If you’re tired of looking at drab grass, we can’t blame you. At RZ Sports Turf, we deal in hundreds of lawn renovations every year. Sometimes, they’re merely for the curb appeal, but other times it’s due to major home projects or even bad lawn maintenance habits. The following are ten reasons you may need seeding or a sod installation.
10 Common Reasons For Lawn Installations
When chronic dry weather conditions occur, it can stress the grass. Here in Michigan and Indiana, our lawns are made of cool-season grass varietals. Grass that is considered “cool-season” means it thrives under cooler temperatures. When summer temperatures consistently stay above 80 degrees and are accompanied by little rain, this stresses the grass, causing it to shrivel up and die off. If too much of your lawn succumbs to the drought, you might need to start from scratch with a new one.
2. Too Much Shade
Grass does not do well in high heat and full sun, but many varieties aren’t well-suited for excessive shade either. Unless you specifically seeded the shady areas with a shade-tolerant variety of grass, you might notice thin or dying areas of grass under your trees. If you’d rather not cut down your trees or pull up your ornamental shrubs and bushes, you may want to re-seed or install a shade-tolerant sod. That way, you’ll enjoy a lush green lawn without sacrificing other plants in your yard.
3. Competition From Trees
Speaking of trees, as much as we love them, sometimes they can be selfish. Due to their larger size, they need more nutrients than flowers or turfgrass. As a result, they tend to pull more nutrients from the soil. If your tree is in the middle of the lawn, with no barrier between it and the grass, it could leech off nutrients that your grass would normally take from the soil. Nature is all about competition, after all. If you’re planting a new tree, you could install mulch around the base so that the roots have a barrier before they reach the turfgrass. If you have an existing tree, you might see bare earth among the roots. Trees are a vital part of yards, as we’ve already discussed, so if you’d rather not tear out your trees to save the grass, you can start out with a lawn! Your lawn care technician will help you decide which grass varietal is best for being neighbors with a tree.
4. Poor Drainage
Have you noticed your lawn holds water even after a light rain or minimal watering? If so, it might be time to replace it. When lawns aren’t absorbing the water, you run the risk of all kinds of problems, including mold, mildew, fungus, and worst of all, mosquitoes. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in shallow standing water, so a flooded lawn is an ideal place.
5. Compacted Soil
The soil will become compacted over time naturally. This process occurs as the grass dies off and becomes thatch. However, if lawns see a high amount of foot traffic, it speeds up this process. Backyards with children and dogs or athletic fields are two key examples. When soil becomes compacted, it means it’s very dense and hard. You might even have trouble breaking through the soil despite using a shovel! When the ground is this hard, it doesn’t allow your turfgrass’ roots to expand and grow. And they won’t be able to absorb the air, water, and sunlight they need. In short, compacted soil will slowly suffocate your lawn. You can avoid the inevitable by replacing your lawn.
6. pH Imbalance
Ideally, our lawns’ pH level would always be between 6.2 and 7, not too acidic, not too alkaline. However, the pH level can become unbalanced for a variety of reasons. Most often, lawns that receive too much fertilizer or too much water will see their pH levels become imbalanced. The water flushes out vital nutrients, and the fertilizers can make a lawn overly acidic. When a lawn is too acidic, it won’t be receptive to fertilizers anymore. You could be spending hundreds of dollars fertilizing your lawn, but it won’t make any difference – the soil just won’t absorb it.
7. Weeds Have Taken Over
Maybe you just moved into a new home, and the previous owner did not keep up with lawn care. Or maybe you didn’t think you needed weed control this year, and it backfired. Weeds are great survivors, and if given an inch, they will gladly take a mile. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, turfgrass becomes so infested with weeds, it would be futile to apply herbicide. It’s best to accept defeat and start from square one with a new lawn in situations like these.
8. Fungal Diseases
It’s incredibly easy for fungal diseases like mold, mildew, and more to take root in our lawns. These microscopic organisms thrive in dark moisture environments. Unfortunately, our lawns are the ideal place. Remember that standing water we talked about? If you’ve ever had a flooded basement, you know how much cleaning and maintenance is required to prevent mold formation. You can bleach walls and floors, but you can’t do the same to lawns. As a result, fungal diseases like necrotic ring, red thread, dollar spot, and brown patch can sprout. These are just some of the common lawn diseases we see in the Midwest, and all of them will create unsightly dead patches in your yard.
9. Improper Mowing
If you consistently mow your lawn too short, go too long between mowing, or continually mow in the same pattern, you may have noticed your lawn’s health declining. Too short grass is prone to weeds. Weeds need lots of direct sunlight, and if there is no grass to get in the way, weeds will happily soak up the rays. Conversely, if the grass is too long, it can create fungal problems, as we’ve discussed. It can also smother itself if you mow with the mulch attachment. If you mow once a week, the clippings won’t be long enough to cover the unmowed grass, but if you wait too long between mowing sessions, the blades of grass will be longer and can clump up and cover the grass, effectively smothering it. When the lawn can’t breathe, it will die out, and you’ll be left with a patchy-looking yard. Lastly, if you always mow following the same pattern, it can create divets and ruts in the lawn where the wheels tread.
10. Home Renovations
If you’re installing a patio, digging out a pool, putting in a septic tank, or any other renovation that involves major construction and a crew of people, you may need to replace your lawn as well. Heavy construction equipment or more than usual foot traffic can wear down grass and erode the soil. And if you think the grass will just “bounce back,” think again. It can take multiple years for soil to settle without assistance. Why put up with a pile of dirt where your gorgeous lawn used to be?
Get A Lawn Installation Near Kalamazoo
If you’re a resident of the Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo area of Michigan, or South Bend, Valparaiso, or Fort Wayne, Indiana, the RZ Sports Turf experts can help! We offer residential lawn installation via hydroseeding, dry-seeding, and sod. We bring over 30 years of experience to the table, and our technicians will advise you on which grass varietal is best for your unique situation – no two lawns are alike! To learn more, call 574-674-5296 or leave us a message online, and our experts will get back to you. If you’d like to learn more about lawn installation or care in general, be sure to check out our monthly blog page!