Common Problems

Even if we’d like our lawns to be perfect, we often find that, without our knowledge or control, our lawn has developed a disease or been taken over by pests, weeds or an unexplainable condition. In most cases these are often extremely common problems. Common problems are easily treatable and below we have a number of examples which our current customers’ lawns have previously suffered from.


To identify moss you will find discolouration within your lawn with different looking tufts between grass blades but these can vary wildly as there are many types of moss. Most importantly your lawn will feel very spongy to walk upon. After time, large patches of grass will deteriorate and eventually die.

Moss spores are carried on the wind, land randomly and quickly establish themselves. Moss is thriving in many lawns much more so than in previous years. Once established, moss can quickly compete with grass and eventually take over large parts of your lawn.  Regular cost effective applications of moss control from the Pennine Lawn Care will control moss. Moss is usually the biggest problem on most lawns and must be treated every year to avoid causing serious damage.

Lawns with lots of moss or thatch that are spongy to walk on will suffer in dry weather. Significant moss needs scarifying, after being treated with moss kill, to remove the dead moss and in extreme cases aerating/spiking the lawn to reduce the effects of compaction combined with over seeding & top dressing the lawn to improve the soil surface and inhibit moss.

The thatch holds any moisture on the surface preventing it being absorbed in to the grass roots. Grass will die and eventually become thatch itself. Spiking will allow the soil to breathe and allow any water falling on the surface to travel into the soil and to the roots quicker. Keeping the soil surface dry helps prevent moss growth by keeping conditions too dry for establishment.

To avoid accidentally encouraging moss growth you can make sure you’re not cutting your lawn too short – make sure any shaded areas of your lawn are being maintained with seasonal treatments and trim plants / bushes / shrubs as much as you can to ensure air flow through your lawn is at an optimum level. Also, fencing with panelling is much friendlier for lawns as it allows for air flow.”


To identify compaction you can test the lawn by watering and observing how the water reacts on the soil. If it lies upon the top without traveling into the soil your lawn is most definitely compacted.

If your grass has been subjected to a great amount of rain but still looks weak then your lawn may be suffering from compaction.

With wear soil/lawns become compacted over time meaning that the soil particles are pushed closer together reducing the spaces between them which prevents oxygen etc. and moisture moving through the soil. This creates compaction which makes it difficult for grass to grow and thrive.

Compaction does this by making it very difficult for roots to develop. In addition to preventing the roots “breathing”, compacted soil can also become very resistant to absorbing moisture. When it starts to rain for periods of several hours’ moisture can remain on the soil surface and provide damp conditions for moss, fungicide and diseases to develop to the detriment of the grass.

Compaction is relieved by aeration with solid tines which spike the lawn or hollow tines that pull out a plug of soil and thatch. In some cases aeration or spiking is followed up by top dressing the lawn.

Grass seed can also be added if required (over-seeding.) Depending on the amount of compaction your lawn may just require a gently spiking with a garden fork or slitting with a machine to improve aeration and drainage. A lawn should be aerated on a regular basis to ensure optimum root growth.

Wetting agent can also be applied to your lawn to help the soil maximise the absorption of water.

Let us help to give you a healthier looking lawn.


Common Weeds

Every lawn suffers from common weeds such as dandelions, buttercups, thistle and clover however you should not allow your lawn to suffer, in many cases they steal away essential nutrients from the grass plants resulting in weakened grass and unsightly lawns. At Pennine Lawn Care we can treat these weeds whether they are in your lawn, on your drive or encroaching onto pathways. We have a number of treatments such as the herbicide we include in our seasonal treatments or a specialised treatment for all of your hard surfaces which can be found under “other treatments” on our lawn care page.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed is extremely easy to identify when you know exactly what you are looking for. Japanese Knotweed infestations are made up of green bamboo-like strands with leaves growing from them and it flowers throughout the late summer/autumn. It spreads aggressively through its rhizome system breaking down any obstacles in its way. They can grow from 1 inch to 2 metres high plus and can range from 1 stand to over 100. If left to grow untreated, Japanese Knotweed can pose a serious risk to buildings and foundations. If you have any concerns what so ever please visit our Japanese Knotweed page to find out more and enquire.

