Troubleshooting Common Types of Lawn Problems


Did you know that there are more than 11,000 different grass species around the world?

Of all these species, only about a dozen are for lawns. And, depending on the grass variety on your lawn, you can encounter different types of lawn problems.

Some lawn issues are more common than others, though. So we’re going to tell you about the 5 most common lawn problems in the US. Keep reading to learn what they are and how to treat them.

1. Crabgrass

Crabgrass is one lawn problem that will return year after year if it’s not treated. And this grassy weed can easily take over other grasses if given enough time.

Crabgrass is typically caused by too much nitrogen. To treat it, you can apply a preemergence herbicide with fertilizer in it. You might also try using corn gluten meal or even organic mulch.

2. Brown Patch

While brown patches can appear on your lawn for various reasons, there’s only one type of brown patch that gets the official title of “brown patch disease”. This condition is the result of the Rhizoctonia fungus and it causes circles of dead and sunken grass that can be as much as 3 feet wide.

The good news is that brown patch disease only kills the blades of grass and doesn’t affect the root system. Treat this lawn problem by aerating and dethatching the lawn every year.

3. Red Thread

Red thread is characterized by thin, red strands that extend from the blades of grass. It’s found mostly in the Pacific Northwest because it thrives in cool and humid conditions as well as nutrient-poor soil.

Without treatment, red thread will live for years. It’s best treated with a broad-spectrum fungicide that kills the fungus and prevents its spread. This fungus can be a bit more difficult to treat than others, so consider calling in lawn professionals like

4. Dandelions

Dandelions are indeed a weed but they can serve an important purpose as the first food of pollinators in the springtime. Their leaves can also be eaten and are full of potassium, calcium, vitamin A, and phosphorous.

However, dandelions will come back every year and can outgrow grass if left to their own devices. You can treat them by removing them with a trowel or a weeding fork. Just be sure to get down to the roots.

5. Snow Mold

If you live in a state that gets lots of snow in the winter, your lawn is susceptible to snow mold. There are two types of snow mold: pink and gray. Pink snow mold can actually grow without snow, in cool and wet weather.

Although snow mold won’t destroy your lawn, it also can’t be treated once you see it. By the time it’s visible, the damage is done and a fungicide won’t help.

Other Types of Lawn Problems and Garden Help

There are many types of lawn problems that can affect your lawn. Crabgrass, brown patch, red thread, dandelions, and snow mold are among the 5 most common, though. The good news is, that most of these can be treated.

And for more lawn problems and issues, and all the help you’ll need with your garden this springtime, be sure to check out our Home & Garden section regularly.