Now that winter has come to a close, it’s time to start thinking about how landscape maintenance can help your Rancho Santa Fe home look it’s very best for the spring and summer seasons. Nature Designs Landscaping offers a wide variety of landscaping services that can help your home look incredible, but there are steps you can take at home to make sure that common problems don’t occur this season. Things like brown spots in your lawn are one of the most common issues we see in Rancho Santa Fe properties. They’re easily prevented, but can often be harder to fix once they show up. Here’s some basic lawn tips to help prevent or treat common lawn issues this summer.

Why Do Brown Patches Happen?

Brown patches of grass are one of the most common issues we see when doing landscape maintenance in Rancho Santa Fe. However, there are distinct differences in the types of brown patches you commonly see around lawns. There is a difference between patches of dead, brown grass and what landscapers commonly refer to as “brown patch disease.” In the former, patches of grass may be dead or dried out. In the latter, though, patches of grass are exposed to a harmful fungus that can create brown patches throughout your lawn.

There is a distinct difference between the two, and brown patch fungus is often characterized by a ring that forms around the patches of grass. Lawns that have been exposed to brown patch fungus will need extra care to be able to treat them. Luckily, brown patch disease isn’t as common in areas like Rancho Santa Fe because the fungus needs a humid climate in order to thrive. Preventing this disease involves proper watering schedules, making sure that the lawn has time to fully dry before being watered again, and applying fungicides in cases where the fungus may be more prevalent.

Bald Spots

Just like you, lawns can have bald spots too. While your lawn may not bald with old age, there are some key reasons that are often the culprit behind patches of dead, brown grass around your Rancho Santa Fe lawn. Once you’ve determined that brown patch disease isn’t ravaging through your lawn, it’s time to rule out other factors that could be wreaking havoc on your landscape maintenance. Patches of brown, dead grass are often referred to by landscapers as bald spots, and they can be caused by a variety of things. Dull mower blades or having mower blades that are set too low can often cause this problem. However, bald spots can also be caused by exposure to chemicals or animal urine (we’ll cover that one later).

Prevent or fix this issue by mowing your lawn properly and practicing proper techniques when using a lawn mower. Make sure the blade on your lawn mower is sharp, that way it cuts the grass cleanly instead of ripping the blades of grass apart. That being said, you should also make sure your lawn mower blade isn’t set too low, as this can cut the grass too short and keep it from being able to grow properly before being cut again. Think of mowing your lawn like you would shaving your own hair—if the blade is dull, it can cause problems, but if the blade is cutting too close to the skin, it can also cause problems. Landscape maintenance in Rancho Santa Fe is about creating balance.

Pet Damage

Did you know that pet urine can damage your lawn? Dog and cat urine contains amounts of nitrogen that can be harmful to plants like grass and other flowers if overexposed. This can cause your lawn to turn brown in certain spots, permanently discoloring your lawn if not taken care of properly. While it seems frustrating that even your lawn isn’t safe from your pet’s business, there are ways around it without having to ban your dog from being able to go outside.

If your lawn has already been damaged from pet urine you may have to dig up the grass and repatch it with sod or put new seeds in to fill in affected areas. Any landscape maintenance worker in Rancho Santa Fe can do this for you. To prevent these issues, it may be a good idea to create a designated area where your pet can play outside without having to worry about damaging the grass.

Weeds & Holes

Your lawn is outside, meaning you can’t always control what will happen to it no matter how much you try. Animals like Raccoons and Moles may try to move in if they can, creating unwanted holes or damage to your lawn. Similarly, weeds are common lawn killers and can be hard to tame once they’ve arrived, so properly preventing them from the start is paramount to proper landscape maintenance in Rancho Santa Fe.

Speak with your landscaper about ways to prevent weeds and unwanted critters from moving in to your lawn. Inspect your lawn by peeling back the top layer to check for things like ants and grubs. An insect repellant can often treat these issues, but problems with bigger animals and weeds may need to be handled by a professional.