Over the years we see the same problems in Cincinnati and Dayton lawns. Today I will be troubleshooting two common lawn problems in Cincinnati and Dayton lawns.
Too much shade– I see this more often than I would like, but trees are beautiful and expensive to chop down. Save a tree and plant groundcover. If an area of your property where you are trying to grow grass has moss then that is an indicator that this area does not have the right conditions for grass to grow well. Grass, even shade mixes like turf type tall fescue and fine fescues, need 3-4 hours of sunlight per day. If an area is not receiving the proper amount of sunlight for grass you have 3 options:
1) Prune your trees to allow more sunlight
2) Plant shade tolerant plants or a groundcover
3) Keep fighting mother nature and wasting money on seed/sod for this area
#3 option doesn’t sound too fun, so I would suggest options #1 or #2.
Bumpy Lawn- I wish we had the magical potion to apply to smooth out lawns. I would be a rich man in South Carolina playing golf everyday if I had this magical solution. Unfortunately there is none out there. Why do you have a bumpy lawn? There are many causes of this. Mother nature could be the cause. The freezing/thawing of the soil causes heaving over time and can cause an older lawn to have a bumpy feel. Earthworms and moles can contribute to a bumpy lawn. Earthworms indicate a fertile soil though, so don’t kill them off. Trap moles to get rid of them. Old tree roots can be a cause. Poor grading when the lawn was installed could be a cause. Finally you may just have a thin lawn or a yard with clumpy growing grasses such as K-31 Tall Fescue. These clump growing grasses can cause a very bumpy lawn. If your lawn is thin it will have a lumpy feel to it while you walk it or mow it. What are your options to address this lawn problem?
1) Aerate to relieve compaction and improve the soil structure
2) Fertilize the lawn to create a thicker lawn that fills in bare/thin areas
3) Overseed the bare/thin areas in Sept/Early October to create a thicker lawn that feels less bumpy
4) Trap Moles (Moleman of Cincinnati Sara Schmidt is very good)
5) Complete Renovation to address the poor grading issues. Very expensive and not recommended. If you do this then have it done in the Fall and seed the lawn with turf type tall fescue
6) DO NOT roll your lawn. This is a myth that it will help your lawn. It may address the bumpiness problem temporarily, but it will not last and you will cause more harm than good by compacting the soil. Never ever roll your lawn.
More lawn problems to come, but hope this helps.