Due to increasing temperatures, June and July are usually the months where people start to notice that they have brown, bare, or dead patches in their lawn. Diagnosing the cause of such spots can sometimes be elusive but we have assembled the following most common causes of lawn damage and demise:
Billbug - In Idaho one of the most common but misdiagnosed issues that people have with their lawn is the damage done by billbugs and their larvae. The problem is that the damage that billbugs cause isn’t seen until mid to late summer and people often associate the patchy brown spots in their lawn with disease or summer dryness rather than the work of this very resilient creature.
Irrigation Issues – Most frequently browning of the lawn is caused by inadequate watering. If only a certain section of lawn is turning brown it may be that you need to repair or adjust your sprinklers. Overwatering can also cause brown patches in the lawn. Proper irrigation practices are very important for the health of your lawn. It is recommended that you water deeply but infrequently and early morning hours are the best.
Pet Damage – Lawn burn is caused by the urine of pets, typically dogs. Dog urine has a lot of nitrogen in it. Concentrated nitrogen will typically leave a round brown or dead looking spot in the lawn. To combat lawn burn you can water down the areas after the dog urinates to dilute or you can train your dog to do their “business” in a less visible part of your yard. You can also do some research on pet supplements and dog food that are formulated to decrease the strength of the nitrogen output.
Overfertilizing – Too much fertilizer can cause lawn burn so care is needed to avoid over spraying. If you have spilled fertilizer on your lawn, water immediately to dilute. Fertilization applications require knowledge of when and how much to apply in order to achieve the best results and not do more harm than good.
Improper Mowing – Lawn scalping can occur when you mow your grass too short. Mowing with a dull blade can injure your lawn by tearing the grass rather than cutting it cleanly. And if you allow your grass to grow too long through inconsistent mowing the crowns of the lawn grow to a higher level and then when you do mow you damage the crowns which can cause that area of the grass to die off.
Fungal Disease – Fungi typically create round patches of brown grass that continue to grow or multiply with new spots forming. A good fungicide treatment is required to rid your lawn of this problem.
These are just a few of the common issues associated with dead, patchy, or discolored grass. At Organic Solutions! Inc., we can provide the solutions you need for your lawns problems. If you would like to receive an expert diagnosis and treatment plan from one of our experienced team members, please contact us!
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