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Lawn Problems and Solutions

Tackling lawn problems is easy when you know how but no two lawns are the same, some lawns are covered in moss, some lawns are covered with weeds, lawns with brown patches, bare patches, unsightly course / weed grasses, yellowing grasses, moulds and fungus and animal scorch marks.

Some of these lawn problems may be caused by the weather conditions, the climate, the location or direction the lawn faces, the soil lacking essential nutrients, the type of soil (clay, loamy, sandy), drainage, overhanging shrubs, trees etc.

So if we can understand what is causing these problems we can help to minimise the effects by making small but invaluable changes. 

Lawn Therapy’s services are quick, affordable and highly effective. Call us today and you can also take advantage of our free Lawn Care Survey (or visit our contact us page). Lawn Therapy also offer additional lawn care services which your lawn may benefit from. These include seasonal lawn treatments, aeration, overseeding, top dressing, garden pest control, grass disease control, Lawn Re-Turfing and driveway weed control. 

Ants

Ants are one of the most common insect problems. The mounds of soil the colonies create produce uneven spots in the lawn which when mown are scalped with most of the grass plant removed creating areas for weeds or moss to colonise.

The mounds of fine earth should be allowed to dry out and then brushed vigorously with a heavy bristled brush to sweep the soil particles level across the lawn. Ant Treatment is much more effective by using a trowel to dig ¾ inches into the nest and applying the ant powder deep into the nest, then replacing the soil/grass. This method will be more effective than puffing the ant powder onto the grass where it will usually just scorch the grass. A new queen ant may move into the treated ant nest and start a new colony. Tolerance and aggressive brushing is the best option. Alternatively if you have serious problems call Lawn Therapy and we can advise or treat your problems.

Leather Jackets (crane fly larvae)

Between July and September Crane fly or “Daddy long legs” lay hundreds of eggs in lawns across the country. The recent mild wet winters have led to a huge increase in the leather jacket population. The eggs hatch between late autumn and early spring with a maggot like leather jacket larvae emerging and feeding on the grass roots and shoots. Grass less than 5- 6 years old is particularly susceptible as the roots remain succulent and easy to digest by the larvae. Low winter temperatures and frosts usually control numbers but the mild damp winters experienced in recent years have not had the desired effect. Leather jackets can strip large areas of a lawn in a few days and any bare areas will quickly be colonised by weeds or moss. If you notice bare patches or dead or dying straw like grass appearing in your lawn or birds, particularly starlings, pecking at the lawn call Lawn Therapy. We can then quickly identify the problem and treat your lawn. Our treatments are safe, efficient, effective and much cheaper than replacing large sections of your lawn.

Garden Chafer Grub

With its prawn like appearance the white grey plump larvae of the chafer beetle can seriously damage the root system of a lawn. Damage is usually noticeable in the late summer/autumn. In severe cases where the roots of the turf has been eaten through and badly damaged you will be able lift your turf off the soil surface by hand.

Worm Casts

Worms in general are to be encouraged as their burrowing helps to aerate the soil. Worms feed on and recycle decaying vegetable matter. A few species deposit their muddy waste on the soil surface where in wet weather it can smear when in contact with your foot or mower. The smear marks are unsightly and can act as ideal spots for weeds to germinate.

Lawn Therapy has a range of products that discourages the earthworm from depositing casts on your lawn by encouraging them to dig down deeper into the soil. The treatment is economic and effective, keeping the lawn looking clean and preventing smears and weeds encroaching.

Moles

Moles invade lawns and gardens in search of food (worms etc). They do not damage lawns for fun, they are establishing a set of tunnels to trap worms. Moles dislike noise and vibration and strong smells. Moth balls have been recommended but we have mixed reports about their efficiency. We can treat your lawn to encourage the worms (food source) to borrow deeper and avoid the tunnels. Without a regular supply of worms for food hopefully the moles moves away to hunt for food elsewhere. Traps and poisons are not the answer but profitable for the mole catcher. If you kill one mole in our experience another one replaces it until the food source is gone!

Urine Scorch Marks

Animal urine, particularly from female dogs and even foxes, can cause the grass to turn brown and die. Irrigation to reduce the affect of the dogs urine will help. Dog Rocks is a specialist product that is dropped in your dogs water, this removes the impuritys in the water that contribute to the dogs urine scorching the lawn, this does not alter the ph of the dogs urine. Dog rocks have produced positive results in many cases. Alternatively encourage your pet to use a specific area.

