Is it really possible to save a dying yard and restore it to its former glory? Well, it depends on how long it has been in its bad state. If the yard has been in bad shape for about three to five weeks, then yes, you can definitely revive it without starting all over. With determination and the right landscape power tools, you can have your lawn looking beautifully manicured in no time.
The most important thing you need to do is to determine the cause so you can resolve the root problem properly. Here are the common causes that can kill your yard and how to address them:
Due to Drought
Watering restrictions and drought are the most common reasons why yards start to die. This is especially true during the summer season and in warm places like California. Lawns that become brittle and brown during the summer season usually find a way to revive themselves. This happens when the temperature goes down and light rains start to happen that provide them with some moisture. The reason behind this is grasses become dormant when there isn’t enough water. The top growth appears dry but the deep roots remain alive and nourished.
When there is finally enough water, as long as you’re within three to five weeks time frame, you can most likely revive your lawn. Make sure not to go over five weeks. If there is still water scarcity, occasional soaking will be enough to keep your lawn alive until water shortage has been lifted.
● How to Regrow
If your lawn appears brown all throughout, remove the top growth from a small area and see if there are signs of green. Water the area for several days and if you see progress, you can be assured that there’s a high chance of reviving your lawn. Just make sure you follow a regular schedule of deep watering.
● Additional Care
Mow the brown area and rake through your lawn to break the hard surface. When your lawn has been dry for several weeks, then you might need to plug your lawn to enable water to seep through to the deep roots. Remember, it will take a few weeks before your lawn goes back to its vibrant green. Use some rye grass seeds as they grow fast and can make your lawn green while waiting for the inactive grass to grow back.
Due to Infestations
It is also common for diseases and pests to kill your lawn but a bit of good news, they cannot damage your entire lawn. If you see patches of dead grass, you need to investigate if some fungus or insect is causing the damage. Take a handful of your grass then pull it. If it is removed easily, there’s a high chance that you have a pest or disease problem.
● Determining the Right Cause
After you have confirmed that you indeed have an infestation problem, the next step is to identify the culprit. For instance, inspect for grub worms through digging a small area of your lawn. If you find a few grub worms, you must treat your lawn with an effective grub control method. Moreover, treat other garden diseases and pests once you are sure they are the cause.
● Treatment and Continued Care
There are a lot of fast-acting chemical treatments, but they are not advisable if you have children and pets. You can opt for safer methods, such as neem oil and biological control using milky spore or nematodes, etc. Also make sure not to overwater your plants and keep thatch to a minimum to prevent fungal illnesses.
Due to Salt Buildup and Chemical Debris
Too much salt and chemicals can cause your lawn to die. If you frequently feed your lawn with fertilizer without good irrigation, you’re allowing salt to build up in the soil. Salt can “burn” the grass roots that will eventually cause your lawn to die. If you have pets, they can also cause some areas to die if they relieve themselves frequently on the grass. Moreover, the wind can carry herbicides from your neighbor’s flower patches and can kill your lawn.
If you think it is chemical burn destroying your lawn, the best thing you can do is to water your lawn thoroughly to wash out chemical debris. If there is severe damage, you may need to reseed.
Due to Deep Mowing and Shallow Watering
If you regularly water your lawn but not thoroughly, it can lead to shallow growth of roots that makes your lawn vulnerable to fast wilting. It may suddenly die when you skip several days of watering. Blowing of dry winds and a sudden increase in temperature can potentially kill your lawn right away.
Every day for one week, use a lawn tiller over your lawn and water it properly to help the grass become healthy again. After a week, decrease the frequency to three days per week. Then, once a week. Don’t forget to water your lawn thoroughly to allow water to go through the deep zone of the roots. Use some grass seeds to cover up incomplete areas.
Remember, cutting too close can cause your lawn to die, particularly in the summer. Feed and water to revive your lawn and use a lawn mower with a higher setting to cut the grass. If you want your lawn to appear seamless, the proper way to do it is to mow it on a regular basis but not too closely. Be careful to leave at least three inches of your grass during summer.
● Preventive Maintenance
If you want your lawn to stay beautiful, you need to perform preventive maintenance. Once your lawn is alive and healthy again, you’d want to get rid of other components that can potentially cause your lawn to get sick again. For instance, unnecessary tree stumps are an excellent breeding ground for fungi and other insects. Rotten tree limbs and branches can affect other parts of the tree.
While this surely takes a lot of work, having the right tools and equipment can make the work easier and faster. For example, an electric chainsaw can help you get rid of thick tree branches and limbs properly. A power wheelbarrow can help transport huge rocks and other gardening tools faster. A motorized washer lets you eliminate hard-to-clean scum, dirt, and other junk. There are still a lot of gardening tools that can help you to ensure that you maintain your lawn properly.