This has been quite a summer. Some people in our area have had healthy, green lawns all summer long while others are parched and dormant from lack of rain. If yours is among the latter, consider giving it a good inspection when it greens up in the next few weeks to see if there’s any damage from summer dormancy.
The most obvious areas that need attention are brown patches where the grass failed to green up. This doesn’t indicate any diseases; it just means the grass in those patches wasn’t as hardy as the rest.
Closer inspection may reveal that the turf in other sections of the lawn is thin. You can actually see soil around the grass plants. This is an open invitation for weeds to move in and fill that space.
The best fix is to rake out the dead grass with an iron rake. Be careful to get it all out or your next problem could be a build up of thatch. Gather up the dead grass and throw it on the compost pile, where it will decompose quickly.
Using your metal rake, rough up the soil. That includes those spots with thin turf. Next, spread fertilizer or compost, followed by seed. Then work the seed into the soil with your rake and finish the task by watering the areas you’ve reseeded. Finally, be sure it receives that important inch of water a week by rain, irrigation or a combination of both.
Repairing your lawn now, in the late summer or early fall, will give it plenty of time to become established before winter. Not repairing your lawn in fall opens the door for weeds to make the most of the opportunity you provided. Many of their seeds are lying latent in your soil, and they germinate early in the spring and begin growing before your grass breaks winter dormancy. They will quickly fill in any spaces you left bare. You’ll then have to get rid of the weeds before you can repair the grass in the spring.
If this work needs to be done this fall but you can’t fit it into your schedule, we have lawn care professionals who would be more than happy to take the whole job off your shoulders.
One landscape feature that I dislike more than artificial turf is real turf. I would not mind it so much if our climate was more conducive to the cultivation of lawns, or if it was reserved for where it actually gets used, like for households where children live. Lawns have always been standard landscape features here, as if we were not in a chaparral climate.