Unfortunately dog rocks wont help repair the damage the urine has already caused to your lawn but we can advise how to bring your lawn back to its former glory, just fill out our free lawn care survey form (or visit our contact us page).  We can also supply Dog Rocks if required so please contact us.

Our Garden Pest Control Service is quick, affordable and highly effective. Call us today and you can also take advantage of our free Lawn Care Survey (or visit our contact us page).

Lawn Therapy also offer additional lawn care services which your lawn may benefit from.  These include scarification, aeration, overseeding, top dressing, Lawn Re-Turfing, grass disease control, Weed Control and Moss Control.

Grass Disease Control

There are numerous diseases that can affect grass. Below are some of the most common ones. Most diseases are spread by spores and relate to lawn, soil conditions and are helped if your lawn grass is in poor health. Lawn Therapy has the knowledge and products to treat and cure most problems in your lawn by using the latest and safest fungicides etc. In most cases we try to avoid using fungicides preferring to treat the disease by improving grass health.

Red Thread
An increasingly common disease which usually occurs in the late summer after periods of warm weather with heavy rainfall producing conditions of high humidity. Lawns with poor fertility are highly susceptible to red thread disease. The grass will gradually show signs of browning off with brown patches of dying grass appearing and you will see red threads on the grass stalks. High humidity, poor fertility and/or blunt lawn mower blades smashing the grass ends are usually the cause of red thread. Serious cases may require an application of fungicide to control the disease. The lawn usually recovers in 2/3 weeks after treatment. Avoid watering late in the evenings as this encourages disease.

Fungal Pathogens
These can cause various turf diseases. Fine-leaved grasses such as bents and fescues are more susceptible than rye grass species.

Fusarium Patch
(Commonly called snow mould).The disease is sometimes noticable after thaws of snow hence the name (snow mould), yellowish dying patches then appear in your lawn eventually turning brown. Fusarium patch appears in autumn or during mild winter weather. Lawns receiving too much nitrogen feeds have lots of top growth making them susceptible as are lawns on compacted soil. Aerating and ensuring the grass receives a balanced fertiliser feed program can cure Fusarium patch. Serious infections will require treatment with fungicide.

Dry Patch or Hydrophobic Dry Patch
During periods of dry weather a fungus builds up around the soil particles and will have an effect of repelling the water droplets in the soil. A severe case of dry patch will result in the soil almost being unable to absorb water and any rain will run across the surface of the soil like rain on a glass plate. The grass suffers as moisture is not reaching down to the roots. Aerating your soil by spiking or hollow tine aeration combined with an application of a wetting agent to tackle the fungal disease will improve the water absorption properties of the soil and benefit the grass. Dry patch is an increasing problem in our dry windy summers. Lawn Therapy apply wetting agents in our four seasonal treatments free of charge to help prevent lawns from drying out and help grass make the most of available moisture.

Fairy Rings
Easily identified by a circle or ring of lush green growth. Depending on the type of fungus causing the fairy ring there may be an area of dead brown grass in the middle of the circle. There are three types of fairy ring and Lawn Therapy can diagnose and advise you on how to treat each type.

Slime Moulds
Slime moulds usually appear on dead grass as they feed on dead organic matter and cause no real harm.

Mushrooms and Toadstools or Fungi
Fungi are natures dustmen. Fungi convert dead organic matter into basic nutrients that re-enter the food chain and are eventually recycled. A few mushrooms or toadstools appearing in your lawn is a healthy indication that the fungi in your soil are active and breaking down perhaps an old tree root buried on the soil.The fungi appear on the surface and contain spores which are released into the atmosphere. If your lawn has a heavy concentration of toadstools etc then it may be necessary to treat your lawn. However just a few mushrooms here and there on your lawn will not be harmful.

Our Grass Disease Control Service is quick, affordable and highly effective. Call us today and you can also take advantage of our free Lawn Care Survey (or visit our contact us page).

Lawn Therapy also offer additional lawn care services which your lawn may benefit from.  These include scarification, aeration, overseeding, top dressing, Lawn Re-Turfing, grass disease control, Weed Control and Moss Control.

Moss Control and Removal

Before you try to control moss problems you must identify why it is appearing in your lawn and solve the reasons for why it develops in your lawn.

