Spring To-Do's

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10 Most Common Yard Problems

How To Manage Your Backyard and Maintain It

The following are the 10 most common yard care problems as seen by the experts at Yardcare.com.

1. What can I do about lawn damage caused by my dog?
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix when it comes to brown spots caused by dog urine. But you can help to avoid this damage in the future with heavy watering, and a little baking soda. Heavy watering will help to dilute the concentration of nitrogen in your yard, and adding baking soda to a watering can full of water will help to neutralize the area.

2. How do I deal with mushrooms?
There are no chemical treatments available for the control of mushrooms or toadstools, although there are some temporary options available. You can try to dig up the decaying organic matter from which the mushrooms are growing. Another option is to destroy the mushrooms with a rake or lawn mower and wait out the problem (that is, until the buried organic matter fully decays and disappears).

3. How do I get rid of moss?
Your best defense against moss is a healthy lawn. Make sure you are properly watering and fertilizing. Once moss is actively growing, however, you can try chemicals that will kill it.

4. What is the most effective way to kill ground ivy?
Control is most effective in the early spring, before the plants have gotten too big. Rake and mow early in the season. You can dislodge creeping Charlie's rooting stems from the ground with a rake. After raking make sure to mow your lawn at a low setting, and then rake up and dispose of the stems (severed stems can re-root). Another way to rid your lawn of creeping Charlie is through the use of weed killers.

5. What should I do if my lawn is overrun with crabgrass?
A dense lawn is better able to resist an invasion of crabgrass. So be sure to properly water and fertilize your lawn. Another way to discourage the growth of crabgrass is by mowing your lawn at a higher setting. You can also try herbicides to control the crabgrass in your yard.

6. How often should I fertilize?
Most lawns need to be fertilized two or three times a year. Fertilizing should begin with your first mowing. Stop fertilizing when the grass is done growing for the year.

7. Why do I need to lime my lawn, and how often does it need to be done?
Lime is added to a lawn to adjust the soil's pH level. The pH level can affect the grass' ability to absorb nutrients necessary to grow properly. Your soil's pH level should range between 5.5 and 7.5. Lime should be added if your pH level is below the desired range. Typically, lime is added once or twice a growing season.

8. How do I rid my lawn of grubs?
The easiest way is to use a product designed to kill lawn insects. This should be applied between July and September, when grubs are the most susceptible to insect controls.

9. What are the benefits of a mulching mower?
Mulching mowers return grass clippings to your lawn. The benefits are many. The clippings serve as fertilizer and help retain and conserve needed moisture, giving you a healthier lawn. You'll save time, because you won't have to stop to empty the mower bag and don't need to fertilize as often. In addition, you'll save money on both clipping disposal and fertilizer costs. If you mow on a regular basis, a mulching mower would be very beneficial to your lawn.

10. When and how often should I water my lawn?
Most lawns require about one inch of water a week. The best time to water is early in the day. Watering at night puts your lawn at risk for developing mildew and fungus disease.

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