Since your lawn and landscape is one of the first things people notice, it is important to maintain a green, healthy lawn. However, many common problems can cause grass to wither, creating discoloration and patchiness. While it can sometimes be difficult to identify the source of your discolored grass, you can get back on track with the help of a lawn care service professional like Rivers Lawn and Landscape. Luckily, most causes of discolored grass are a fairly easy fix with the proper intervention.
What causes grass to fade?
Many homeowners experience fading grass without knowing the cause. Many blame it on the weather or their failure to water their lawn, so they either ignore it or attempt to gain control by watering their lawn. However, what most homeowners don’t know is that fading grass can be caused by a number of different factors:
- Improper watering
- Improper mowing
While these issues may cause damage and destruction to your lawn, the good news is that all of these are within your control. Proper intervention and planning with a lawn care service professional can have your lawn back to medium or dark green soon.
Improper watering is one of the biggest causes of discolored grass.
Effects of Underwatering Your Lawn
We all know that all living things need water to survive. Grass needs water to carry out the process of photosynthesis, or making its own food. If your grass does not undergo photosynthesis, it cannot grow and thrive. For this reason, an adequate water supply is absolutely essential for your grass’ growth.
Effects of Overwatering Your Lawn
Many homeowners are afraid of underwatering their grass. As a result, they water their grass too often, and this eventually begins to wreak havoc on their grass. Overwatering a plant can be just as harmful as underwatering a plant. First, it can lead to drowning the grass’ roots. We talked previously about how all plants need water to survive, and plants need oxygen to survive, as well. When you overwater your lawn, you saturate the roots and make it impossible for them to get oxygen. As a result, your grass may wither and die.
How much should I water my lawn?
Now that you’ve learned the effects of not giving your lawn the right amount of water, let’s talk about just how much you should water your lawn. You need to ensure you are providing your grass with enough water, but you also do not want to water too often. Clemson University suggests that rather than watering your grass every single day, give your grass a thorough soak 2 to 3 times per week. Rainfall can count as your watering, too. Avoid manually watering your lawn on rainy days, as doing so can encourage over-saturation. Properly watering your lawn will encourage deep root growth, leading to the grass soaking up more nutrients from the soil and better growth.
When should I water my lawn?
Just as there is an optimal amount of water to promote grass growth, there is also an optimal time of day to water your grass. The best time to water your lawn is in the morning for two reasons. First, watering in the morning will give your grass the hydration it needs to carry out photosynthesis while it has sunlight during the day. Second, watering your lawn in the morning allows plenty of time for the grass to dry before dusk, preventing disease. Water sitting on leaves for long periods of time is one of the leading causes of plant disease. Watering your lawn in the morning will decrease the likelihood of this happening, and therefore it will decrease the likelihood of having discolored grass.
What is the best way to water my lawn?
When watering your grass, you not only want to ensure you are giving it the correct amount of water at the proper time, you also want to make sure you are watering it in the proper way.
- Before watering, empty your hose. When your hose sits out in the hot sun, the water inside can reach scorching temperatures. Using hot water on your grass can cause it to die.
- Give your grass a generous, even coat. If you leave out sections of grass, they may end up discolored due to lack of water.
- Avoid letting the water puddle in your lawn. If runoff causes quick puddling, wait several minutes to let the water soak in before continuing to water.
After reading about how to properly water your lawn, you may be slightly stressed about keeping up with a watering schedule and ensuring your lawn gets the hydration it needs. However, installing an irrigation system can take that weight off your shoulders. Irrigation systems provide scheduled watering that is tailored to suit your lawn’s needs. Experts at Clemson University explain irrigation as being the maintenance of an equilibrium. This equilibrium ensures that your lawn is never over- or underwatered. While irrigation can greatly benefit your lawn, using it improperly can damage your grass. Read the following tips below to learn how to properly use an irrigation system.
Choosing the Right Sprinklers
Make sure your sprinkler’s coverage area is the right size for your lawn. If the coverage area is too small, it may neglect the outer edges of your lawn. As a result, the grass at the edges of your lawn could die due to inadequate hydration. On the other hand, if your sprinkler’s coverage area is too large, it could end up spraying water on your house, patio, or street. This will result in wasted water and a higher water bill.
