Most of us don’t mind spending the time, energy, or money it takes to achieve a healthy, well-manicured lawn. After all, it’s a labor of love. And seeing your landscape come to life makes all that extra effort worth it.
What most of us “don’t” like, however, is putting in all those long hours only to have to deal with unexpected, but all-too-common, lawn problems that compromise the look and health of our outdoor living space.
5 Grass Problems & Solutions
We understand the struggle. So, in this article, we’ll break down 5 lawn issues that are common among Minnesota homeowners. Right after, we’ll provide a few tips on how to solve these problems organically.
We’re certainly no stranger to extreme temperatures during the summer. In fact, 2022 has already demonstrated that we may be in for a long, dry season. When our lawns experience extended periods of high temperatures, sun exposure, and little-to-no rainfall (i.e., moisture), we can start to see discoloration (similar to the color of straw) on the tips, or the entire blades, of our grass.
Additionally, you may notice footsteps left behind on your grass, long after someone has walked over it.
If your lawn is suffering from heat stress, be sure to avoid having people or pets walk over it. Additionally, don’t leave heavy equipment on it either, as this can compact the soil, making it difficult for air to reach your grass’s root system.
Be sure to water your grass early in the morning to help avoid high evaporation amid the hot afternoon sun. Watering in the evening can also leave your lawn vulnerable to fungus.
Be sure to water your grass deeply and infrequently—1x per week and saturate it to 1″ depth.
With the kids out of school, and friends and family coming over for backyard barbecues and other fun outdoor activities, it doesn’t take too long for all that heavy traffic to compact your soil. The result? Your soil won’t receive sufficient air, water, and nutrients to grow properly, leaving it vulnerable to weeds and other lawn issues.
Common symptoms of compacted soil include standing puddles of water, which are a tell-tale sign of drainage issues; heavy soil that is hard to puncture; and discoloration on grass and plants.
Prevention is the best defense against soil compaction, but if you’re trying to fix soil that has already been compacted, aerating your lawn can help.
At Organic Lawns by LUNSETH, we offer a comprehensive core aeration service that relieves soil from compaction and promotes natural plant and soil health. This service is often combined with seeding to help fill in and thicken your existing lawn and should be performed in the fall.
To learn more about this service, contact us today!
Dandelions, Creeping Charlie, Crabgrass—these are all common types of broadleaf weeds that grow in our home state. Weeds can sprout up anywhere, and as you may have already guessed from the list above, they can result from other lawn issues.
Common herbicides (i.e., weed killers) you’ll find at the store contain harsh chemicals that will damage your grass and may be harmful if exposed to your skin, family members, or pets. Lucky for you, there are many organic solutions to weed control, including liquid iron and allelopathic grass species, which can be sown into your lawn during the fall.
For a pre-emergent weed control solution, check out our recent article on Corn Gluten Meal for tips and information. And as always, if you have questions about how to organically solve weed growth in your lawn, contact us for help!
Lawn grubs are very common in Minnesota, and they tend to prefer the flat, sunny parts of your yard.
Grubs will often make their home in your soil, feeding on the roots of turf grass. When they mature into adults, they move onto plants and foliage.
Common signs that you may have grubs feeding on your grass, include:
- Brown patches of lawn (you’ll notice this during the fall/spring)
- Increase in moles, skunks, or raccoons
- Loose pieces of grass that lift off the ground like carpet
- Dry, sponge-like grass
Think you might have a grub problem? Check out our article, where we list 4 effective, organic solutions to grub control for helpful tips and ideas.
Hot temperatures combined with high humidity levels provide the perfect breeding ground for fungus to develop on your lawn. You may notice irregular patches of turf that appear dead and range from several inches to a few feet in diameter.
Fungus can appear in different shapes, sizes, and textures, depending on the type of disease or fungi you have.
It’s important to address the issue early on, before it develops and spreads to other areas of your lawn and plants. Typically, lawn disease can be prevented by regular lawn maintenance and care.
Changing the environment of your landscape, such as increasing and decreasing your lawn watering schedule or waiting for environmental conditions to change, for instance, may also help you prevent disease.
Compost tea may be another alternative to prevention. According to the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, compost tea has shown some promise in controlling diseases in plants when applied as root drench—helping against some soil-borne diseases.
Regularly watering and mowing your lawn can help control lawn fungus—just be sure your mower blades are sharp. In addition, make sure your lawn is getting enough air circulation and avoid fertilizing when the temperatures are high.
For more tips and ideas on how to prevent fungus from growing in your lawn, contact our team!
Find More Organic Solutions to Lawn Issues
At Organic Lawns by LUNSETH, we offer both professional and experienced lawn care services to keep your grass in optimal condition.
We’re always here to answer your questions, help you identify any lawn problems, and provide you with the best, most effective solution, so your lawn looks greener and healthier every year.