Here in New England, maintaining a perfect lawn can be a real challenge. Trees, mountains, rocky terrain, and erratic weather can put a lot of undue stress on grass. In many cases, it can leave big patches and unsightly gaps in our lawn. And it’s not just natural causes that result in these big, bad brown blotches – sometimes it’s the things that we always have to worry about – people, pets, and the like. Regardless of where they come from, we want to get rid of them – and today, that’s what we’re going to talk through. Here are some common causes of brown spots and what you can do to try and correct them.
Getting Rid of Thatch Spots in Your Lawn
If your grass feels soft and spongy, you probably have an excess of thatch buildup. Thatch is basically a mat of dead grass that settles between the grass and the ground. When there’s too much of it, it tends to trap heat and burn grass. Thus, you’ll notice portions of your lawn that looks like it’s dead. It’s because it’s basically being baked.
The good news is that there are two basic remedies you can follow.
- The first solution is getting an aerator to aerate your lawn. This will help moisture get into the soil, allows oxygen to flow through the ground and encourages healthier microbe growth in your lawn.
- The second thing you can do is rake. A lot of the thatch is simply dead grass and should come right out. And believe it or not, it’s not terribly time-consuming. Thatch detaches easily and makes for even easier disposal.
Preventing Thatch From Happening Again
Once you have gotten rid of thatch build up, there are a couple of things you can do to prevent an issue in the future. These include:
- Remove grass clippings after mowing
- Deep watering, but not over watering
- Don't overuse fertilizer
Getting Rid of Shade Spots in Your Lawn
Shaded grass tends to look both thin and patchy. In some areas, the blades may be thicker but are more spread out. Regardless of which kind of blight you’re experiencing – none of it looks good and you want to do something about it. Sadly for shade – there aren’t many great remedies. The biggest issue is simply sunlight. If an area doesn’t get 8-9 hours of sunlight a day, it’s unlikely to sustain lush, thick coats of grass. So in a way, you’ll have to cheat a bit.
That ‘cheating’ usually means laying down sod which will blend in with the earth and eventually will adapt to it’s shadier surroundings. The other way is to mulch in certain shaded areas. This will help the ground maintain its moisture better and will help less powerful plant life sustain itself and not wash out in heavy rains. Either way – you should be able to spruce up the appearance considerably.
How to Deal with Dull Spots From Pets
We love our pets, but for anyone who’s ever owned a dog before – they love going to the bathroom in the same spot. And when they do that, they kill the grass. The result is a big, ole’ brown patch amidst a sea of green that no one wants to look at.
The irritating thing about dog spots is that you need to more or less start from scratch as the grass won’t come back on it’s own. What you’ll need to do is not only remove the grass and replant, but you’re going to have to make sure that the caustic urine is removed from the soil. You can usually do this by repeatedly soaking the area with a lot of water. Simply add some topsoil in to help absorb the remaining urine – and you should be all ready to replant again. While the grass is growing, be sure to simply dampen the area until it’s about 3 inches high. Don’t go for the super-aggressive soak – that’ll usually kill off the grass seed.
Once that’s done, just give your lawn some patience. In about 4-6 weeks your grass should be back in business. Keeping up on your lawn takes diligence, so be sure to cover your basics beforehand so that you don’t deal with problems down the road.
Professional Lawn Care in New England
Here in the New England area, we know that your lawn is an important commodity to keep looking vibrant all year long. With the harsh weather, this can be hard to accomplish. Our expert technicians at Seacoast Turf Care can help with services like aeration and seeding, soil amendments, fertilization, grub control, and more! Dealing with bald spots throughout your grass can be a big annoyance, especially if you have treated it but see no difference. To learn more about how you can get out in front of brown spots before they cause problems, give us a call at 603-292-3217 today!