The following conditions encourage lawn moss

  • Warm moist weather conditions – An increasing problem all over the UK
  • Compacted poorly drained soil – Heavy soils will become compacted and need to be hollow tine aerated to reduce the effects of the compaction in the soil and can be top dressed with a 70% sand loam mix to improve soil ventilation once every 2 – 3 years
  • Lawns thick with thatch – this is dead organic matter sitting on or below the soil surface and has to be removed by scarification Cutting the grass too short or scalping significantly reduces the health of the grass, weakens it and allows moss to move in
  • Not watering the grass in the dry summer months can weaken the grass and allow moss to move into your lawn
  • Clay based soils have poor drainage thus perfect conditions for moss to thrive
  • Shaded or poorly ventilated lawns where the grass and soil surface rarely dry out are perfect conditions for moss
  • Poorly fertilised lawns with weak and sparse grass usually have lots of moss present

Facts

  • Moss does not have roots it just spreads across the damp soil surface, absorbing soil nutrients that have dissolved into the moisture on the surface.  Moss is easy to kill, Lawn Therapy have and use very effective moss killer / control products
  • Moss is spread by air borne spores in the spring and autumn and will thrive and spread colonising large areas of your lawn if left untreated
  • The problem is dead moss, unlike a dead weed which is 70% water, does not just wither and gradually shrivel away. Dead moss just turns into thatch
  • Dead moss needs to raked and removed from the lawn. Heavy moss may require scarifying or verti cutting to remove it from the lawn
  • If you do not remove dead moss it turns into thatch which absorbs and keeps moisture on the surface away from the grass roots where it is needed
  • The damp conditions created by thatch are ideal conditions for moss to develop
  • Lawns do not look very attractive after scarifying or raking
  • Lawns with thick moss will look very bare and may require over seeding and top dressing to help them recover
  • Do not rake or scarify the moss unless you have applied a moss control. You will just be spreading the spores and making things worse
  • It is important that you time the moss control and any scarifying to be followed by a sustained period of wet warm weather to help the lawn and grass to recover and any sown seed to germinate
  • If you neglect your lawn for even a short time moss will quickly move in and colonise large areas of your lawn pushing out the grass
  • Moss doesn’t have roots so obtains its nutrients from moisture sitting on the soil. This means that moss removal treatments need to target the conditions as well as the growth. Something that standard moss killers won’t do effectively so your moss will return time and again
  • Moss is probably the worst problem facing most lawns. Moss spreads by means of airborne spores
  • If grass suffers stress and is weakened and dies in cold or dry conditions. Moss and weeds will quickly colonise any spaces or areas of weak growth in your lawn

Moss Control and Removal

Lawn Therapy has a great track record controlling and killing moss in our customer’s lawns. The products we use are very efficient and safe but should be combined with scarifying, aeration, top dressing and over seeding in chronic cases.

Moss is the most common problem we have with lawns. The mild damp autumns and winters are ideal for moss growth. Moss becomes established if grass growth is weak and sparse so it is essential to ensure the grass has the appropriate lawn fertiliser to ensure vigorous healthy growth particularly in the spring and autumn. Moss will thrive and quickly develop where grass is weak. In contrast weeds are easy to control but moss is slightly more difficult and requires regular attention. Strong healthy grass receiving regular applications of lawn care resists moss better than under nourished lawns.

Treatment is simple and straightforward for Lawn Therapy. We successfully control moss in all lawns using our efficient moss control products. Please remember that the products we use are not easily available to the public or general gardeners. Moss control by Lawn Therapy is simple and effective with the moss showing signs of dying just hours after treatment.

The moss plant is fibrous and tough. Once it has been treated the dead moss plant does not decay easily and it may be necessary to remove the dead plant by scarifying your lawn followed by aeration and top dressing depending on the level of moss in your lawn. Dead moss left on your lawn will act like thatch and prevent new grass growing in those areas.

If you have compacted soil then the lawn needs to be aerated regularly. Thatch will also need to be removed by scarification. Simple raking of the lawn while removing the moss will not remove the thatch which is the main reason the moss is developing. Scarification should follow an application of moss control. If you rake your lawn while the moss is still alive and green you will be spreading the moss spores across your lawn. Once Lawn Therapy has applied moss control it should be left for two weeks until the moss has turned brown / black. We will then arrange to return to scarify and aerate your lawn.

