14 Solutions to Lawn Care Problems
Abiotic disorders are diseases induced by adverse environmental conditions, often the result of human activity.
These causes include, nutrient deficiencies or excesses, salt, cold, heat, herbicides or other pesticides, air
pollution, or too little or too much water. Activities that compact soil, change soil grade, or injure trunk or root
also cause abiotic disorders.
One of the most common problems for lawn customers is under watering or overwatering their lawns.
If a customer under waters, it can create conditions, which not only stresses the grass but also improves
conditions for insect problems. With the temperature reaching 107 degrees this summer many customers
had difficulty getting adequate water on the lawn.
Very few sprinkler systems are properly installed and 107 degree temperatures and long dry spells will show
you where the weakness are. Improper distribution of water droplets will show up as dead grass areas and
areas generally made more susceptible to chinch bug attack. This year most of the lawns that I visited had
closed grass blades by noon. Remember that St. Augustine grass will start closing the blades of grass
when the grass needs more water. Check your lawn regularly when climatic conditions become severe
or inconsistent with the season!
Second, poor soils are to blame because of the lack of organic material to aid in holding moisture in the soil.
Some areas of your yard stayed nice and moist while other areas prematurely dried out. This left the grass
to suffer from heat stress. Yards, which had some incline to them, required even more water because of
water run off. The lack of moisture made certain areas warmer, which aided chinch bug development. Between
the lack of water and chinch bug development this gave the yard a double whammy! Some yards suffered
more than others did.
Why treatments sometimes fail?
It pains me when I know how hard Tree Tops Pest Control is working to minimize the damage and then how
hard we work to help restore the yards we care for. Many of the yards were sprayed three times under your
warranty, Just to stop chinch bug attack. Some of you may ask why didnít the first time work.
Chemicals and there applications are affected by many different factors. Increased, Heat, Humidity and Ulv
rays break down the insecticides very quickly. An insecticide that is applied when the temperature is 80
degrees with minimal watering may last many days longer. But if you apply the same insecticide at 100
degrees with heavy watering, quick break down will occur.
You may ask me why donít I compensate for the weather conditions. I try as much as the law will allow me.
There is a point or a label amount that the law will not let me violate. The second problem is that I am not
able to control the weather, water, and temperature and soil conditions around your house.
All of the above factors change from day to day or even hour to hour.
Drainage or moisture conditions are also beyond my control. When I refer to moisture conditions, I may
be referring to several types of moisture conditions. One type of moisture problem is simply over watering.
Too much water can set up conditions, which contribute to fungal development. Second is poor drainage.
Soil that does not drain properly will ultimately have problems with fungus in the grass. Third, water retention
between the soil particles themselves may increase conditions of fungal development. As example is clay soils.
Clay soils will hold water longer than sandy soils. The time necessary for a soil to become dry becomes very
Plants actually need this drying out cycle just as much as the water. Soils that stay water logged to long increase
the chances for fungal development or root rot. I have seen yards that never had any major fungus problems until
they received two ten inch rains only ten days apart. Different yards will have different problems at different times.
Depending on all of the contributing factors and how they work in conjunction with all of the abiotic disorders
affecting that yard. That is why one yard can look so good and another yard looks terrible. Just a minor change
with any one of the abiotic factors could make the yard have a fungal outbreak. Generally, those yards that have
fungal problems will continue to have those problems every time conditions get just right for the outbreak!
Oh, Woe is I.
Now what can you do to minimize your problems? First off, donít blame the company doing your service. I
have spent many years dedicating my life to help you. Bottom Line is I can not control everything! What I can
do is dispatch a truck to try to help you but chemicals, fungicides, and pesticides is not always the way to go.
The first thing is to identify the abiotic disorders that may be contributing to the problems. If you are not able
to do that, call me ,I am happy to help you and that is one reason you pay me, is for my knowledge. Second,
Letís correct the abiotic disorders to the best of our ability. Some abiotic disorders may not be 100% correctable.
Ways to improve Moisture Problems
7. Can you change the grade of the soil? If you can a yard or two of topsoil spread over your yard may do the trick.
8. Look for low spots in your yard that may trap water. Fill the low spots in with topsoil!
9. Can a soil amendment change the way your soil drains? Mixing some sand or other material in clay soil
may help it drain faster.
10. Smoothing out your yard and getting rid of unusual highs and lows may improve drainage.
11. Increase the incline in your yard when able. A 3 to 6 inch difference every hundred feet may help the yard
12. Modifying sprinkler times may solve the problem. Remember to check your sprinkler heads every spring.
Some times they get plugged with sediment or broken .
13. Install a drainage system if none of the above works. Sometimes a French drain is the only way to go!
Why not do a preventative fungicide application?
In many cases, I will do a preventative fungicide treatment. However, there are several problems with doing that.
One, I do not always know when the conditions are ripe for a preventative treatment. Weather conditions change
constantly so a preventive treatment could be unnecessary if conditions donít get ripe for your fungus to become
active and I waste the fungicide. Two, fungicides for the most part are short lived and generally only help for 10 to
14 days. The very expensive fungicide may go 28 days. Weather conditions are constantly changing so I really
never know the exact date for the best application. Third, constantly keeping your yard inundated in fungicide will
mess your yards normal ecosystem up. Why, because fungicide kill good fungus as well as bad fungus. Too much
fungicide can create resistant strains of fungus that could eat your yard up! It always best to use minimum amounts
of fungicide on your yard.
Abiotic Disorders or 14 Common Lawn Care Problems and Solutions
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