One of the best things about summer is spending more time outdoors. The warm weather and sunshine brings everyone outside in droves to enjoy their luscious, green lawns. The last thing you want to deal with are yellow spots on the lawn. Unfortunately, the summer heat isn’t always to blame for these discolorations. There are several reasons a green lawn can turn yellow. What is important is to identify the cause of the yellow spots and correct it quickly to return your lawn to its healthy green condition.
Here are 6 common causes for yellow spots on your lawn along with solutions to fix them.
Soil issues are one of the most common causes for yellow turf in your lawn. These issues typically stem from a nitrogen deficiency but can also be related to a lack of other nutrients. These deficiencies can make the turf susceptible to pests and disease.
Soil issues can be corrected by:
- Amending the soil with compost. This helps fix poor drainage and pH levels in the soil.
- Adding fertilizer which replaces the nutrients that are missing.
- Adding nitrogen or iron supplements to regulate these nutrient levels.
There are several seasonal factors that can cause yellowing of your lawn. Cutting your grass too short leaves yellow or brown grass behind. A low mow should only be done on the first cut of the spring. Mower blades should be raised for all subsequent mows during the summer and fall. Iron deficiency is also a seasonal problem that can cause yellow spots. This often happens after a heavy rain causing the turf to grow faster than it can take in nutrients, making the grass turn yellow. Grasses in their off season can also turn yellow. Warm season turf will turn yellow in the fall and winter.
These seasonal issues can be corrected by:
- Avoiding cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blade when mowing.
- Overseeding your lawn with another grass type.
- Waiting until spring when warm season turf returns to its normal green growth season.
Some environmental factors can cause a lawn to turn yellow. Excessive dog urine, spilled gasoline and other chemicals, and a lack of a strong root system because of previous stress can all cause yellowing.
These environmental issues can be resolved by:
- Soaking areas with excessive urine with water or dish soap to help clean the staining substance off the grass.
- Encouraging the dog to use other areas of the lawn.
- Reseeding or resodding your lawn.
During the summer months several factors combine to increase the dryness of your lawn. Summer often brings drought conditions to many areas, leading to increased water rates on utility bills and water restrictions by local governments. This lack of watering can cause turf to dry out significantly. Decreased watering coupled with the excessive heat and full sun exposure can cause extreme stress to your lawn, causing it to turn yellow.
Dryness can be combated with:
- Watering more deeply and more frequently.
While the nitrogen deficiencies we mentioned earlier can cause yellowing of the lawn, too much nitrogen can have the same effect. Too much fertilizer (and subsequently too much nitrogen) can burn the roots of grass and change the pH of the soil. This makes the roots unable to take up water and nutrients they need to grow.
Overfertilizing can be corrected by:
- Always deeply watering in fertilizer when it is applied.
Diseases & Pests
Fungal diseases can also cause yellow turf. Some common fungal diseases include fairy rings, snow mold, fusarium, and smut. Insects can also damage grass causing yellow spots. Adult insects do not typically cause a problem; it is the larvae of the insects that will eat grass roots causing damage.
Diseases and pests can be avoided by:
- Using a fungicide in the spring combined with the healthy lawn care steps below.
- Using an insecticide or larvacide specifically formulated for the particular pest you are dealing with.
Steps To A Healthy Lawn
Once you have identified the source of your yellow lawn and corrected it, take these steps for lawn care that you can use regularly to keep your lawn healthy and green.
- Mow at the correct height for your turf.
- Use sharp blades on your mower and only mow when the grass is dry.
- Use the proper turf for your region and/or climate zone.
- Check the soil for deficiencies and add fertilizer or nutrients to enrich as needed.
- Have the lawn aerated; this loosens the soil to let more nutrients, oxygen, and water reach the root system.
- Thin out the trees so the turf gets plenty of sunlight.
- Rake up any excess grass clippings and fallen leaves.
- Fill in any low areas with dirt or sand; water can accumulate in these areas and cause disease.
- Improve drainage with the help of a professional lawn care company.
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As the temperatures rise, you may catch yourself spending more time outside with friends and family. When you’re enjoying the warmer weather, the last thing you want to worry about is seeing your lawn with brown splotches. Unfortunately, there are certain pests that can cause a great deal of damage by feeding on your grass.
