Lawn problem

Asked April 14, 2018, 10:05 AM EDT

Can you help me determine what’s destroying my lawn ( I have had a history of grubs and cicadas as well as many weed issues). The soil is cracking and there are holes (exit hole from insect?) on surface. Hopefully pics will help

Howard County Maryland lawns and turf lawn renovation

1 Response

From your photos, it looks like major lawn renovation is necessary. However, it is not possible to tell what caused your lawn to decline. Cicadas would not cause this to happen, they are not a major lawn problem. If your lawn was healthy the exit holes would not be an issue either. They actually help to aerate the soil. Grubs can do damage but it would be rare to do damage to this extent.

The soil is cracked because we have been experiencing drought conditions since the fall (even though it seemed like we had a lot of precipitation this winter). The National Drought Monitor outlined much of the Interstate 95 corridor between Fredericksburg and Baltimore in a severe drought since February. The many dry, windy days we experienced really dried the soil out. Certainly, the recent rain should help.
Your first step should be soil testing. You can do this now. (

This is not the best time to do major lawn seeding. Most likely the new grass will not be mature enough to handle the heat and dryness of the summer, even if you can water.
Wait until late summer-early fall. Please see the following publication
and watch our turfgrass establishment video

And when your grass gets established follow these guidelines to keep it healthy,