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Here’s How You Can Fix These 9 Pesky, Common Lawn Problems

Improve your grass when it comes to weeds, bare patches, mushrooms, seasonal swamp, and more.


 If grass won’t grow under a tree

Solution: In northern climates, consider planting shade-tolerant fine fescues. In the South, try tall fescue. These common mistakes are making your yard look messy.


If grass won’t grow on a slope

Solution: If the slope is hot and dry, more regular, deep watering might help. If you can’t get grass established, try laying sod or having a professional “hydroseed”—plant seeds encapsulated in a special material to keep them from drying out. Here are 13 things your landscaper won’t tell you.


If your lawn is overrun with weeds

Solution: Apply herbicide in spring and fall. Do both because each application kills different weeds. If the problem is severe and doesn’t respond in one or two years, you may have to kill the lawn with a non-selective herbicide and then replant. Here’s what you should know about the safety of using lawn fertilizer.


If your lawn has bare patches

Solution: Try reseeding these areas. In spring or early fall, scratch the bare patch with a ground rake and sprinkle with lawn seed. Mark off the area with stakes and strings, and water gently. Keep the area moist for the next few weeks, watering daily if necessary. If high traffic is the problem, consider creating a path or patio surface. Here are some easy tips to creating a lovely yard.


If your lawn has brown spots or weblike threads

Solution: Fusarium patch makes 2 to 12-inch-wide brown spots or weblike threads in thatch and grass in early spring. Minimize shade and fertilization; improve drainage; apply fungicide in early fall. Think your patio needs a makeover? Here are some easy tips to get your patio summer-ready. 


If your lawn is dotted with bleached or gray spots

Solution: Dollar spot causes numerous such spots to appear. Spots may merge to make larger, straw-colored areas, while cobweb-like growths may appear with morning dew. Fertilize; apply fungicide.


If your lawn is dotted with small orange pustules on blades

Solution: Rust is the cause of these orange, smudgy spots. Fertilize grass and keep well watered. Mow frequently and remove clippings. Apply fungicide if condition persists.


If your lawn has green circular patches that die off

Solution: The patches are called fairy rings, which sometimes feature mushrooms as well. Aerate the lawn; apply fertilizer. Keep the lawn wet for three to five days.


If your lawn develops large patches of brown grass in late summer

Solution: Dig up some of the brown areas and look underneath for small grubs, the likely cause. Apply Diazinon, isofenphos, or chlorpyrifos. Apply just after eggs are laid; check with a reliable nursery or local Cooperative Extension Service for the correct time to do this.

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