How to Fix Common Lawn Problems

Here in central Florida, we have the perfect climate to grow a lush, thriving lawn almost all year. However, just because the weather is nice doesn’t mean that Florida lawns don’t have their problems. We’re no strangers to a variety of lawn issues that, if left untreated, can destroy your entire lot of grass. 

Common Lawn Problems

Just a few of the lawn problems we frequently see here in Florida include:

  • Crabgrass
  • Dandelions
  • Lack of Oxygen
  • Bare Spots
  • Discolorations (usually rust, brown, or yellow-colored)
  • Pests

Solutions

So how do you fix these common lawn issues? It all comes down to finding the underlying source of the problem. 

Crabgrass and Dandelions

For crabgrass and dandelions, the main contributor to their spread is a natural process that you won’t be able to stop unless you fully enclose your entire lawn and stop even air particles from entering from outside your perimeter. Sounds kind of ridiculous, right?

The better solution is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide made specifically for crabgrass, dandelions, or whatever weed is invading your lawn. Be careful to time the application just right for maximum effectiveness. If you missed the open window for pre-emergent herbicides, you can also apply post-emergent herbicides to new, young sprouts. However, post-emergent herbicides won’t work on older, established weeds. For those, you’ll have to just grin and bear it until they die off in the winter. Next spring, be sure not to miss the window when you can hit them with the pre-emergent herbicide again. 

Resist the urge to pull up invasive weeds, and this just encourages their seeds to spread. If post-emergent herbicides can’t kill them, wait for the first frost to take them out.

Lack of Oxygen

It might sound a little weird to say your lawn isn’t getting enough air… I mean, it’s outside, right? The problem is that the air isn’t always able to penetrate into the underlying layers of soil, depriving the lawn roots of vital nutrients. This will cause the grass above to start withering, browning, and eventually dying. Too much compaction is the most common reason for oxygen-poor soil, so walkways and areas where vehicles drive over are particularly susceptible.

Once you’ve identified lack of oxygen as the reason your lawn isn’t looking so good, it’s an easy fix. Simply purchase a lawn aerator and roll over your entire yard. The aerator will remove small plugs of grass and soil from your lawn, reducing compaction and letting in more air. While you may be tempted to just poke a bunch of holes in your lawn with a pitchfork, this doesn’t accomplish the same results, and you may end up damaging your lawn further.

Bare Spots

Bare or dead spots in your lawn can have several causes, but one of the most common is pet urine. While it is appropriate for pets to urinate outside, you’ll need to restrict them to one certain area if you don’t want to deal with a sporadic pattern of small dead spots everywhere.

Other causes of bare spots can be fungus or disease. Some common culprits here in Florida include Brown Patch fungus (also known as Large Patch fungus) and Dollar Spot fungus. These fungi leave telltale patterns of spots in the grass and must be remedied using the appropriate fungicide and aftercare plan. Consult with a professional lawn care company if you suspect a disease in your lawn.

Discolorations

Discoloration on your lawn is almost always a sign of disease. Whether it’s brown, yellow, or rust-colored, you’ll need to consult with a lawn care professional to determine the best course of action. Be sure to act fast, as lawn disease can spread quickly and necessitate replacing every inch of your grass. Take All Root Rot are common underlying causes.

Pests

Finally, pests are the last common Florida lawn problem we will discuss. Pest is a broad category that can cover anything from tiny grub worms to ravenous moles. The way pest infestations manifest on your lawn will depend on exactly what you’re dealing with. Grub worms will cause your grass to yellow and turn brown early in the fall. You may also notice larger animals digging in your lawn to get to these little treats. On the other hand, moles will cause raised rows to appear all over your lawn, but especially around areas where vegetation grows, such as gardens. Pest infestations can get out of control quickly, so consult with a pest control professional to determine the best plan of action.

Start With Healthy Sod to Avoid Common Lawn Problems

The truth is clear – a healthy lawn is a trouble-free lawn. When your lawn starts being taken over by disease, fungi, pests, or even human activity, you’ll see the effects of its diminished looks. Give your lawn the best chance possible by starting out with the healthiest, freshest sod in Tampa Bay. At Council Growers Sod, our sod is grown locally, right here in southern Hillsborough County. We deliver your chosen sod variety directly from our farm to your door, eliminating the chance that it will sit in a warehouse or store drying out before it is laid in your yard. To find out more, call us at (813) 633-8665 or order your sod online.