You might think that when the cold weather comes and the grass goes dormant for winter, your lawn care woes are over. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case. Even now, in late fall, some problems can rear their ugly heads. As you go about your lawn care this month, be sure to keep an eye out for these common problems.
Late Fall Problems We See In The Lawn Care Service Industry
Two types of grass make up lawns: cool-season and warm-season grass. Here in Texas, we are solidly in the warm-season territory. These grasses need a lot of direct sunlight, and they stop growing when temperatures dip below 60 degrees. If your yard has many trees, shrubs, or obstructions that cast a good deal of shade over time, this can impact the health of your lawn. When warm-season grass can’t get the light it needs, it wilts, thins out, and is more likely to attract pests and disease. If the heavily shaded part of your lawn has given you trouble this year, it could be the result of shade stress. Now, many things can cause wilting grass, so it’s best to share your concerns with your lawn service technician. They’ll be able to help you diagnose and treat the problem.
This is the polar opposite problem of shade stress. As you no doubt know, northern Texas can be extremely dry and sunny most of the year. When grass gets too much sun and not enough moisture, it can perform necessary processes like chlorophyll production and root development. And it’s not just a lack of rainfall. An irregular watering schedule can stress out grass too. The biggest sign of drought stress is when you have huge patches of thinning, brown grass. While many diseases can cause brown areas, as we’ll see in a moment, those problems start small and gradually get bigger. Drought impacts the whole lawn, and so the damage it causes is far more noticeable. Another indicator of drought stress is the walk test. If your grass is thin and brown, walk across it and see if it springs back up or stays bent over. If the latter, you’re dealing with drought stress.
And while we’re on the topic of watering, one thing you can do to mitigate this problem in the future is to continue watering until the ground freezes. Now that it’s past September 30, the end of the watering restrictions, you should make sure to water your grass once a week, and this will help your turfgrass maintain adequate moisture levels until winter comes. Just be sure not to water more than 1.5 inches in a week, or you could have a new set of problems in the form of fungus.
Iron chlorosis is caused by a lack of minerals and nutrients in the soil. It can be difficult to treat, and it will easily ruin your whole lawn if you don’t address it quickly. The easiest way to tell your lawn has this problem is to look for yellow lines running through the lawn. The affected blades will look yellow or may even be bleached completely white. If your yard has drainage issues, it’s more likely to have this problem. All that excess moisture flushes out the nutrients from the soil. St. Augustine grass is more likely than other varietals to fall victim to iron chlorosis, so if that’s the dominant grass varietal in your lawn, keep an eye out. Since lawn fertilization is advisble to do in late fall anyway, you can correct iron chlorosis by applying the correct fertilizer.
You may recall that drought stress will impact large portions of your grass or even the entire lawn. Brown patch can look like drought stress, but it will start small, in neat circular patches, and gradually get bigger. If you don’t act, the small patches can form one giant problem area. Thankfully, this fungal disease is common and easily treatable.
Also known as take-all root rot, this disease is one of the most aggressive and problematic things to befall your turfgrass. Late fall and early winter are when it first shows up, and it needs conditions when the earth is cool and moist but not hard and frozen. It can be tricky to diagnose because the infected grass is discolored, pale, and yellow – like many other lawn problems. Like brown patch, this disease is caused on the microscopic level by a fungus. Unlike brown patch, this fungus does not grow in circular patterns but irregular shapes. Another clue is that it makes grass easy to pull up. If you can grab a handful of grass and pull it up easily, it’s a red flag that root rot has set in. As a lawn care company with many years of experience, Ashton Walden will address the problem quickly, so root rot doesn’t destroy your entire yard.
Get Rid Of Lawn Problems
Don’t let lawn problems stay in your turfgrass all winter. Let the experts at Ashton Walden help!
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