When we look through home improvement magazines, all the featured homes have one thing in common: a beautiful lawn. Sometimes our own lawns fail to measure up to the magazine’s photo spread. Yellowing grass, brown sports, bare patches, and weeds are common problems that all homeowners face.  We have a few tips to help you deal with these issues and get your home showcase ready.

Yellowing Grass

Yellow patches in the lawn are a sign that the turn if starving for nitrogen.  Even if you are applying a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, the nitrogen may not be reaching the roots. If you have yellow spots in your hard, take the following steps:

  1. De-thatch.  Thatch is the brownish dead plant matter in your yard. It may be dead grasses or other weeds, but it works to block moisture and nutrients from reaching the soil. Attack thatch with a sturdy garden rake to remove it from your yard. Learn more about weed and moss control.
  2. Aerate.  When soil becomes compacted, moisture and nutrients can run off rather than soak in.  Hire a professional lawn care company to aerate the soil mechanically to allow for greater air and water flow.
  3. Fertilize.  Once your yard is dethatched and aerated, you are ready to apply fertilizer.  The fertilizer will now be able to soak into the soil and reach the roots of the grasses where it has the most impact. You can also browse Bur-Han’s fertilization packages.

Brown Spots

Brown spots in the yard are generally caused by too much nitrogen which can kill off the grass.  This can be from either over application of fertilizer or a concentration of animal urine.  To repair this problem, start with watering your lawn heavily for a few days. This will help wash away the excess nitrogen.  Then re-seed the lawn in that area to promote grass growth rather than weed growth.  Of course, if your entire lawn is turning brown, then it is from a lack of water.


Weeds can be unsightly and unwelcome visitors in our yards. In the past, harsh chemicals or manual labor were the only way to eliminate them.  Today, most lawn care companies offer more natural and even organic weed control options.  For large existing weeds, you can apply vinegar to the leaves and roots to kill the plant, or you can take the old-fashioned route of simply digging it up.  To kill weeds before they become eyesores, a regular application of a pre-emergent herbicide can keep seeds from sprouting.

Bare Patches

Bare patches throughout a yard are a very common problem.  No matter how many times the homeowner reseeds the area, they just can’t seem to get grass to grow there. In these cases, they should attack the problem in the same way as yellow grass.  Remove thatch, aerate the area, and layer in some rich compost prior to re-seeding the ground.  These steps should provide a rich environment for the new grasses to take root.

If you are puzzled by your lawn problems in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland area, contact Bur-Han Garden & Lawn Care.  Our professionals have years of experience treating and repairing these common lawn problems.