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St George Landscaping, Masonry and Excavation

Troubleshooting 5 Common Issues With Desert Lawns

Desert Lawns

Having a beautiful lawn in a desert is no easy task. Even though your St George landscapers use a drought-resistant hybrid of fescue grass to create lush lawns, desert lawns tend to struggle with several common issues.

To help you protect your lawn, our lawn experts have listed five of the most common issues that desert lawns struggle with, how you can troubleshoot it in your own lawn, and how to correct the problem.

1. Identifying And Fixing Sprinkler Problems

Determining if your sprinklers aren’t working optimally is relatively easy if you know what to look for when checking for problems with your lawn. Desert lawns can dry up quickly, so if your sprinklers are not covering an area, you will soon see even distressed areas in your lawn, whether it is an entire strip of lawn dying or a circle around where the sprinkler is not working.

We recommend that you check your sprinklers are working properly around once a quarter. You can place shallow cans, like tuna cans, around the areas you suspect aren’t working as well as a few areas which are healthy. If the can water collectors don’t have an even amount of water, it is time to see what is wrong with that sprinkler, whether it is simply clogged, improperly turned, damaged, or other issues.

2. Adjusting Other Watering Issues

Finding the appropriate balance of water for your lawn can be tricky. Too much water and your lawn can drown or develop a fungal infection. Yet, too little water and the desert sun will scorch the lawn and create unsightly dead patches. To determine if either of these issues is affecting your lawn, you can look for these signs:

  • Overwatering – If your lawn is growing too fast and starting to yellow even though you used a fertilizer, it is possible that you are overwatering your lawn. Take 1-2 days off your watering schedule and be sure that you are watering in the early morning to be sure you are achieving the right level of water saturation.
  • Underwatering – Lawns which are suffering from too little water often look a bit grey, and the blades of the grass will curl up, with other patches going yellow. Don’t immediately start drowning your lawn; instead, add an extra day to your watering schedule and lengthen your watering times by about 10 minutes.

If you still aren’t sure how to balance your lawn’s watering schedule, you can always consult our lawn care guide and follow our watering schedule.

3. Fixing Imbalanced Soil

St. George has fairly alkaline and mineral-heavy soil, which can result in dead sections, burned patches, and overall stunted growth. It can be difficult to correct these issues in an established lawn, as many types of fertilizer can create further damage when interacting with alkaline soil.

For dead sections of lawn, often the only recourse available is to remove the section, prepare the soil and re-sod or seed the area. You may also want to try an acid-based fertilizer, which may be able to neutralize the alkaline in the soil.

4. Correcting Excessive Thatch

The buildup of thatch can be easy to miss until it starts to create thin areas in your lawn where very little of your grass blades exist. This layer of dead plant matter can choke out any healthy lawn, so it is important to de-thatch every 2-3 years. You can easily do this with a rake or a de-thatching attachment on your lawn mower and is best done in the fall.

If your lawn also struggles with compacted soil as well as thatch, you may want to aerate your lawn to relieve the compaction of our heavy clay soil.

5. Dealing With Lawn Infestation

Even desert lawns can develop fungal diseases and struggle with insect infestations. You can spot these issues on your lawn if it develops irregular patches of discoloration in your lawn. If not dealt with, it can lead to the death of your lawn.

If you notice a strange patch, take a soil sample to check for insects and use insecticide in early April and again in July to keep your lawn free of future pests. If your lawn has developed a fungal disease, it is best to remove that section to keep it from spreading to the rest of your lawn and re-seeding or re-sod.

If you would like assistance with your home’s landscaping, contact us. We can create not only your dream lawn but the perfect hardscaping to develop your perfect outdoor space.