What stresses you out? Is it deadlines or not being prepared for a meeting? Just as people get stressed out, so do lawns. A number of things cause this. They include:
· Too much pesticide
· Too much or too little fertilizer
· Too much or too little water
· Gasoline spills
· Dog urine
· Foot traffic
· Mowing too close
· Using a dull blade when mowing
· Compacted soil
· Hot and cold temperature extremes
· Nutrient deficiencies
· Damping off
Of course, just like in the case of humans, your lawn has to survive stress as part of a routine to assure greater health for the long run. For example, grass is just going to have to tolerate cutting, the family dog is going to piss on the lawn, family members will walk on the lawn, hot and cold extremes in the weather will occur depending on what region of the country you live in.
As the owner of the lawn, it is up to you or someone you assign to help make it through these stressful moments.
So, perform your due diligence when measuring out the amount of fertilizer and pesticides you use and quickly fix the problems that result from the dog pee, foot traffic, etc.
For example, if too much pesticide, fertilizer or gasoline spills on the lawn, rake up the excess, flood the area with water to dilute, remove spills with an absorbent product and dispose of the liquid and absorbent properly.
If Rover urinates, flush the area with water as soon as possible.
If the kids play football or soccer on the lawn, then aerate to relieve the soil compaction and reseed and get the kids to play their games at a neighborhood park.
No matter what, the grass will suffer stress when mowed. So raise the mower blade and cut the grass at a proper height for the variety of turf in use. In addition, level out high spots in the lawn.
When you mow the lawn, be sure that the blade is properly sharp to avoid ragged cuts and discolorations.
No one is perfect, so offering too much or too little water to the lawn is going to happen. Try to stay on a schedule and water only when needed to avoid over watering. Water the lawn early in the day so excess water will evaporate from the grass blades.
Do what you can to protect your lawn and plants from extreme hot or cold. Be prepared and keep an eye out for weather reports that predict extreme conditions.
Nutrient deficiency is something that can be prevented with the proper and timely use of fertilizer. Have your soil tested to determine if it is deficient of nitrogen, iron, or other nutrients, then use fertilizer with the proper balance of nutrients on your lawn so that the soil can rejuvenate.
If the lawn is lacking in nitrogen, it changes from a light green to yellow and growth is impaired. Proper fertilizing and leaving grass clippings on the lawn after mowing will help.
A lawn that is suffering from an iron deficiency will probably have areas adjacent to concrete turning yellow. That’s because of the large amount of alkaline in the concrete that tends to leach the iron in the soil. In addition, lawns in Midwestern and western states may have a large amount of alkaline, which can cause the problem. Add an iron supplement to the soil to replenish the iron.
Damping off is a fungal condition that occurs in newly seeded areas. It happens when seeds are sown to densely and then are given too much fertilizer and water. The crowded seedlings collapse and die. Rake away the damaged seedlings and reseed the area carefully so the problem will not occur again.
Then there are the insects. Those little pests can sometimes cause havoc with your lawn. Signs that they are present are holes in the leaves and chewed-off spots. If the turf can easily be pulled up, then grubs could be the issue. Other insects that can damage your lawn include billbugs, chinch bugs, nematodes, mole crickets, mites, leaf-hoppers and assorted larvae.