Having a lawn of healthy grass not only looks great, it can help to increase your home's property value. If you live in an area with a temperate climate but are having trouble keeping the grass on your property free of unsightly brown patches and other problems, you need uncover the source of your lawn issues. The following guide can help you detect grass problems and outlines the steps to cultivating and maintaining a healthy lawn.
Common Grass Issues
By the time you notice that your grass is not growing, the damage to your lawn may be irreversible and require a major landscaping overhaul. Discolored patches, heavily thatched areas, rampant weeds and patches of dirt are all signs of severe damage.
These problems can result from a myriad of conditions including:
- Not enough nutrients in the soil, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, that stimulate growth
- Harmful insects and diseases
- Mowing the grass too short
- Overwatering or lack of water
If you mow your grass too short, you impede blade growth, risk exposing plant roots to pests and leave open spaces where weeds can take hold. In addition, the grass will take longer to grow.
If you water your grass too much, you will actually cause plant roots to be more vulnerable to diseases and impede their ability to intake oxygen and nutrients because the soil is waterlogged.
The Right Sod for Your Climate
When the majority of your lawn is covered in dead grass and you are at your wit's end for ways to jump start growth, it is time consider installing sod.
When you start researching the best type of sod to put in your yard, you may be confused by all the different types of grass species available. However, when you live in a moderate climate with mild winters, you can narrow your search to varieties of St. Augustine grass. This turf grass is widely used by landscapers as an all-purpose sod that adapts well to different microclimates, grows fast, uses water efficiently and is resistant to numerous pests.
Many sod suppliers provide online ordering of turf grass. Simply provide the supplier with the square footage of your yard to find out how much sod you should purchase. Be aware that, depending on where you live and weather conditions, sod may not be available during certain times of the year.
Preparing Your Lawn for Sod Installation
Before you hire someone to install the sod, you need to prepare your lawn for the new turf.
- Kill any remaining grass and weeds with an eco-friendly herbicide.
- Remove rocks and debris.
- Treat your soil with organic matter such as compost to make sure that it is healthy and drains well.
- Work the soil to make sure that it is evenly graded and does not have any bumpy or sloped spots.
- Install a sprinkler system to make sure that the lawn will be irrigated evenly.
Maintenance of New Sod
Once the St. Augustine grass sod is installed in your yard, you still have work to do in order to prevent damage and encourage long-term growth. Water your grass every three to six days depending on how fast the turf dries. You can ease up on the watering during rainy periods.
When you mow your lawn, do not clean up grass clippings. The clippings will decompose into organic matter that will provide nutrients to grass roots. Mow your lawn at least every two weeks to help prevent weed growth and pest infestations.
If you decide to add fertilizer on your grass, play close attention to the directions on fertilizer packaging. Excess fertilizer will cause chlorosis, a condition that leads to pale green and yellow grass. Too much fertilizer can also cause fertilizer burn. The grass will start to dry out, turn brown or yellow and eventually die.
For more information about planting a sod lawn and growing St. Augustine grass, visit websites like https://californiasodcenter.com/.