The White Grub is a particular pest that will destroy your lawn. These six-legged insects are small, white, and “C” shaped. A good indicator that you might have these bugs is seeing additional beetles in your yard. When they infest, they will destroy your grass roots, and as a result, it weakens the area infested. If your grass has ever been easy to lift out of the ground, it’s due to the white grub.
Another insect that can damage your lawn is the Sod Webworm or the larvae of Lawn Moths. Sod Webworms live in the roots of your lawn and will eat the grass leaves. A good indication that you have these pests is noticing that brown patches are continuing to grow throughout your yard. To spot sod webworms, you can also look for them at the root level of grass where you’ll be able to see small white tubes made of a silky web. Sod Webworms are about ¼ – ¾ inch long and gray to tan with small dark spots on the body with brown heads.
A third bug you should be aware of is the Billbug. These bugs are known to chew holes into grass blades, deposit eggs inside, and feed off grass. With a long, curved, bill-like snout, billbugs can grow up to ½ inch in length. These bugs look very similar to a white grub; however, white grubs have legs while billbugs do not. After laying their eggs, the larvae will hatch and begin to eat the grass from inside out from the root to the tips. A clear sign that you may have billbugs in your yard is grass that breaks off at the soil line and has lots of powdery sawdust-like excrement.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your yard, it might be time to contact a professional lawn care company who can inspect the damage and provide you with a lawn care plan so that you can enjoy your yard more with this upcoming warmer weather.
As winter comes to an end, we look forward to warmer, sunny weather! You might start to catch yourself outside more often, relaxing on your lawn with family. But before we can completely relax, your yard could still be recovering from the winter weather and may need some spring lawn care. Here are some quick tips on what you can do to ensure a healthy lawn throughout the Spring and Summer seasons.
Leaves, debris, spare logs, and even lawn furniture can cause your grass to suffocate and create matted patches. If left out, these items lead to disease and even invite pests into your yard. Also consider cleaning up silt, fine sand or clay, which can be left behind on your lawn after a flood or heavy rains. You can remove silt and debris by either raking it or washing it with a hose.
OBSERVE THE SOIL
Take a good hard look around your yard. Do you see the presence of moss or algae? This could be from water moisture from heavy rains, flooding, and/or compacted soil. You can rake away the moss and algae, but you will most likely need professional treatment to further help. A professional can perform lawn aeration to help your lawn grass grow by improving soil drainage.
FEED THE GRASS
You may also see bare, yellow patches on your lawn. These could be due to several factors: heavy traffic, nutrient deficiencies, lawn pests, neglect, or more. To get your grass back to that beautiful vibrant green color, consider fertilization. Fertilization can help replenish nutrients and start recovering healthy roots.
Overwhelmed with all the steps necessary to get your lawn ready for Spring? Contact your local lawn care company to provide you with a lawn care analysis.
The weather during the winter season can be harsh and unpredictable, exposing your lawn to extreme conditions. In most parts of the country, lawn grass goes dormant in the winter. While your lawn may not require quite as much work during these colder months, it shouldn’t be ignored completely. A good winter lawn care plan can help ensure your grass is lush and green come spring. Check out these winter lawn care steps to make sure your lawn is healthy this spring.
1. Plan Ahead
Preparation is key to maintaining a healthy lawn not only in winter, but year-round. Have your winter lawn care plan in place early so that you can keep an eye on the weather forecast and have enough time to put your plan into action before the first frost hits.
In the south, cool season grass is often used to overseed lawns to ensure green grass throughout the winter months. Sprinkle cool season seed over your lawn using a spreader, making sure to apply evenly to avoid clumps later. Drag a rake over your lawn to break up any clumps of soil and to help cover the seeds and then water with a garden hose. Afterwards, make sure to keep your soil moist and don’t let it dry out.
Just before the first frost is the best time for lawn aeration. This gives the turf time to breathe before the grass goes dormant. This also helps to relieve any compaction that may have built up during the spring and summer months. For small yards you can use a spade to take out spikes of soil to make holes. For larger yards you can use a manual or motorized aerator.
The best time to fertilize your yard is right after you aerate it. This allows the grass to receive the vital nutrients it needs to get ready for winter. The grass roots then absorb and store these nutrients during the winter months. When spring rolls around, these stored nutrients are used to kick start growth. Fertilizer can be applied with the same spreader you use for overseeding. Make sure to only apply the recommended amount as too much fertilizer can burn your grass. After fertilizing, water the lawn lightly to wash the fertilizer off the grass blades and onto the soil.
