14 Common Lawn Care Problems and Solutions

Ways to improve moisture problems in the soil

Lawn care in the Woodlands, Tx


Kill Bugs in the Woodlands, Tx

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


Philip Hughes

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