So why do so many people still have lawn problems—and how do you get rid of them? Even if your lawn already makes the neighbors green with envy, you're likely to face a few of those common lawn problems. Knowing how to handle them can mean the difference between working on your lawn and simply enjoying it. The best way to keep your lawn looking great year after year is to fertilize, water, and mow it properly. While you'll find a plethora of chemical herbicides and pesticides, the healthiest lawns resist weeds and pests without them.
Sign In. Subscribe Already registered? The remedy Trapping a mole is the only way to be sure you're rid of it. Rugby League. Join nard discussion. It's best to wait until the lawn needs water, say the experts. Cancel Delete comment. Striking the balance of care needed for a successful lawn takes a bit of Grassone hard and some practice. Once you've spotted an Grassone hard tunnel, Adult friends in kansas need to depress the ridge of soil and set the trap over it; the mole will Grasosne the trap as it moves through the tunnel. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later?
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So why do so many people still have lawn problems—and how do you get rid of them? Even if your lawn already makes the neighbors green with envy, you're likely to face a few of those common lawn problems. Knowing how to handle them can mean the difference between working on your lawn and simply enjoying it.
The best way to keep your lawn looking great year after year is to fertilize, water, and mow it properly. While you'll find a plethora of chemical herbicides and pesticides, the healthiest lawns resist weeds and pests without them.
An online survey of our readers conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center revealed what worked—and didn't work—for them and their lawn services. Vigorous, adaptable, and fast-growing, crabgrass thrives best in lawns that are underfertilized and mowed too low. Controlling it isn't hard, but timing is crucial; many homeowners apply pre-emergence herbicides in late spring or summer, when it's too late for them to do any good.
Instead, apply corn gluten meal, a natural option, in the early spring. It helps prevent crabgrass and fertilizes. Your local cooperative extension or nursery can tell you the best time. Then keep crabgrass at bay by feeding the desirable grasses with ample water and fertilizer—and by mowing high. Products with dithiopyr, prodiamine, or pendimethalin are typical chemical alternatives.
If you do use these, as with all herbicides and pesticides, be sure to wear rubber gloves, eye protection, long pants, closed shoes, and a long-sleeved shirt. And follow the directions precisely.
This perennial weed tends to thrive in thin lawns with too little fertilizer. Dandelions develop a long and thick taproot, so pulling out just the flower isn't enough. You must remove or kill the entire root, or the plant will resprout. And you should do so before the flowers mature and spread their seeds. Use a specialized, fork-like tool to pull plants and taproots out by hand. If you decide to use those broadleaf herbicides, apply them in fall, not spring. Use granular products on wet grass, liquids on dry but not droughty grass.
Dallisgrass, nimblewill, quackgrass, and tall fescue develop into unsightly patches and clumps. They're likeliest to invade areas that are drier, wetter, shadier, or otherwise different from the rest of the lawn. There is no selective herbicide or other shortcut for those weeds. While glyphosate and glufosinate-ammonium are effective chemical remedies, the EPA considers glyphosate moderately toxic.
Experts agree: Fungicides are a waste of time and money. So homeowners wind up treating the symptom—dead grass—not the cause," says Zac Reicher, professor of turfgrass science at Purdue University. Instead, look for typical causes such as too much water, improper mowing, and fertilizing at the wrong time of year. Then replant the dead area with a suitable grass type.
Spread by spores, moss is an attractive ground cover that many homeowners cultivate. But if you're reading this, you're probably not one of them. You can kill moss with a spray, but unless you change the conditions that encourage it, back it will come. A healthy colony of moss in your lawn means too much shade; acidic, compacted, or wet soil; or too little fertilizer. For very shady areas, reseed with shade-tolerant grasses such as creeping red fescue or St.
Augustine and mow them high to maximize their light-trapping leaf surface. Also keep trees and shrubs properly pruned. For moss in low-lying or moist areas, water only when you see signs of too little moisture when footprints in the grass remain and don't spring back, for instance.
If the soil is compacted, have a pro aerate it using a piston-driven aerator. For poor drainage, be sure the area is properly graded. If trees, shrubs, or structures prevent you from regrading the area, use underground drainage pipes or create a sump drain—essentially a hole in the ground with a grate over it. Also check the soil's acidity, or pH, and adjust it as needed.
Test it yourself using an inexpensive kit or meter, or bring soil samples to a nursery, cooperative extension service, or lab. Raise the pH of acidic soil with limestone, and lower the pH of soil that is too alkaline with sulfur, though the latter is a much slower process.
Moss prefers acidic soil but will grow in alkaline soil if shade and moisture are favorable. Then use shade-tolerant grasses at the edges of the area. Trim back high hedges. Azalea, Canada hemlock, common boxwood, flowering quince, Japanese boxwood, Japanese holly, lilac, myrtle, privet, rhododendron, roses, and winterberry can be cut back as far as needed.
Shorten common hedges such as arborvitae, English laurel, firethorn, and Japanese yew only a few inches each pruning, and don't cut into bare, leafless stems. The best time to prune either is in early spring, before the first flush of growth.
Once soil is compacted, water and fertilizer can't reach the lawn's roots, weakening them and allowing weeds to grow. But staying off wet lawns could help delay the inevitable.
Soil, or core, aeration is the solution. But it's a job best left to the specialists. Those professionals use piston-driven aerators with tines that move straight up and down, rather than the lightweight, less-effective aerators you'll find at many rental yards.
Those small beetle larvae live in the soil and feed on lawn roots. A few grubs aren't a big deal. But too many cause irregularly shaped sections to wilt and die. Check for grubs by cutting into the lawn near the edge of a brown area and lifting the sod.