5. Clean and Store
Leaves can often pile up during the fall but this can be detrimental to the health of your lawn. An overabundance of leaves can cause the lawn to suffocate before winter dormancy sets in. The leaves can also become too wet, leading to disease of the grass. If the leaves aren’t too thick or wet, they can be mulched with a mower to recycle their nutrients back into the soil. If the leaves are thick, wet, or matted, rake them up and remove them promptly. Also make sure to remove any lawn furniture, debris, toys, or spare logs from your yard as these can smother the grass, lead to disease, or even invite pests into your yard.
6. Avoid Lawn Traffic
When the grass is covered with frost or has gone dormant for the year, try to avoid walking too much on the lawn. Grass can become weak if the same path is walked over too many times. Consider installing pavers or walkways that can be used to traverse the lawn instead of walking directly on the grass.
Preparing your lawn for winter can be tedious and time consuming. If the idea of doing all this preparation seems daunting, contact a professional lawn care company who can provide you with a free lawn care analysis and set you up with a comprehensive lawn care plan to ensure your yard stays lush and green through every season of the year.
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The landscaping and the fresh coat of paint are often the first impression for a person buying a new construction home, and the green, lush lawn truly completes the exterior package. Getting the new sod to its healthiest point can take a lot of time, patience, and maintenance. With the Northwest Lawn Care program, our trained teammates look after the care and potential of the new lawn to get it to look and feel its best.
Here is our Lawn Care program, broken down by season, which helps your new homeowner’s lawn be the one of their dreams.
During the winter months, maintaining the lawn can make the difference in starting the Spring and Summer out properly. We will apply products to fertilize and manage the growth of weeds and root development during the winter months to create a good foundation for the rest of the year.
SPRING & SUMMER
Each lawn is unique. Our lawn care experts are able to analyze each lawn to determine what it needs at the right time of its growth. During the Spring and Summer months, as it warms up, the team will apply a pre and post emergent weed control and high-potassium fertilizer. The pre and post emergent weed controls allow us to tackle weeds before or after they take root, while the fertilizers focus is turf growth.
We apply a lime treatment for the lawn before the winter months. This treatment helps the lawn’s overall growth in the next year and is essential for regulating the PH levels in soil. During each step of our program, we’ll communicate with the homeowner about their best watering and mowing schedule to ensure proper growth and lawn health!
The overall 8-Step Lawn Program allows our team to help properly grow a green, talk-of-the-neighborhood type lawn. Due to the unestablished sod placed during new construction, patience and care from a professional team will help create a successful new lawn. For a new homeowner, they can see the difference after the first year compared to their neighbors.
If you’ve been considering what premiums to offer a new homeowner, Lawn Care could be what your new construction package is missing. Find out more information on our lawn care options, including aeration and fire ant control, here.
We’re deep in the “dog days of summer,” the hottest time of the year. With high temperatures and dry weather, your lawn and plants can start to suffer. Follow these summer lawn care tips to ensure your lawn continues to thrive before falls comes knocking on the door.
Proper Water Techniques
Try to water your lawn early in the morning, preferably between 5 AM and 9 AM. The sun is not yet at its highest point so your lawn will have time to absorb the water. As the sun rises, it will dry the blades of grass.
Prepare for Fall Seeding
Take the time to remove any weeds in your yard. This step will alleviate some of the extra work once fall weather rolls in.
Aerate Your Lawn
Aeration is key to a healthy lawn. It helps cut down on thatch (the brown straw-like organic material that you find around the base of grass), encourages the processes of water, oxygen, and nutrients transferring into the soil, and assists with healthy root growth.
Take Advantage of Heavy Rainfall
August falls in the middle of hurricane season. Take advantage of the heavy rains/storms predicted for your area and fertilize your lawn.
During these days of high heat, it is important not to worry. Brown or yellow spots on your lawn during this time of year are going to happen. What is key is the communication between you and your licensed lawn care company. If you have concerns regarding the health of your lawn, relay them to your lawn care professional. They can look at your lawn maintenance schedule and work with you to set up a lawn care service that addresses your concerns and ensures your lawn is healthy year-round.