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6 Lawn Problems Every Haymarket, Gainesville, or Warrenton, VA Homeowner Should Be Aware Of

Posted On: March 05,2020 By: Todd Thomasson

When your expectation is a lush green lawn, then you’re likely to be incredibly frustrated by any lawn problems that could be keeping you from that—particularly if you’re unsure why they might be happening.

Oftentimes problems with the lawn can seemingly spring up overnight—one day your grass looked just fine and suddenly it looks terrible. No matter what the case, you’d like to understand what’s going on.

First of all, you should recognize that you’re not alone. Lawn care is a lot more complicated than most people realize and getting to the bottom of what’s causing your lawn issues can be a complex undertaking involving some investigating and research. 

We’re delving into some of the lawn problems that you should be aware of and what could potentially be causing them so that you’ll have a better idea of how to get your lawn back on track with a lawn service that can help you fix these concerns.

1. Grass Pulling Up Easily

Of the various lawn problems, this is a troubling one and homeowners rightfully get pretty upset when their grass is suddenly coming out by the handful. Quite likely this is a problem with grubs. Grubs are the white, c-shaped pest that feed on a lawn’s grassroots. Your grass might be pulling up easily because grubs have eaten its roots. If damage is severe enough, and there are no roots left at all, your lawn might actually be able to roll up like a carpet. 


This is why preventative grub control is so important. While not all companies include this service (they’ll make you pay extra for it), Rock Water Farm includes this service even at the most basic level. That’s because grubs can cause incredibly costly damage that isn’t easy to repair.


2. Thinning Grass 

When your grass is thin, it can leave your lawn prone to other problems such as the invasion of weeds or even disease damage. A thick and healthy turf not only looks great but it can defend better against some of these problems.

There are a number of reasons why a lawn could be thin. For one, it could be a soil problem. Most grasses prefer a soil environment that is slightly acidic and a low soil pH could be preventing your lawn from being thick and thriving.

But thin grass could also just be a sign that your property is too shady for grass to grow well. All grass types (even “shade varieties”) need at least some sun to thrive. This is a lawn problem that can potentially be solved by proper tree pruning. While many lawn care companies do not delve into landscaping services, Rock Water Farm is a full-service company and therefore can handle all of your property needs, including tree pruning.

nice lawn worker mowing 1

Sometimes a thin lawn could also be related to your mowing habits. A lot of people don’t realize that there is a “right” and “wrong” way to mow and they may cut their grass too short. This can put the lawn under a tremendous amount of stress and cause it to thin out over time.

A thin lawn could also be the result of an invasive weed, insect, or disease problem.


3. A Sudden Invasion of Grassy Weeds

You might feel that you’re doing everything in your power to keep weeds at bay and yet you seem to be experiencing an overnight invasion of grassy weeds. Unfortunately, many grassy weeds are incredibly aggressive and can begin to take over the lawn relatively quickly (choking out healthy turf in their path). 

Unfortunately, many grassy weeds are not able to be selectively controlled. There are often specialized approaches and products that need to be taken in order to achieve effective control. 

Crabgrass in Cool Season Turfgrass

Among the grassy weeds that are a common problem in Haymarket, Gainesville, and Warrenton, VA are nutsedge (which needs to be controlled with a specially formulated product and may require multiple rounds of applications) and crabgrass. Crabgrass is an annual grassy weed that spreads rapidly in thick and unattractive clumps. It is best controlled with pre-emergent applications to prevent crabgrass from germinating in the first place as well as post-emergent product for breakthrough. 

A lawn care program that effectively addresses weeds should also look at improving the overall health of the lawn as a whole since a healthy and thriving lawn is going to do the best possible job of choking out weed growth. 


4. Loss of Color (Overall)

You want a nice healthy green lawn but what you might be seeing is a yellowing or off-green color. It seems like your lawn is “fading.” When your grass isn’t as green as you want it to be, there could be a number of reasons behind this common lawn problem. 

One of the easier-to-solve culprits is lack of water. The absence of water can cause your lawn to dull. Paying attention to your lawn’s health during periods of drought and increasing your watering can prevent this. 

