• Melanie Evans

Top Care Tips for Your Waterloo Region Home's Lawn


It's still snowy and icy out there, but Spring isn't too far away, and after all of that winter weather, the lawn(s) surrounding your Waterloo region home will need some extra care.


A beautiful lawn is very appealing not just to homeowners but home buyers as well. In fact, a lawn will, in many cases, be a big part of the curb appeal those intending to sell their Waterloo Region home this year will need to persuade home buyers to pay the best possible price.


This year, why not make this the year you get really serious about your lawn, whether you are selling your Waterloo Region home or not? And taking better care of your lawn means gaining a better understanding of the problems it faces throughout the year and how best to solve them. Here are some of the most common lawn and landscaping issues and their remedies, so your lawn stays looking spectacular.


Crabgrass




Because of its wild growing patterns, crabgrass can be a real pain. Although it is an annual weed, it has the characteristics of a perennial, meaning it grows all year. Some people believe that simply mowing over the weed will get rid of it. Pulling crabgrass out, roots and all, is the most efficient approach to get rid of it for good. Herbicides may be the greatest lawn care strategy for removing crabgrass if it begins to take over your lawn.


Pet urine damage


If you begin seeing problem areas in your yard, dog urine might be the culprit. Pet urine contains a high concentration of nitrogen which can cause lawn burn. To remedy this problem, try changing your dog’s diet to one that does not exceed your pet’s protein requirement, or train your pet to use areas covered by mulch or rock. You can also saturate the area with water to help dilute the nitrogen concentration.


Bald spots


A patchy lawn is usually an eyesore. Bald spots on your lawn can be caused by a variety of issues, including pests, grubs, and some types of fungus. Before starting any form of a lawn treatment plan, it’s best to rule out any possible pests or diseases. Once you determine the cause for the spots, you can begin to fix the issue. If no pests or fungus are to blame, start by seeding and watering the affected areas well. However, avoid flooding the turf as this can kill the seeds and make new growth nearly impossible.


Weed Killer Damage


Weed killers can also cause bald spots and lawn damage, particularly those that are labeled as “non-selective.”


To revive your grass after weed killer damage, you’ll need to remove the affected grass and loosen the soil about two inches deep. Then mow the area around the bald spot to less than an inch to allow sunlight to get through.


Add compost, topsoil, and fertilizer to provide a strong foundation for your grass to grow. Spread seeds over the area, cover them with a quarter-inch of grass clippings to hold them in place, and water three to four times a day for two weeks.


High-traffic areas


Summertime can be rough on our lawns. From kids running around, to backyard get-togethers, your lawn can go through huge amounts of wear and tear during the warmer months.


Getting your lawn back to proper health will take a combination of aeration, seeding, and quality watering sessions. Aerating a lawn allows both water and air to penetrate the soil, which builds better root systems for your grass and fosters a healthier, more beautiful lawn.


Lawn rust


Lawn rust is a fairly easy lawn disease to identify due to its obvious yellow and brown coloring. The disease is caused by a fungus called Pucciniales, which starts out as small yellow-orange or red-brown colored flecks on grass blades and eventually turns the entire blade a rusty color.


Many lawns affected by the disease are nitrogen deficient. But you can reverse the damage by following this lawn care tip – use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer in combination with aerating your yard and watering deeply.


Dandelions




Dandelions are pesky perennials that can exist for a seemingly infinite amount of time. These weeds are best known for their bright yellow flowers and general stubbornness to remain on your lawn.


It’s important to note that dandelions can thrive in conditions that commonly cause the grass to wither, so an unhealthy lawn will only exacerbate the problem. Technique and timing are essential when dealing with dandelions. If you choose to pull them out of the ground, make sure you remove the entire plant, including the roots, to ensure they don’t grow back.


Also, avoid waiting until they reach the seed stage (characterized by a puffy, white appearance). Once they reach that point, you can guarantee that they’ll be back later on. If you opt to use a herbicide instead, be sure to look for postemergence options. These will target the weeds without damaging the surrounding grass.


Soil Compaction


Watering your lawn is futile if the water can’t get to the roots. If you’re watering regularly and your grass is still struggling, compacted soil may be the cause. Compacted soil is common in areas where there is high foot traffic. If you have kids who are always playing in the yard, you may be more susceptible to experiencing this problem.


Aerating your lawn annually will allow water to penetrate the soil and properly nourish your grass. To slow the process of compaction, avoid excessive traffic on your lawn, especially when wet. Installing a pathway can help divert traffic from your grass and even add some appeal to your home if you look to sell in the near future.


Moss




If trees or other sources of shade exist on your lawn, you may have to deal with moss. Like dandelions and other weeds, moss tends to thrive in areas where the grass is struggling to grow. The key to dealing with moss is resolving the underlying conditions that cause it.


Short-term lawn care solutions such as sprays exist, but the moss will likely return if the environment remains the same. The most effective way to stop the moss growth is to increase the amount of direct sunlight your lawn is exposed to, which can be done by pruning nearby trees or other large plants that are casting a shadow over the problem area. Applying fertilizer and regular watering will promote healthy lawn growth and allow your grass to withstand the moss.


If you will be putting your Waterloo Region home on the market for sale and your lawn is looking rather sad, ask your real agent to help you find a good lawn specialist who can advise you on what can be done in the short term to help improve the look of your lawn. It will be an additional investment, but given how important curb appeal can be to the perceived value of a home, it is one well worth making.


Considering buying or selling a Waterloo Region home? Let Team Pinto use their huge local real estate experience and expertise to help you. Contact the award-winning Team Pinto here, or book a free Zoom consultation to discuss your unique Waterloo Region real estate needs here


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