Removing the conditions that encourage moss to develop will reduce the possibility of moss returning. However if you have a heavy soil and or shaded areas in your garden then you will always have to be vigilant. Lawn Therapy will recommend that you have sufficient moss control in your programme to ensure that we control the moss.

Be careful if you use products bought from garden centres etc. Incorrect application rates and/or adverse weather conditions can lead to scorching your lawn and creating bare patches of dead or damaged grass.

If your gardener volunteers to do the work check that they do not use the same products from the garden centre and produce similar results. Call Lawn Therapy and we will also use the correct feeds at the right time for the maximum effect in our lawn care treatment programme. All you have to do is water and mow the lawn.

If you would like to improve the appearance of you lawn by reducing moss and have greener, healthier looking grass then call us today for a free no obligation lawn survey.  Alternatively, you can complete our enquiry form and we’ll be in touch shortly. Lawn Therapy also offer additional lawn care services which your lawn may benefit from.  These include scarification, aeration, overseeding, top dressing, Lawn Re-Turfing, grass disease control, Weed Control and Moss Control.

Weed Identification and Control services

Weeds are always fast to take up any space in your lawn, these weeds can and will become an eyesore spoiling the appearance of any lawn.

You can buy off the shelf weed killers that will kill some weeds but unless the conditions that encourage weed colonisation and growth are treated they will always come back!

Our lawn weed killing service is “Cheaper than DIY”
With our Lawn weed Killing Service we don’t just treat the weed growth but we also tackle the conditions which promote that growth, we can devise a weed control plan that goes on working where other treatments fail, saving you endless cost and the time of self application.

Our Free Lawn Weed Survey
If you have recurring or problematic weed growth take advantage of our Free Lawn Survey worth £25 (click here to find out more),or to find out more about the types of weeds we control…carry on reading:

We’ve outlined some of the most commonly treated weeds below.

  • Japanese Knotweed
  • dandelions
  • speedwell
  • plantains
  • clovers
  • celandine
  • Field wood rush
  • Couch grass
  • Yarrow
  • Mares Tail (Horsetail)
  • Nettles and brambles
  • Ragwort
  • daisies
  • buttercup
  • Dock
  • Ground elder
  • bindweed
  • Stinging nettles

Control of Commonly occurring weeds
Efficient broad spectrum systemic herbicides are applied by lawn Therapy and are safe, very effective and control weeds easily. The products are not available to the general public or most small gardeners as they contain specific active ingredients not usually found in retail style products . Common weeds such as daisies, buttercup, dandelions, plantains etc can be controlled after one application. Other weeds such as fieldwood rush, Yarow, clovers, speedwells and celandine can require more than one application. Repeated applications will also control newly germinated weed plants whose seeds of which may have been carried by birds, the wind and some just laying dormant in the soil. Weeds are approx 70 % water and will usually decompose completely 14 days after treatment. It is important to note that weeds can only be treated whilst they are growing, usually from Spring to early Autumn. The herbicides and products we use are all safe for wild life, pets and children and you can usually use the lawn within 3 hours of having treated it.

Remember herbicide applications to control weeds etc play only a small part of any lawn care program and should be carried out alongside regular applications of various professional fertiliser to establish a thick healthy dence grass sward, this also helps to prevent the appearance of weeds and moss. Scarifying and aeration also play an important part of weed and moss control.

Weed Grasses

Broad leaf plants (weeds) are not the only weeds you will find in your lawn – There are also  two species of native grasses that can be just as undesirable – Yorkshire Fog, cocksfoot, wall barley, creeping soft grasses, these appear as tuft like clumps of grass, the second species being annual meadow grass, this grass unlike the above can blend in quite well with utility turf but will rapidly colonise your lawn, meadow grass is also very suseptable to disease and drought. The appearance of coarse grasses invading well maintained healthy lawns is frustrating, where finer desirable grass species such as bents fescues and rye grasses are sparse and week the hardier coarse grasses will continue to grow and colonise the spaces left. This grass has creeping underground stems that help it spread great distances. There are no selective weed killers that can be used against coarse grasses but there are measures to be taken to minimise them.

If you are unsure about the weeds that are population your lawn and you would like some friendly advice you can contact us to arrange a free survey or book a free lawn survey here.

Lawn Therapy also offer additional lawn care services which your lawn may benefit from.  These include scarification, aeration, overseeding, top dressing, Lawn Re-Turfing, grass disease control, Weed Control and Moss Control.