Only Use Sprinklers When Necessary
Sprinker systems are designed to water your lawn so you don’t even have to think about it. While this makes lawn care convenient, it can also be dangerous for your lawn on certain occasions. If you know there is rain in the forecast, be sure to turn your sprinklers off to avoid overwatering your lawn.
If you feel that a sprinkler irrigation system would benefit your lawn, the professionals at Rivers Lawn and Landscape can provide you with a free estimate.
Along with improper watering, improper mowing is one of the leading causes of lawn discoloration. Common errors in mowing can cause damage to your grass. Luckily, this can easily be avoided through proper mowing practices.
Keep Lawnmower Blades Sharp
Lawnmower blades gradually grow duller over time. As your blades grow dull, they mow your grass less efficiently. Rather than cutting the grass, the dull blades will tear the grass. This causes your grass to turn brown at the tips. However, maintaining sharp lawnmower blades will prevent this issue. Experts recommend that you sharpen your lawnmower blades after every 20 to 25 hours of use. If you are unsure how to safely sharpen your lawnmower blades, refer to Home Depot’s easy-to-follow guide.
Avoid Cutting Grass Too Short
Whether you or a lawn care professional is mowing your lawn, it is vital that your grass is cut to an appropriate length. We know that you want to mow as infrequently as possible, but cutting your grass too short could cause it to dry out. After it dries out, it will have the patchy, discolored appearance you are trying to avoid. The general rule of thumb is to cut no more than 1/3 of the grass blade. If you’d rather leave routine mowing up to the experts to ensure a proper grass length, we’d be glad to help.
How often should I mow?
Your frequency of mowing will vary based on two factors: the type of grass you have and your desired grass height. During the growing season, you should be safe mowing your lawn about once a week. Each time you mow, make sure not to cut more than 1/3 of the blades’ height.
All plants require certain nutrients to grow. These nutrients either come from the air or from the soil. According to Clemson University’s article on Fertilizing Lawns, many of these required nutrients are essential elements. Sometimes, your grass can have difficulty obtaining optimal amounts of nutrients from the air and soil. Fertilizer will work to provide your grass with the elements it needs for maximal growth. This will help you work towards the greenest lawn possible. Since choosing and applying a fertilizer can sometimes be overwhelming, you may benefit from contacting a lawn care specialist.
Pest infestation is another common reason why your grass may be discolored. According to the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management Program, overwatering can lead to disease. Since overwatering causes water to sit on the leaves for long periods of time, this water can harbor bacteria and fungi that may grow and wreak havoc on your grass. If you believe your grass is at risk of developing a disease, you should contact a trusted lawn pest control professional.
Everywhere in nature, living things compete with other organisms for nutrients, food, sunlight, and water. Sometimes this competition can be beneficial, and sometimes it can cause plants to die. Weeds in your lawn compete with your grass for the resources they need to survive. As a result, the weeds sometimes overpower the grass and deplete it of nutrients. This causes the grass to wither and die. To avoid this, make sure to effectively weed your lawn at the beginning of each growing season.
Although your lawn is a place to spend quality time with family and friends, all of the foot, pet, and vehicle traffic can have damaging effects on your grass. There are several steps you can take to alleviate this damage:
- Rotate areas of high traffic. Park your car in a different spot or have the kids play soccer in a different area of the lawn.
- Make sure to fertilize.
- Reduce traffic in wet areas. It is a lot easier to damage wet grass.
Maintaining a Green Lawn Long-Term
Maintaining a green lawn takes dedication and time, but your efforts will pay off when you see your beautiful, lively grass. By watering, mowing, and fertilizing properly, and avoiding pests, weeds, and traffic, you will be on the right track to having a healthy lawn. If you need help developing a plan to promote your lawn’s health, or if you would like to leave routine lawn care up to the experts, contact us at Rivers Lawn and Landscape for a free estimate. We can ensure you receive the mowing, irrigation, fertilization, and pest control you need for a healthy, beautiful lawn.