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8 Steps to Fixing Your Ugly Lawn: Advice for Homeowners in MN & WI


Your lawn is so ugly, even the moles won’t move in. 

Your lawn is so ugly, it makes grubs look cute.

Your lawn is so ugly… well, you get the idea. But an ugly lawn is no joke. 

So let’s do something about it. How to fix an ugly lawn? Follow these steps: 

1. Feed the Poor Thing

 No offense, but when you’re starving, you don’t look your best, either. 

Fertilizer is the food for your hungry lawn. Don’t skip it. Things could get ugly. 

The first round of fertilizer and weed control should be done by Memorial Day. Then regularly feed your lawn throughout the summer, with at least 3 applications, for the best lawn care in Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

It’s easy to forget about your lawn in the fall, when it kind of seems like lawn care season is over. 

But those turf roots are still hungry. Fertilize in the fall and you give those roots nutrients to grow nice and deep now, with some left over to battle against winter and have the best chance for a healthy start next spring. It’s an important step in fixing your ugly lawn.

Pro Tip: Always opt for granular lawn fertilizer, which is more expensive than the liquid stuff, but it breaks down slowly, giving you consistent benefits from fertilization.

Look for blends that also contain organic nutrients, which give your lawn that beautiful, deep green color and help your soil.

RainMaster uses premium professional-grade formulations of granular fertilizer. Not every lawn fertilizer service in Eau Claire or Minneapolis does.

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2. Fix Your Bad Lawn: Say Bye to Ugly Weeds

Weeds aren’t exactly out there entering beauty contests. They’re great at making your lawn look ugly. So let’s get them outta there to fix a bad lawn. 

First up: understanding the difference between pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control. 

This is all about when to apply lawn weed killer. Pre-emergent weed control is designed to target the weed seeds before they sprout, which is super important when tackling crabgrass. 

Post-emergent products will kill weeds once they already exist. Both are crucial for good lawn care in Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

It’s important to know the difference, and to follow the product instructions when it comes to timing and application. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time and money.

When it comes to crabgrass, king of ugly, timing is everything. 

You have to apply crabgrass pre-emergent in early spring. Target those weed seeds as they germinate and take root in the soil so they don’t become more seed-producing plants.

Here at RainMaster, we really double down on crabgrass, offering two crabgrass treatments — one in early spring and another in late spring, so you get extra protection against this pesky weed — and extra help to fix your ugly lawn. 

Applying weed killer isn’t a one-time thing. It needs to happen multiple times a year. Different weeds grow at different times throughout the seasons.

That’s why you get five visits throughout the year in our comprehensive lawn care programs.

A thick, healthy lawn is the best way to prevent weeds.

Great lawn care in Minnesota and Wisconsin means investing in a complete, proactive lawn care program that includes both weed-preventative and curative treatments from early spring to late fall. 

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3. How to Fix an Ugly Lawn? Let it Breathe

Gasping for air doesn’t look pretty. You can’t see it, but that’s exactly what your lawn is doing if the soil is compacted. 

When your lawn can't breathe, its roots can't take in water or nutrients, which weakens your turf and opens the door for disease and weeds. 

Lawn aeration uses a machine to pull out plugs of soil, creating spaces so that air and water can penetrate, which leads to healthier roots.

Lawn aeration also helps break down thatch, that layer of dead grass and stems that sits between the grass blades and the soil.

Aeration is often followed by overseeding, as the holes created by aeration are perfect new homes for the grass seed. It’s a great way to help fix a bad lawn. 

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4. Gang Up on Grubs to Fix Your Ugly Lawn

What’s uglier, your lawn, or grubs? Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Actually, grubs are uglier. Just look at the picture. Ick. 

Grubs, those gross, white, C-shaped squishy creatures with legs near their head, cause ugly brown patches in your lawn. 

Grubs feed on grass roots and organic matter in the soil, causing sections of grass in the lawn to die. They essentially eat the roots right out from under the grass.

The key to controlling grubs is to kill them before they hatch and begin to cause damage to your lawn. 

Prevention is your best bet to help fix an ugly lawn. At RainMaster, servicing Eau Claire, WI and Minneapolis, we apply Grub Guard right away in the spring during our first visit.

Then, you’re all set. Our product lasts throughout the entire growing season. And it won’t kill bees like the cheaper products most other companies use.


5. Fix That Fungus 

Even the word fungus is ugly. Don’t get us started on how ugly lawn fungus is. Too late. It’s really ugly. 

Red thread leaves tiny red threads on your grass. Dollar Spot creates ugly bleached patches on your lawn. Brown Patch, well that one is self-explanatory. 

The good news: lawn fungus often clears up itself if you’re patient. And the grass typically comes back on its own after the fungus disappears.

Your best bet to control lawn fungus is to prevent it, with proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing. A healthy lawn is better equipped to fend off fungus.

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If you have the same lawn fungus issue every year, we can help prevent it with a lawn disease control product to help fix your ugly lawn.

But typically, we treat these summer lawn diseases when they pop up, if you don’t want to wait for them to clear up.

6. How to Fix an Ugly Lawn? Mow Tall

If you’re in the group that thinks a short lawn looks nicer, you’ll have to change your ways. 

Mowing tall is a big rule when it comes to a happier, healthier, more beautiful lawn. 

Mowing short actually hurts your grass.

When you mow, you’re removing a portion of the leaf surface that creates food through photosynthesis. Take off too much, and you’re starving your grass. 

Taller grass helps a lawn grow thicker and stay greener. Mow too short, and the soil heats up, helping pesky weed seeds to germinate. (Weeds are ugly, remember?) 

No more than a third of the grass blade should be removed during a single mowing.


7. Water Wisely to Fix a Bad Lawn

Not enough water can make your lawn ugly. Too much water can make your lawn ugly. 

It’s kind of a Goldilocks situation here — you want your lawn watering to be just right. Great lawn care in Minnesota and Wisconsin includes wise watering. 

It’s easy to assume your lawn needs a ton of water to thrive, and actually water it too often.


Water deeper, longer, and not as often. That encourages deeper, stronger roots, which means greener, healthier grass. 

If you water too often, it encourages roots to hang out near the surface. Why should they head deeper in the soil to search for water when you’re serving it up so readily every day?

Also, water early in the day — as close to sunrise as possible — so that precious water actually soaks into your lawn instead of evaporating in the sun. 

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8. Get Help from the Pros 

How to fix an ugly lawn? There’s actually quite a lot to it.

If you’re feeling tired just reading about the steps, why not let the lawn care pros do the actual work? 

Pros know how to diagnose ugly lawn care problems before you even notice anything’s wrong. 

When our lawn care technicians are out there spreading seed, or applying fertilizer, or treating weeds, they’re looking at your lawn’s total health.They might notice signs of Japanese beetles, grubs, or lawn diseases. (Ugly, ugly, and ugly.)

Our technicians are trained professionals, so they catch things early — before they turn into ugly, worrisome, and expensive problems that can keep your grass from being as healthy as possible.

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How to Fix an Ugly Lawn? Pretty Things Up with RainMaster 

Lawn care is complicated, with a host of potential problems that are often tricky to diagnose and treat. 

It’s easy for things to get ugly out there. 

Looking for great lawn care in Minneapolis, MN or Eau Claire, WI. 

Let us take a look at your ugly lawn — we promise not to cringe — and suggest the right course of action to get your lawn looking lovely. 

Want to get to the bottom of your ugly lawn problems and be confident about your choice for lawn care services? Request a quote today! We’ll review your lawn care options together so you can make a great choice. Then, you can finally enjoy your lawn and stop worrying about it.

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Topics: Lawn Care

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