A healthy lawn--one that is free from insects, weeds, dead spots and bare patches--requires ongoing care and maintenance, but the rewards are worth the effort. Lush, green grass is not only inviting, it is strong and resistant to drought, damage and disease. To keep your grass looking good without breaking the bank, consider using home remedies for common lawn problems.
Lawn fungi cause areas of dead or sparse grass. To control lawn fungi, water early in the morning and do not over-fertilize your lawn. If you have low spots that tend to collect water, fill them in with topsoil and seed with a disease-resistant grass strain.
Dog Urine Spots
Contrary to popular belief, dog urine spots are not the result of the alkalinity or acidity of your dog's urine. The spots are caused by high concentrations of nitrogen and salt contained in the urine. Some common---but ineffective--home remedies for dog urine spots include sprinkling baking soda on the spots or adding acidifiers to your dog's urine. To control urine spots on your lawn, thoroughly wet the area with a garden hose or sprinkling after it urinates. If possible, train your dog to urinate in a specific area, preferably one that is graveled or mulched. Be sure your dog drinks enough water---concentrated urine contains more damaging salts.
Mole tunnels are not just an aesthetic problem. Their collapsible tunnels can cause a painful ankle injury if one gives way under you. Fortunately, moles are territorial, so although your lawn may look like you've been invaded by an army of rodents, you probably have less than three per acre. To rid your lawn of moles, control grub populations, a favorite mole food. Stamp down active tunnels whenever they appear. According to Ohio State University, "over-watering your lawn can bring soil invertebrates and moles closer to the ground surface, making tunnels more visible." They suggest watering less and converting lawn areas into gardens, pathways and natural habitats.
Insects and Weeds
Cornell Extension suggests a simple solution for lawn weeds and insects: adopt a peaceful attitude. Most pests are not life threatening, and a simple program of non-toxic maintenance will, in most cases, be adequate. They suggest spot treating and hand-pulling weeds, fertilizing regularly and using selective, low-toxicity pesticides.