Ask the Experts: Can I Revive A Dead Lawn?
Dead, brown patches in the lawn: your living nightmare. They’re ugly, they’re frustrating, and above everything else, they’re not so easy to fix. We can understand your disappointment – it’s heartbreaking to have spent money buying grass, then 6 months later find it’s dying off…
The first step to reviving a dead lawn is to determine what’s caused the damage. You can’t exactly take your grass to the doctor, but thankfully it’s not difficult to carry out a diagnosis yourself! Here are a few possible causes for dying grass, and some ways to help restore your lawn to optimum health:
Australia’s climate is harsh. And as that hot summer sun beats down on your grass, it dries out the soil. Grass that is not irrigated during dry spells will very quickly take on the appearance of being dead and although it may be only dormant, if it is not watered drought will eventually kill off the grass roots. Dormant lawns should revive with 3 – 4 weeks of regular irrigation, however, if the grass is actually dead, it will mean starting again.
Do the brown, dead patches of your lawn pull up easily? If so, your enemy might be insects or lawn grubs. Insects tend to favor over-watered lawns, so try backing off on the irrigation and treat the lawn with the appropriate insecticide.
If your soil is suffering from soil compaction, your lawn may struggle to get enough food and water. Aerating will allow moisture, air, and nutrients to penetrate the soil and supply the needed nourishment to the roots of the grass. Small lawn areas can be aerated using a garden fork, however, larger yards may require a petrol-powered aerator.
Thatch is the layer of partially decomposed organic matter (stems and roots) that builds up between the green lawn and the soil surface. If this layer becomes too thick, it will impact on the health of your grass. De-thatching can either be done using hand tools or a petrol-driven machine.
Your grass may be lacking in nutrients, in which case it needs a feed. Be sure to use a fertilizer that is suitable for your type of grass, and apply it in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Several applications may be necessary, so re-apply as directed.
Poor mowing practices can kill off your grass. Repetitive scalping of the lawn may make it turn brown, or in the worst case, kill it off completely. Be sure to follow the 1/3 rule: remove only one third of the height of the blade each time you mow.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to use a mower that mulches the clippings, rather than taking them away every time. Leaving the clippings on the lawn allows them to decompose and return all their goodness into the soil, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
Replace or re-seed
If a section of your lawn has completely died, it may be advisable to replace or re-seed that patch. Buying grass means that you can instantly restore your lush, green lawn without months of hard work and frustration.
There are ways and means to restore your lawn to optimum health, and when it comes to practical solutions, the team at Greener Lawns is right up there. Call us today on 1800 473 363 and discuss the needs of your lawn – we’d be glad to help you every step of the way!