Man’s Best Friend – and Other Lawn Blunders
As we get back into the swing of things and our lawns start to green up, those pesky lawn problems we almost forgot about completely will begin, once again, to resurface. So let’s talk about them!
Problem 1: Dog Pee Spots
Believe it or not, your dog is actually fertilizing your lawn. This kind of fertilizing is the equivalent to you dropping a whole handful of fertilizer pellets in a pile and leaving it. Just too much nitrogen all at once and the results are the same: yellow grass that will eventually be burned out.
A few options are available for you. While here is no grass out there that can withstand this type of chemical burning, you can help to dilute the nitrogen by applying a good amount of water to the area right after he/she has done the deed. You can also see your vet to ask about diet changes that may help to alter the nitrogen concentration in their bodies.
Problem 2: Patchy Lawns
If your lawn came up a little more patchy than you remember it before the snow fell, this is a good time to overseed. Lightly rake the bald spot, put down a good quality triple mix or lawn soil, and apply the seed. Water well (deeply to encourage downward root growth). Remember to overseed again in the fall to take advantage of those cool nights, morning dews, and cool fall rains.
Problem 3: Ugh, the Skunks!
Skunks are a real nuisance when it comes to your lawn but only if it has something they want. Grubs live in the top few inches of the soil and are the larvae of Junebugs, European chaffers, and the dreaded Japanese beetle. If you don’t have skunks coming to rip up your lawn for a tasty meal, you will likely notice browning or yellowing patches. These patches can look similar to dog spots (or overfertilization), or a number of fungus related problems.
Problem 4: Fungus
There are number of fungi that can accumulate in a lawn and the best way to identify them is to take a photograph to your local garden centre and ask. Of course, a quick Internet search nowadays can often lead to a culprit. As you use your detective skills, take note of the size of the problem area, the various colours present, and the general shape (some problems like dollar summer patch are easily detected by their ring shape).
Above all, take some time to enjoy the nice weather now that it’s here. Whether your idea of fun is lawn maintenance or laying in a hammock, take the time to do a little of both this weekend.