For many homeowners, the garden is their crowning glory. Naturally, a lawn is a significant part of many gardens, with some people spending hours every weekend mowing pristine stripes any cricket ground would be proud of. Unfortunately, whilst a well-kept lawn is the perfect accompaniment to manicured borders, it’s not that easy to achieve. There is any number of things that can go wrong with a lawn, and in this article, we are going to look at the most common lawn-related problems.
Look outside. What do you see? Is your lawn a mass of moss or ivy? Does a lake appear each time it rains? If the answer to these questions is a resounding “yes!”, your problem is poor drainage. Drainage problems are often the result of a heavy clay-based soil, but the pitch of the lawn may also be contributing to your woes.
If drainage is really bad, consider installing a subsurface drainage system using perforated piping. Another solution would be to use some kind of scarifier, to remove layers of moss and cut grass to allow water to sink into the soil. The VonHaus scarifier for example, is ideal when trying to remove moss and other debris from the lawn surface, as it also has an aerator feature, which pokes holes into the lawn for more efficient drainage.
Impacted soil is a common issue in many family gardens. Every time you trample over your garden, you are compacting the soil. Grass tends not to grow very well in high-traffic areas, so you end up with bald patches, weeds, and a host of other problems.
A compacted lawn needs to be aerated. You can do this using a machine with hollow tines – a good idea if your lawn is huge – or you can aerate it manually using a garden fork. Go over the lawn and poke holes through the surface to let air and moisture in. The lawn will look unattractive for a while, but in time it will be vastly improved.
Many species of grass struggle in areas of deep shade, for example, beneath a large tree. Moss takes over and grass grows thin and wispy as the light diminishes. A VonHaus scarifier will rake up the moss, but you should consider reseeding problem areas with a seed blend that is shade tolerant. Also, prune back the tree or trees to let more light in.
We love our pets, but they can cause tremendous damage to a lawn. Dogs pee on the grass, which kills it. You end up with unsightly bald patches surrounded by little circles of bright greenery. Nitrates and ammonia in dog’s urine kill the grass. There isn’t much you can do to prevent urine patches other than rehoming your dog, which isn’t an option if you love your pooch!
To mitigate the damage, pour water on the spot when your dog pees, as this will dilute the urea and nitrates. If possible, encourage your dog to pee somewhere other than the lawn. If you do end up with dead spots, repair the damage with grass seed.
Keep your lawn happy and healthy with a regular dose of weed and feed.