Of course, too much water can also cause the lawn to yellow so you should not automatically assume the lawn is under drought stress just because it’s yellowing. Overwatering can deprive the lawn of oxygen and cause it to lose color. A lawn that is overwatered will have a particularly spongy feeling and you’ll likely notice runoff. 


Beyond watering, soil pH can also be a reason behind a lackluster lawn. In order for your lawn to thrive, it must have the proper pH balance for the species of grass that is growing. A soil test can help reveal if your lawn’s pH is off. At Rock Water Farm, a soil test is included in all levels of our lawn care because we believe it’s essential to solving common lawn problems.

Grass type is another common reason why your lawn color could be “off.”  If you had lawn repairs performed and used a seed with a different grass type than the rest of your lawn, it could be causing lawn color issues. Some of the invasive grassy weeds that we mentioned can also grow in different shades of green that appear to impact your overall color.This is clearly a lawn problem that has a lot of potential sources, so getting to the bottom of exactly what’s causing it will be important in remedying the concern.


5. Patches of Discoloration

Sometimes discoloration appears only in patches. For instance, you might be seeing brown spots or even discolored “rings.” Oftentimes, these are a sign of a fungal turf disease which will need to be treated with fungicide. 

Turf Disease

Surface-feeding insects can also cause patches of discoloration. Two of the primary surface-feeding insects in Haymarket, Gainesville, or Warrenton, VA are chinch bugs and sod webworms. These insects will cause damage in the area of the lawn that they’re feeding on (though if you have a major infestation, it could be your entire lawn!). 

Of course, discolored patches could also be the sign of a misapplied product, such as fertilizer. If too much fertilizer is applied, or it’s applied incorrectly, it can lead to something called “lawn burn.” 


6. Webby or Powdery Areas of the Lawn or Lesions on Grass Blades

If you’re noticing a powdery-like lawn or even that your individual grass blades have lesions (or “spots”), then it’s very likely that you’re dealing with a turf disease problem. Of course, there are a number of potential diseases and getting to the bottom of which one your lawn has is important. Many of the various lawn diseases can also cause some of the lawn issues described above, like thinning turf or loss of color.

In fact, it’s important to recognize that most often when lawn problems present, they are likely to cause an array of symptoms. On top of that, it’s quite common for lawns to be struggling with more than one issue at once. For instance, you could be mowing your lawn improperly, struggling with a lawn disease, and have a soil health problem that needs to be addressed. Many times each of these issues exacerbates the others.

It can also make a lawn problem diagnosis difficult. This is why finding the right professional lawn service is so important.


Finding Lawn Service Companies to Solve Your Lawn Problems

If you’re experiencing lawn issues, you’re likely eager to get your lawn back on track. Your best bet is to find a lawn care professional who truly understands the science behind lawns. That’s because it’s so important that your problems are properly diagnosed in order for the right treatments to be utilized.


The truth is, applying the right treatment to a problem can actually make it worse. Unfortunately, even many lawn service companies make mistakes or fail to spot problems early and this is concerning. Sometimes it was even a “pro” that got your lawn to this point in the first place. 

We understand that’s incredibly frustrating.

Fortunately, there are solutions out there and making a good choice in lawn services can help restore your lawn to good health. By choosing the best lawn care professional, you’ll be able to feel confident that your lawn is in good hands and that any issues you’re experiencing now (or in the future) will be properly addressed. 

That should give you the peace of mind that you deserve.

If you are ready to solve your lawn problems at your Haymarket, Gainesville, or Warrenton, VA home, talk to an expert, choose a solution that rocks, and then enjoy your yard and relax.

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Todd Thomasson

Written by Todd Thomasson

Todd Thomasson, founded Rock Water Farm Landscapes & Hardscapes in 2005. Having grown up with hard working parent role models and a strong work ethic, Todd put his Landscape & Turf Management degree from Virginia Tech into action as the lead stone mason and landscape designer for the new company. Over the years, the responsibility and opportunity of running this company has been shared with other members of the Rock Water Farm team, launching one of the leading property maintenance companies in Loudoun County. Todd is still rooted in his passion for design/build projects and continues to run the company, working with clients to design, build and maintain perfect outdoor spaces with his team.