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10 Things Your Lawn Is Telling You

Did you know that the lawn is always trying to communicate with you?

We spoke to experts at TruGreen, and according to them, there are several things your lawn might be doing that tell you that things aren’t hunky-dory. Here are 10 things your lawn is trying to tell you:

1: I need light!

Are there tall trees growing in your yard? They might be blocking the sunlight hence putting your grass at the risk of dying.

If you notice grass not growing under the tree, the chances are that the tree branches are too thick that the sun rays can’t get through.

 To fix this problem, trim back the branches and let the sunshine through.

If you have pine trees, they might have dropped acorns and needles around the trunk. Remember to rake up the acorns and needles that might be present.

Sometimes you will trim the branches, and still, grass won’t grow around the tree.

To fix this issue and leave your lawn looking great, consider putting mulch around the base of the tree to add color and, at the same time, create an attractive border.

2: The pH is too high!

Telltale signs of high pH levels are brown or even dead grass. To tell the pH in your lawn, undertake a pH test.

If the pH is too high, work at balancing it by adding nutrients such as sulfur.

The cool thing is you don’t have to hire an expensive professional to help you with the testing.

There are plenty of garden centers that sell pH test kits that you can buy and do your tests.

These kits don’t require much other than soil, water, vinegar, and baking soda.

If you feel that your lawn needs further investigation, you should visit country extension offices where you will get more detailed soil tests.

3: Help, I’m drying up!

Most lawns have a wide range of grass varieties. If you notice some of the grass is wilting or turning brown, it’s a sign your lawn is drying up.

You need to think about the last time you watered your lawn. If you haven’t been watering, you should start doing it.

If you have been moderately watering the lawn, consider increasing the watering.

Check the moisture in your lawn by sticking a screwdriver into the ground. If the soil is dry a few inches down the lawn, consider watering for longer periods.

This is to allow the water to sink deeper into the soil.

When watering, avoid doing it every day. This is to encourage the grassroots to go deeper. The right way of doing it is to water the lawn lightly two or three times a week.

Water between 5 and 9 am. The cooler temperatures at this time prevent evaporation and, at the same time, allow the grass to dry properly during the day.

Avoid watering late into the night as the grass doesn’t dry up well, which promotes fungal growth.

4: Grubs are feeding on me

If the grass is coming up in clumps, the chances are that you have grubs under the surface, eating away the roots. Grubs are short, white, fat worms.

When the worms eat on the grassroots, your lawn has a poor root system leading to the lawn being loose, so when you pull on the grass, it comes up like a welcome mat.

Thankfully, you can get rid of the worms using a grub killer.

5: The fungus is killing me

When you have fungus in your lawn, you have circles, often known as fairy rings.

At the initial stages, fungal threads in the soil make the grass in the circle appear greener than the surrounding grass as there is more decaying organic matter.

As the fungus continues growing and working deeper into the soil, it starves the grassroots, denying them moisture and nutrients.

When you are having this problem, apply a fungicide to the affected area.

Sometimes the fungicide fails to work, and you have to dig up the ring and plant new grass.

6: Insects are killing me

Have you lately noticed a lot of insects on your lawn? You might be having too many of them in the yard that they are preventing the grass from growing as well as it should.

According to experts at Truegreen, common insects that infest lawns are: cutworms, armyworms, and Japanese beetle.

You need to use insecticides to get rid of insects. Be cautious when using the insecticides as you can damage your lawn or even hurt yourself.

For ideal results, only use insecticides that are labeled for that insect.

If you can, avoid broad-spectrum insecticides such as neonicotinoids as they are indiscriminate and have also been shown to kill beneficial insects such as pollinators.

When they aren’t properly used, they harm the overall health of the lawn and open up the yard for invasive pests.

7: It’s too wet

When you notice mushrooms on your lawn, the yard is most likely too wet.

In times of heavy rain, fungi come up and go away on their own. But when you see them too regularly, you need to come up with ways of drying out the lawn.

The first thing you should do is to cut back on your watering frequency. You also should try improving the drainage in your yard using a lawn aerator.

If you also have toadstools, trim overhead tree branches. This is to allow sunlight into your yard and get rid of mushrooms.

8: The fertilizer isn’t correctly applied

Every homeowner knows they need to apply fertilizer on their lawn for it to remain healthy. Unfortunately, some of the people don’t apply it as well as they are supposed to.

If you notice rows of different colors on your lawn, it’s most likely due to uneven fertilizer application.

Does your lawn have rows of burnt-brown, pale yellow, or dark-green grass? You need to come up with strategies to fix it.

One of the things you can do is to water the lawn to encourage the grass to grow.

9: Lawnmower blades aren’t sharp enough

Healthy grass should be green. If your grass is turning an unhealthy shade of brown, it might be due to dull mower blades that are known to rip and shred grass blades giving your lawn an ugly look.

When you notice the unhealthy shade, examine the grass blades. They should be cleanly cut across the top. If they aren’t, your blades aren’t sharp enough. Sharpen them to stop damaging your lawn.

10: I’m out of air

If your grass is thinning or you have a weed-infested lawn, the lawn is most likely suffering from soil compaction.

Compacted soil prevents air and nutrients from getting to the roots of the grass, leading to it dying out.

To determine the extent of soil compaction, push a screwdriver or pencil into the grass. If you find it hard doing it, you most likely have compacted soil.

To restore the grass, you need to aerate your lawn. You can do the work using a lawn aerator that you can buy or rent from your local home stores.

There are also aerator shoes that are a little bit cheaper you can use.

Watch out

Every lawn gives signs that there is something wrong with the grass. Different changes have different meanings. As a responsible homeowner, it’s your responsibility to be keen and notice the signs early enough.

When you notice it, don’t stop there. Interpret what the changes mean and what you need to do to fix them.

On my 15th birthday, I became the designated gardener in my home.

Now at 32, I have a small garden and every day I'm out trying different plants and seeing how they grow. I grow guavas, peaches, onions, and many others. Want to know more about me? Read it here.

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