If it comes up easily, like rolling up carpet, you've got grubs. Odds are, you'll see those milky-white, worm-like creatures with brown heads and three pairs of legs curled into a C shape. Wait a couple of days and reseed or replant any damaged areas.
However, chemical insecticides with imidacloprid aren't effective on mature grubs. So if you choose to use one, apply it in July and August when grubs are immature. Small brown spots surrounded by dark green grass is a telltale sign of dog urine. Nitrogen in the urine kills the grass in the center, where its concentration is highest, while darkening the grass at the edges.
Don't bother with animal repellents; they're of little or no use, according to the experts we interviewed. A motion-activated sprinkler system might help discourage droppings, but it won't distinguish between dogs, deliverymen, and welcome guests. Spots of dead grass will often repair themselves eventually. For a quicker fix, cut out the dead spot and fill it in with plugs cut from a strip of sod. Bring a clump from your lawn to the nursery to match grass types. Or wait until grass-planting time—usually in the fall—and sow fresh seed after clearing away the dead grass and loosening the soil.
Those bothersome rodent-like critters tunnel through soil searching for earthworms, grubs, and ants. Moles tend to tunnel closer to the surface in spring when soil is moist, leaving a zigzag trail of raised soil. A barrier of chicken wire that extends 1 foot deep around your yard might help keep them out. But because moles can dig deeper than that and occasionally travel short distances above ground, even barriers are only marginally effective.
Trapping a mole is the only way to be sure you're rid of it. While harpoon-type mole traps work best, handling them is risky and requires skill. Once you've spotted an active tunnel, you'll need to depress the ridge of soil and set the trap over it; the mole will trigger the trap as it moves through the tunnel.
Bromethalin, the active ingredient in a new mole bait, is a chemical alternative to mole traps. On the downside, while the mole will die underground, eliminating the need for you to handle and dispose of it, you won't know whether you've killed it. An easier option: Hire a wildlife-control professional to handle mole problems. Striking the balance of care needed for a successful lawn takes a bit of research and some practice.
Then we spoke with lawn-care experts to learn which practices work best and why. We also asked those of you who use lawn services to rate them. And we even checked up on the neighbors. Mowing high produces stronger, healthier grass with deeper roots and fewer weeds and pest problems. Check with your cooperative extension service for the ideal height for your type.
That means you should probably cut your grass every 5 to 10 days on average, as 76 percent of you do. Our experts also suggest you make sure your mower blade is sharp and you choose grass that is hardy in your region. In Phoenix, that might mean Bermuda; in Tampa, St. Augustine; in Omaha, buffalo grass; in Albany, Kentucky bluegrass. Leaving clippings returns useful nutrients, cutting the amount of fertilizer the lawn needs by about 30 percent.
About half of readers surveyed say they mulch at least some of the time. Mulching is also good for the environment because the clippings won't end up in a landfill.
Early morning is best. Night watering promotes mold and fungus. And no mature lawn needs watering every day or every other day, as 47 percent of those surveyed water. Watering once a week—long enough to apply 1 inch of water over the lawn—is the old rule of thumb.
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How to Fix the Top 10 Lawn Problems - Consumer Reports
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Ronaldo Talk Tennis Guru. Ronaldo said:. Remember when none of the slams were played on HC. I thought there were 3 on hardcourts. And now 2 slams are on hard, one on grass, one on clay. Maybe a 2nd claycourt slam should replace one of the hardcourt slams, since clay is the only surface never to have had multiple slams. The Bawss Banned. Hard courts have been the prominent surface ever since they showed up on the tour, clay apart from a brief period was always a tier 2 surface so what's your point.
Many would argue they should be banned altogether. It's unfair that 2 of 4 slams today are played on clay FO and Wimbledon , that coupled with slowdown of HC, use of heavier balls and elimination of carpet alows CC specialists to shine and thus falsely present themselves as all surface players.
That what would mean no free passes for Nadal even on clay. Why not but only after Nadal retires. It wouldn't matter, he would have 2 bites at the cherry every year instead of one.
And he'd still own Federer every year. And his body would be fresher than ever as he wouldn't be trying to peak on hardcourts twice per year. Back in when Federer was my favorite player, I was asking for only one slam on each surface. So you are wrong. Simple logic. Tammo Banned. Maybe bring back the carpet, or make a slam on synthetic clay?
There were two on clay and two on grass. Tammo said:. One indoor major on a wooden basketball court. In Indianapolis. But if there were only 3 slams the "GOAT" discussion would x-plode. TMF said:. He's very lucky! Biscuitmcgriddleson Professional. DRII G. Nice one, sbengte. I simply like the AO better than the UO. Spot on, bull'z. It's an scandal, it's a outrage, it's an disgrace that we have 2 HC slams.
ATP has heard you and both the HC slams will now be played on this new surface. Fed and Nadal have already started practicing on it. DRII said:. I would like to see an indoor carpet slam. If the Aussie Open had the money they should invest in such an idea.
Although the carpet surface should have a little bounce to it, and not be dead like the surface at the O2 Arena last year. Why did they get rid of carpet in the first place? Well, that would put you in the minority. Its been the Aussie Open that has had a history of being irrelevant compared to the other slams. Not since grass was replaced and indoor-capacity venues were constructed.
Those improvements and its first-on-the-calendar status make it very relevant. Wish the USTA was as progressive. Last edited: Nov 18, MichaelNadal Bionic Poster.
The AO should be played on carpet. Mustard Talk Tennis Guru. Murrayfan31 Hall of Fame. Hardcourts bring out the best tennis level. Thus, it should be the dominant surface of tennis. These tournaments need to decide which one will go fast. Both are pretty slow for hardcourts. What do you mean? There's already 3 clay slams and one hard court.
Murrayfan31 said:. Mustard said:. This silliness about the surfaces is getting ridiculous. You must log in or register to reply here.