Asked Questions About Lawns
I am considering putting a new lawn in front of my house and would
like recommendations. I also am interested in finding out how to
care for an established lawn.
has a bulletin EB0482
"Home Lawns" covering establishment and maintenance of
lawns in Washington. You can order the publication from the WSU
My newly sodded lawn looked beautiful in the beginning of
summer but now dead spots are developing throughout the yard. What
am I to do?
how much are you watering your lawn? The Diagnostic Laboratory frequently
receives turf samples that have been overwatered. For example, people
with a new automatic irrigation system might set it to run daily
for 10 to 15 minutes. Not only does this schedule contribute to
high water bills, but it probably provides more water than the lawn
shallow daily watering regime fails to promote development of the
roots deep into the underlying soil. In
addition, frequent irrigations keep the leaf blades and thatch layer
damp, which can promote development of disease problems.
would require a sample and detailed information on the lawn care
to further identify the problem. See lawn
sampling instructions for further directions on sampling for
lawn problem diagnosis.
Moss is growing all over my lawn. What moss killer can I use to
killers (you can find them at your local hardware, home & garden
store, or nursery) can only temporarily get rid of the moss problem-
in order to achieve management of the moss problem, you need to
address the underlying reasons as to why the turf is not thriving
and the moss becomes established (shade, wet conditions...etc.).
the WSU Hortsense web
site, and click on "Lawn and Turf" and then click on "Moss",
or you can check out the Oregon State University web site on Controlling
Moss in Lawns for more information.
We have this unwelcome grass in our yard. The grass seems
to die out every summer but then grows again in fall. The grass
creeps along and often forms tufts at the top of the plant- it can
be very difficult to mow. It feels like you are walking on a padded
surface, unlike regular grass. What is it and how can we manage
a sample of the grass in question, we are unable to confirm the
identity of your problem grass. Your description of walking across
the grass suggests one of our native bentgrasses that often grow
some distance horizontally before putting out green blades.
there are no "magic bullets" herbicides available for
removing one unwanted grass species from the desired types without
hurting the wanted turf. So typically to get rid of a weedy grass,
we recommend carefully spot spraying a broad spectrum herbicide,
for example glyphosate sold under names such as Roundup, on the
grasses in the weedy areas.
label directions carefully if herbicides are used. After killing
the grasses in this area, you may need to reseed with a desired
turf mix to fill in the open spots. Click on either EB0924:
Lawn Renovation or Lawn
Renovation for more information.
A weedy grass out competing the desired grass species is often an
indication of turf management problems. Examples of management problems
include growing sunloving species in the shade, over or underwatering,
and mowing at the wrong height. For turf management information,
I need information on craneflies in lawns.
County Cooperative Extension has developed an informative website
covering craneflies and their management in the Pacific Northwest.
View this website at Cranefly
Pest of the Pacific Northwest.
you will read, if you are concerned about cranefly injury to your
lawn, you should be monitoring cranefly population within the turf
and watching for damage. Additional management recommendations can
be found at the WSU Hortsense
website by clicking on "Lawn and Turf", and then "European
Moles seem to be taking over my lawn. What can I do about them?
you always wanted a "pet" mole? Mole management can be
very difficult. Most of the "home remedies", such as juicy
fruit gum, mothballs, sonic noisemakers, will not help to remedy
the situation. Scissor traps, one of the most effective management
strategies against moles, are not currently legal to use in Washington
State. For more information on management of moles, refer to these
of Vertebrate Pest Management.
fertilizing our lawn this spring, we noticed that the flowering
plum growing in the middle of the lawn developed abnormal looking
leaves and twisty branch ends. What is going on?
The plum may have been damaged by application of a growth regulator
herbicide. Are you using a lawn fertilizer product that also contains
herbicide for weed control (e.g. Weed n Feed)? These mixture products
typically contain a hormone mimic herbicide, such as 2,4-D or dicamba.
These growth regulator herbicides target broad leaved plants (such
as dandelions) but can cause damage to other broadleaf trees and
shrubs growing in, or alongside, the lawn. Injury occurs either
from drift of the herbicide in the mixture, or from absorption of
the herbicide by the tree or shrub roots that are growing beneath
using such herbicides near this tree. Remember that the rooting
zone of trees and shrubs typically extends beyond the drip zone
of the canopy - the diameter of the root system is typically about
1.5 times the height of the plant. Once the herbicide is out of
the environment, the tree should grow normally.