How to Solve Different Types of Lawn Problems

Worms
Worm casts on lawns drive sonic gardeners mad, but I won’t hear a bad word said against nature’s helpers. They are busy conditioning and aerating the soil under your lawn roots. Stop moaning and brush the casts away on a dry morning.

Lawn Problems

Leatherjackets
One is normally blissfully unaware of leatherjackets (legless grubs of the crane fly) until hungry birds pecking and scratching ar the soil arrive to get at them. Although leather-jackets feed on grass roots, they don’t normally cause much harm¡ªbut the birds sometimes do. You can control leather-jackets by applying biological controls in the form of nematodes (minute, worm-like creatures), in rhis ease called Steinernemafeltiae. Water them into your lawn when the soil is warm in spring.

Ants
A lot of anthills are a nuisance, but ants do provide food for green woodpeckers. I would simply brush them away, but use ant killer if they really annoy you.

Dogs
The only answer is to provide a resilient bitch w ith her ow n toilet area. If an accident does occur, a quick flushing using a bucket of water or hose will prevent scorch. Male dog urine doesn’t scorch, but seems to feed the lawn, resulting in bright green patches.

Diseases and other manifestations
Circles of toadstools (“fairy rings”) cause an inner ring ol lush grass, a middle one of yellowing grass, and then an outer lush ring inhabited by the toadstools. Watering iron sulfate into the soil at 1/2 oz per gallon is saiil to work, but the only sure cure is to dig the soil out 12 inches deep under the problem area and 12 inches either side of the rings. The soil must be replaced with clean soil and either resodded or sown. I prefer to let the ring enlarge until it burns itself out of falls off the edge of the lawn.

Regular bare patches on narrow grassy pathway’s probably mean that the area is getting too much use for the type of grass; you need to redesign ir and put in a permanent, hard-wearing pathway.

If your lawn sprouts suspicious yellowing patches, with white or pale pink molds (Fusarium patch or pink snow mold) or reddish needle-like growths (red thread), gray-black lichens, or green slimy algae, then you need to think carefully about the efficiency of your lawn maintenance. Provide sufficient feed, without overfeeding, and good drainage to combat compaction and these kinds of problems can be averted. Treat fungal symptoms with the relevant fungicide and improve lawn care.