Common Lawn Problems
Day of Delivery
It is important to note that it is not uncommon for grass to discolor some on the day of harvest, including significant yellowing, especially when ambient temperatures are above 80-85°F & hotter. Rest assured, we only harvest our grass fresh by order on the day before your scheduled delivery/pick-up.
Although you can install sod year-round, there are positives & negatives to installing during every season. During Texas’s hotter months, the grass is in its most active growth stage. So, it will typically establish & grow faster than when installing during the late fall through early spring. However, it will also exhibit more signs of heat stress & transplant shock, starting immediately post-harvest. In our experience, discoloration is quickly resolved once the grass is installed & begins receiving proper irrigation (usually within the 1st week).
Be advised it will undoubtedly continue to stress the longer it sits uninstalled. For this reason, it is critical to complete the sod installation promptly within 12 hours of your scheduled delivery/pick-up date and water it in as it is installed. Doing so will minimize stress & promote quicker green-up. Take care not to irrigate in areas where you have not yet laid grass to avoid a muddy & challenging installation area.
Take care to prep your yard correctly, determine your irrigation system’s precipitation rate, check for even water coverage & good soil infiltration, and plan ahead to ensure the grass is promptly installed same-day. If these steps are followed, your new grass should green up within 3 -4 weeks during its active growing season.
Please note that some greening should be observed within the first week when watering is adequate. Additionally, it is not uncommon for it to stress/discolor a bit more on days 1-3 if temps are high. However, the grass will gradually come out of transplant shock. The rate of green-up will depend on various environmental & cultural practices, such as depth of irrigation, soil type & health, yard conditions (full sun vs. shade, etc.), ambient temperatures, and other weather events.
Signs of normal summer/heat stress: • Blade Yellowing • Blade Curling • Blade Shrinkage • Significant Drying • Cracked Clayey Soil • Hard to Handle/Install Blocks (crumbling) • Misshapen/Ripped Blocks
Brown patches will show up on every lawn from time to time. If the culprit is identified before it spreads, you can minimize the damaging effects and return your lawn to its healthy ideal.
Shade stress occurs when one or more sections of your lawn aren’t getting enough sunlight. You may notice the grass thinning out and weeds beginning to fill in where the grass used to be.
An easy way to take care of shade stress is to choose a shade-tolerant groundcover or turf grass (such as St. Augustine) to plant in shady areas. You can also thin out tree branches a bit and raise the height on your mower to allow the leaf blades to capture more sunlight.
Drought conditions can cause grass blades to wilt and take on a silver color. Effective watering can reduce the effects of drought, however. Water thoroughly in the mornings when the day is cooler and less water can evaporate.
If you live in a region prone to drought, you might consider putting down a grass variety that can tolerate drier conditions, such as Buffalo or Bermuda.
These larvae feed on roots during the summer and fall months. Lawns infested with grubs can be lifted up easily, like carpet. To test for grubs, cut out a square foot of turf and inspect it. If you find more than ten grubs, you can apply nematodes (small worms that kill grubs) to the affected areas and water heavily.
These lawn pests look like small black beetles (only 1/5 inch long) and the adults have wings. They can cause irregular patches of yellowing lawn that usually begin next to a walkway or curb. To test for chinch bugs, cut out the bottom of a coffee can and push the can one inch into the turf near the edge of a dead patch. Fill the can with water and the chinch bugs should float to the top.
Effective methods of fighting chinch bugs include irrigating effectively and avoiding broad usage of lawn chemicals that drive away predators, such as birds and deleterious insects. Use insecticidal soap or other minimally toxic treatments on the infested areas.
Take-All Patch is a fungal infection that rots grass roots and causes turf to darken and thin out. It spreads primarily in the spring and fall when conditions are moist and cool.
You can fight take-all patch by making sure that your lawn drains properly and avoiding heavy fertilization. In addition, you can raise your mower height and avoid heavy use of broadleaf herbicides, which weakens the grass.
Brown patch is also due to a fungal infection. Unlike Take-All Patch, however, brown patch does not cause the roots to rot but instead attacks the blades. It usually shows up in circular patches from late fall to early spring.
Solutions for brown patch include watering early in the morning and allowing grass blades to dry out during the day. Avoid over-fertilizing and aerate your lawn once a year.
Iron chlorosis occurs in alkaline soils with high phosphorous levels. Grass blades typically become striped yellow and green. If you suspect iron chlorosis, you should immediately stop fertilizing with phosphorous. You can also spread a thin layer of compost onto your lawn and provide iron supplements for immediate relief.
For more information on treating common Texas lawn problems, contact your local gardening center or The Grass Outlet today.