Common Lawn Problems & How to Fix Them

Vicky Page's picture
By Vicky Page, Garden Expert
Problem holes in the lawn - Credit

There can be many problems plaguing a lawn, preventing it from looking its best. If your lawn looking a bit sorry for itself, then let us help you nurse it back to health! These are the most common lawn problems, along with our suggested solutions.

Lawn Weeds

These include dandelion, buttercups, daisies, lesser trefoil (yellow suckling clover), black medick (a small-leaved clover) common mouse-ear chickweed, yarrow, parsley-piert and the blue-flowered speedwell.

If left untreated all these lawn weeds will spread to fight the grass for space, food and light, gradually ruining the look of the lawn. To kill the weeds without damaging the grass choose a selective weedkiller or granular lawn treatment that states that it will kill lawn weeds.

Lawn Moss

Lawn moss is a serious problem in spring and autumn, most often found where drainage is poor and the lawn is in the shade.

Apply a lawn treatment containing a moss killer and then try to remove the causes. Spiking will improve drainage and overseeding with a grass seed mixture especially suited for shaded areas will improve the vigour of the lawn.

See our lawn moss control section for more details.

Worm Casts

Worm casts is another lawn problem in the autumn that shouldn’t be ignored. When squashed, worm casts make ideal seed beds for weed seeds. When they appear, let them fully dry and then sweep them away with a stiff broom brush before mowing.

Lawn Thatch

Leaving clippings on the grass will gradually build thatch - a layer of dead organic matter at soil level. Thatch prevents water getting through and increases the likelihood of disease.

Rake out thatch in September or early spring with a garden rake or scarifier. To prevent it coming back, collect the grass clippings if your mower has a grass box, or rake up all clippings after each mowing.

Pale Grass

This is a symptom of malnutrition or a lack of feeding. Without the correct balanced diet, the lawn will stay weak and pale as it has used up available nutrients in the soil.

Supplementary feeding with nutrient-rich lawn treatments is the only way to replace these lost foods. Simply watering will not solve this problem, see our lawn feeding section for more details.

Scalped Patches

This problem results from mowing the grass too short. Shaving the lawn doesn’t save time and often leaves bare patches vulnerable to invasion by weeds and moss.

To solve the problem, fill in any obvious hollows with a lawn soil or top soil and cut the grass to a minimum of a couple of centimetres in length.

Bald patches can be reseeded with grass seeds and grass seed patching mixes or, where dogs have caused the damage, specialist blends of tolerant grass seeds and neutralisers can be purchased.

A Healthy Green Lawn


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