January 21, 2015
While most people appreciate a well manicured and lush green lawn, many don’t give it much more thought than that. However, a yard is much more than just green grass over dirt. It helps keep moisture in the ground, water out of the basement, and erosion from occurring. How do you know if your lawn is in good shape or if it needs a little help? Here are some tell-tale signs that re-grading might be in order.
The Obvious Signs
Dips, humps, pooling water, and run-off are pretty basic signs that your yard might need some work. When the lawn mower mows off the top of the sod or you consistently fall into holes, something has gone awry.
Run-off, caused by too much slope, can cause rivulets to occur in severe cases. This is definitely not something that leaves the lawn looking attractive. Also, the water running off can cause damage elsewhere. If top soil gets washed off and tree roots exposed, the trees could die or uproot easily.
Also, essential nutrients can run off causing lush grass to die and pesky weeds to grow. Is the soil sloped away from the basement or foundation of the house? If not, water may seep in and cause damage. The yard should slope slightly away from the house but not enough to cause damage
somewhere else. A well-drained lawn will also show no obvious pools of water in the yard after a rain storm.
The Less Obvious
The above issues are fairly obvious. However, there are several other signs that can point to things not being ideal. Tough weeds cause unsightly clumps in the lawn and their tough exteriors and deep roots can cause problems. Nuisance weeds can also spread throughout the yard which is both unsightly and damaging. After a certain point they are nearly impossible to control manually. Dead patches in the lawn are often an indicator of fungus caused by too wet soil. If there’s not enough drainage, water can pool and create fungus. The fungus will eventually kill off the grass in the areas it resides.
Alternatively, soil that is too tightly compacted doesn’t allow enough moisture in. This is the type of nutrient poor soil only a weed can love. Lush grass thrives on moisture, proper drainage, and nutrition; all the things this soil can’t provide.
Ten Things to Watch For
• Obvious high spots in the yard
• Obvious low spots in the yard
• Too much slope
• Inadequate slope
• Patches of dead grass
• Unsightly clumps of weeds
• Thin patches in the lawn and many weeds
• Tightly compacted soil
• Rivulets in the soil or other erosion indicators
• Water pooling in the yard
Small problems are easily fixed manually and the lawn will be just fine. However, when things start to get out of hand, re-grading is probably the best answer. A newly graded lawn will have the proper slope for drainage. The proper slope combined with nutrient rich soil and grass seed will offer a lush and healthy lawn for years to come.
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