Ground Elder

To identify ground elder, the fleshy leaves, which are grown from its rhizome system, are green with 3 leaves to each rhizome root (which can often be white if visible.) The ground elder is fast growing and invasive, encroaching from or to neighbouring properties if untreated. We offer a Glyphosate treatment to combat this problem which will kill the weed in 2 – 3 treatments. The rhizome system must be completely destroyed to ensure no re-growth and this is achieved by our specialised treatment. To enquire about this treatment please visit the contact us page.

Pests & Disease

Ants & Other Insects

Increasingly each year we find more lawns with infestations from ants and similar insects. You will identify this problem from the visible insects which will roam your lawn and crawl upon the grass blades. Ants can often be tricky to exterminate because of the dense areas they infest. However we have a very effective, modern treatment, tried and tested to successfully rid our customers’ lawns of the ants and insects we have encountered. To enquire please visit our contact page to contact us.

Chafer Grubs

Adult beetles are active from September to April and lay the eggs which hatch a number of weeks later to reveal chafer grubs. Chafer Grubs thrive in June-July and are a ‘C’ shape grub which feeds on the grass roots subsequently killing the grass. Indicative signs are bare / yellow patches and birds pecking your lawn preying on the grub. An application of pesticide will combat the problem! To enquire about the pesticide application, please give us a call.

Leather Jackets/Crane Fly

The tell-tale signs that you have the maggot like larvae in your lawn are the appearance of browning grass, areas of weak growth and eventually bare areas with no grass just weeds. The larvae are usually active from Jan to March but in recent years they have been active from Dec to May. If you have seen large numbers of daddy long legs ( crane flies ) flying and resting in your lawn or gathering on warm surfaces in your garden during the summer and early autumn then it is possible that the female crane flies have laid their eggs in the soil.

At this warm time of year, the maggot-like larvae are crawling around on the surface particularly in the evenings after heavy rainfall. Their appearance is leathery brown/grey and they will spend some of their time beneath the soil surface eating the succulent roots of the grass and part of their time on the surface. They like damp dark places and many are usually found under plant pots on patios etc. Other signs are lots of bird activity on your lawn as the birds pick the larvae out of the ground and lots of small earthworm like casts on the surface of your lawn.

Leather jackets can strip a healthy lawn of all of its grass within a few weeks if left untreated.

There are various methods of control. Timing is very important. They are at their most vulnerable when they are in the larvae stage. They can be controlled by a liquid insecticide that is sprayed onto the lawn and will kill 90 % of the larvae within 24 hours. The insecticide needs to be applied when the larvae are active usually during the months of Dec – April/ May. The liquid insecticide is not long lasting but relatively inexpensive and one or two applications per year is usually enough to control the larvae.

Red Thread

Red Thread is a fungal disease which causes patches of grass to die and can be identified by the red colouring inside of the patches of affected grass. Untreated the red thread can kill large patches of your lawn for a short period and will recover after another full season as passed however treating the problem correctly will increase the rate of recovery. We apply a Fungicide treatment to combat this problem and to enquire about this please contact us ASAP.


Fusarium is a disease which can be spotted by yellow patches in the lawn with often a white mould-like growth in the area which can sometimes look like cobwebs or cotton wool. Untreated the patches of Fusarium can weaken large patches of your lawn for a short period and leave you with a very unsightly lawn. Your lawn will recover after another full season as passed however treating the problem correctly will increase the rate of recovery. We apply a Fungicide treatment to combat this problem and to enquire about this please contact us ASAP.

Fairy Rings

Fairy rings are caused by fungi in your lawn and are discoloured rings or arcs of grass often with fungi growing in and around the affected parts. They can be established years but are still very treatable. A fungicide is applied to kill the disease and any toadstools along with it. To enquire please do contact us ASAP.

Dollar Spot

Indications that your lawn is suffering from the dollar spot disease, are spots/circles of light coloured grass. These patches have been affected and may appear sunken and have a layer of mould which will create an uneven surface on your lawn as well as an unsightly view. The dollar spot is caused by common turf fungi which many lawns suffer from. Do not panic and contact us if you wish for a fungicide to be applied to your lawn to combat the problem.