
When the weather’s nice, it is at last time to enjoy the yard.
Of course, being in North Texas, we enjoy around 233 sunny days a year, and temperatures are pretty mild compared to other parts of the U.S., but with kids out of school and other commitments on a summer break, this is the time of year people hang out on the lawn.
One of the biggest hindrances to enjoying the backyard can be the appearance of unsightly patches of lawn.
While brown or dead spots can pop up at any time, not all brown spots are created equal. Before you take action against these discolorations, you need to know what you’re dealing with!
Cause 1: Underwatering or Overwatering
The most obvious cause of a discolored lawn is the notion that it’s not getting enough water. This can turn up in certain sprinkler system “blind spots” where water isn’t quite reaching. Test your sprinklers to see where the water goes.
What might not be quite as obvious is the prospect of over watering one’s lawn, which can also kill grass. This flushes out essential oxygen and microbes in the soil, and in the long run is far more detrimental to the lawn than underwatering. In this case, you’ll want to reduce the frequency of watering and extend the duration.
Cause 2: Underfertilizing or Overfertilizing
Fertilizer is an important part of keeping a lawn healthy, and so if necessary nutrients aren’t in the soil, fertilizer fills in the gaps. Depending on your lawn’s situation, the grass may go brown or yellow because it doesn’t have enough fertilizer, leaving it vulnerable to diseases. Too much fertilizer can cause excessive growth, choking the life out of the lawn. If it’s just one spot, though, chances are this isn’t the problem.
Cause 3: Chemical Spills
Sometimes dead grass isn’t something you can solve with water or fertilizer; it’s due to a spill of pesticide, gasoline or other chemicals on the lawn. This can even happen in the midst of taking care of your lawn, as spills can happen while refilling spreaders, sprayers and outdoor power equipment like gas-powered lawn mowers. Flooding the affected area with water and repairing the grass area is crucial (and may require help from your friends at North Texas Lawns)!
Cause 4: Dog Urine
And while we’re talking about “chemical spills,” many times Fido can ruin an otherwise pristine lawn by getting in the habit of relieving himself in the same spot every day (multiple times a day)! Dog urine is acidic, especially if the animal isn’t well hydrated, and can lay waste to the grass below. Flush out the area with water, and start training the pup to do his business elsewhere.
Cause 5: Mowing Problems
It may be nice to have a thick, short carpet of green in your backyard, but in the summertime, when temps are up and precipitation less common, cutting grass too short may harm it. Grass blades help absorb sunlight and pull moisture out of the ground, and cutting them too short may hinder their ability to survive (and create brown segments on the lawn). Mow frequently, but don’t mow too close to the ground, and keep those mower blades sharp--dull blades don’t cut grass; they pull it and make the lawn ragged.
Cause 6: Foot Traffic
There’s a chance your discolored, dying spots of the yard are due to the fact that you actually hang out in the yard! Foot traffic is a possible source of yard trauma, as too much foot traffic can compact the soil, causing oxygen problems for the grass. It also can just straight-up damage the grass crowns. Chances are, your limited engagements on the grass should be fine, but if you decide to put down a bouncy house for a week, host a massive wedding party or a bull-riding convention, you might have issues.
Cause 7: Diseases
The truth is, most discoloration problems are caused by the aforementioned causes. But if you still aren’t able to track down the problem after all your investigating (although at this point, you should just give North Texas Lawns a call), disease might be the culprit. There are a lot of different ailments that could plague your property, affecting both warm season and cold season grasses, during excessively dry and/or excessively wet and/or excessively overcast weather.
Is it time to take your lawn back? Not sure which of these causes is ravaging your grass? Give North Texas Lawns a chance to diagnose the issue!
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