A patchy and thinning lawn can cause a lot of angst to home-owners and this is an issue which can happen anywhere a lawn is grown. Luckily, the symptoms are easy enough to remedy once you can identify the cause. Here are some of the typical symptoms, the causes and some suggestions on fixing the problem.
Symptom: Bare patches, often at the edge of a path, driveway, letterbox, deck or in front of your clothesline.
Cause: These problems are caused by excess wear from high foot traffic and general use.
Suggested Fix: Appropriately prune or thin out the surrounding plants to reduce shade. If pruning isn’t viable and the shade is too deep, consider a landscape solution. Convert the area to a garden, plant a shade-loving ground cover or just mulch it. Consider aerating the compacted soil and limiting traffic while the lawn self-repairs
Symptom: Bare patches at random locations in the lawn. often scorched in the centre with bright green grass around the edges.
Cause: The most likely culprit is…the family dog! Puppy pee, especially from ‘entire’ or not desexed, females, is a very concentrated liquid fertiliser, hence the abundant growth around the edges where the concentration is lower.
Suggested Fix: Water the area heavily as soon as you notice the damage or as soon as they have urinated. Longer term you may want to keep the dogs off the lawn and look into products such as Dog Rocks.
Symptom: Thin all over the lawn.
Cause: If you’ve eliminated too much shade as a cause then the damage is likely a combination of seasonal extremes and inadequate general lawn care such as feeding and watering.
Suggested Fix: The best solution for the long term is to adopt a regular lawn care program. The immediate solution is multi-pronged: Aerate your lawn. Apply a wetting agent to improve moisture retention. Feed with a suitable variety of slow release fertiliser and water it in well.
Symptom: Bare or very thin patches at random locations in lawn. Remaining grass can easily be pulled away from the soil.
Cause: If you’ve been feeding and watering your lawn and it’s getting plenty of sun then you may be the victim of lawn grubs, beetles or worms that like to chew through the root system.
Suggested Fix: To identify the culprit you may need to dig up a little soil. Put the offender in a zip-lock bag and take it to your local lawn specialist for identification. Depending on the type of pest and its life cycle stage, they should be able to recommend a suitable treatment which is also appropriate for the lawn variety you have at your place.