4 Ways You’ve Been Secretly Killing Your Lawn

October 16, 2015 | Fertilizing Tips, Grass, Lawn Care

dying grass lawn

1. Kill weeds, not grass

It is not uncommon for weed killer to affect lawns as well. Many weed killers that claim to be “lawn friendly” are still products that kill all plants. These are called herbicides. While effective, they kill both your weeds and your lawn.

When dealing with herbicide, be selective about how you use it. For instance, a man in Minnesota used herbicide on his entire lawn. He ended up with no weeds, but also ended up with no grass. Instead of being strategic in attacking weeds, he applied the killer to the whole lawn. This damaged his grass almost irreparably.

Do your best to attack weeds before they become a problem. Preemergent herbicide can be applied before your lawn begins growing in the spring. Many preemergent herbicides come with a mixture of fertilizer in them. The fertilizer enriches your lawn and attacks problematic weeds.

2. Dog Urine

If your dog urinates in a particular spot, you will see a patch of dead grass appearing out of nowhere. This may be because your dog’s urine is full of nitrogen, making it more alkaline. Your dog urinating on your lawn is equal to pouring an herbicide on a small patch of grass on a constant basis.

There are easy fixes. The reason your dog’s urine is laden with nitrogen may have to do with its diet. Constant dry food promotes higher nitrogen content (as well as increased risk of urinary tract infections). Balancing the diet out with wet food can fix the situation. The moisture works to dilute any alkaline content within the endocrine system, creating a healthier stream.

If you cannot feed your dog wet food for some reason, carry a bottle of water with you when you take your dog to the bathroom. When the dog goes, pour the water on the affected area. Water will help dilute the chemicals, preventing too much damage from happening.

3. Mowing the grass too short

Many inexperienced lawn owners cut their grass too short and don’t even know it. Without a certain length of grass, water cannot be held within the blades. Lack of water can cause death in the lawn, which gets rid of the nutrients your soil needs to grow healthy grass.

Keeping grass short also keeps the sun in direct contact with your lawn. While this is good for a certain amount of moisture, direct sunlight and an inability to hold water can fry the grass. This can turn your lawn yellow from dead grass, ruining your entire yard.

If you want to keep a clean and organized look, you need to explore different kinds of grass before settling. Various types of grass can create different looks for your lawn. If you wish to have a lawn, you must be willing to work with its natural tendencies and let it grow a bit before you cut it.

4. Blocking the sun

Your lawn needs sunlight. If you have architecture or fencing that prohibits that direct contact, you are hurting your lawn. Any looming buildings or extra structures can block the flow of light to select patches of grass.

The fix on this is a bit more difficult. You must weigh the cost of having grass in the selected area versus tear down of the structure. Whichever one you select may be a time and cost intensive process. Instead of having to decide later if you want a lawn, make sure you plan beforehand and weigh the costs of building new structures. Ask questions such as “What kind of feel do I want my yard to have?” and “Will this structure enhance it?”