Whether it’s because of summer drought, an extended vacation, or a naughty pet leaving spots on your lawn, dying lawn grass is never a pretty sight. Yellowish or brownish spots on your turf are not only eyesores, but they also reduce the benefits you get from having a lawn.
Your lawn’s health and appearance tell a story to guests and neighbors who see it from the curb. To make sure it’s a good story, you’ll have to keep your turf lush and green.
Remember that grass – like any other type of plant – may die when exposed to extended cold or extreme heat, or when it gets less water and nutrients than what it needs. If the ideal growing conditions are not restored, the grass will eventually die out, given the limited resources it has to preserve itself.
But while not everyone can afford to replace the grass every time it starts to gain a new color other than green, there are ways to rescue your lawn without having to bust your budget. In fact, the first thing you should do is to know what caused it.
To help you out, here are the four common reasons why grasses wither and three effective tips to help you to rescue your turf, according to experts in lawn care in Mason, OH:
4 Common Reasons for Dead Grass
A dying lawn is never a pretty sight, and there’s no easy answer for how it can be dealt with. If you’re unsure about what causes this, you probably need to start investigating your current lawn situation.
There are several possible reasons for browning grass on your lawn, including:
Drought is not as uncommon as you might think. Soil can get dried up anywhere in the country, especially during the summer. This fact makes it the most common reason why grasses in lawns are dying.
To make matters worse, some people don’t water their lawns enough during the hottest time of the year. This mistake can cause not only the leafy parts of the grass to turn brown, but it also leaves the roots without enough water to stay alive.
Two to three weeks without water can make the grass go dormant. At this point, the grass may turn brown, but it isn’t dead yet. However, the grass will eventually die if it becomes too hot and water is still nowhere near the roots after four to six weeks.
Too much thatch
Thatch is a layer of decomposed roots, plant matter, and partially decomposed stems. Over the summer, a thick layer of thatch may build up underneath the grassroots.
Normally, clippings don’t cause thatch since they decompose quickly. In fact, clippings can help nourish the soil and leave your lawn healthier than ever before.
Check to see if you have too much thatch by digging two inches through a chunk of grass. About three-quarters of an inch of thatch between green grass and the soil is fine. But anything more than that might cause the grass on your lawn to die.
Too little or too much water
Watering is a no-brainer when it comes to lawn care. However, there is a right way to water the grass to keep it growing healthily.
One common mistake you should avoid is frequent, shallow irrigation. This can cause the roots to become weak and end up defenseless against the intense summer heat.
It is also important that you only water your lawn when it needs it. Deep irrigation once a week should suffice, but you can also drench the grass with one inch of water when it starts to look wilted.
Another major cause of dying grass is improper mowing. Ideally, you should never cut more than a third of the grass’s height. Otherwise, you’ll risk making the grass turn brown and dry up.
This is particularly crucial during the summer. While two and a half inches of grass length is okay, you should leave it at three inches during the warm season. Rather than cutting it too short, keeping it tall while mowing frequently is better to keep your lawn healthy.
3 Tips to Help Save Your Dying Lawn
Aside from determining the cause for its demise and dealing with it, there are other ways you can save your dying lawn. According to lawn care professionals in Blue Ash, OH, this includes:
Knowing the right time to renew grasses
If your lawn was wrecked during the summer and you failed to renew it in the fall, then you’re probably planning to do it in spring. However, you must first consider the ideal time to rejuvenate your dried up lawn before proceeding.
Early fall and late summer are the best times to rejuvenate threadbare lawns since the soil temperatures are high. Some seeds germinate faster during these times, especially warm-season grasses like tall fescue. This will also allow the new grass to crowd out weeds that may emerge during spring.
Getting rid of weeds
Grass needs water, but so do weeds. When weeds start growing in your lawn, they take water and nutrients from the soil that were meant to keep the grass on your lawn alive.
To free up water and nutrients for the grass, you have to get rid of the weeds. Just make sure you get the roots, too, or they will just grow right back.
Have your soil tested
If your lawn doesn’t look quite healthy, it would be best to have it tested. Simple soil tests can determine the acidity of your soil. A healthy lawn should have a neutral pH level of 7, but if it’s anything higher or lower than that, you should do some measures to keep it at the optimum level.
You see, the soil’s pH level can affect the availability of nutrients in it. This means that if it’s alkaline or acidic, some plants — not just grass — may not thrive in it.
Rescue Your Lawn
Lawn care and maintenance can keep grass healthy and thriving. But if certain circumstances intervene and your turf ends up looking yellow or brown, use this article as a guide to rescue your lawn.