Flat Dead Dark Brown Matted Grass Issues

parker650April 22, 2010

Hi all,

I moved into a new home last year and my lawn is littered with grass issues which I presume is from grubs or previous grub infestations. I am 100% positive it is an active grub problem in some areas of the lawn (I pulled sod back and found around 10-12 per sq ft just under the sod roots), other areas not so much. These dead areas have created depressions in the lawn where the healthy grass grows in clumps surrounded by the dark brown dead matting.

The problems areas have dark brown, dead grass that is matted down, basically just down the root system that is dark brown. It's predominately just the roots that create this matting. It's not prevalent so much across the entire lawn, some areas are worse than others...most of it is just spotty amongst healthy grass. With some effort I can pull it up with a rake but I have to basically stab it...I can get it up easier using a small, 3-prong/finger weed rake but it's gonna take me forever at this rate. Although dead, the mass of root matting is still firmly attached to the ground and comes up in dry clumps not large pieces.

Anyway, my question in trying to fix these areas is if I can just go over the depressions and dead matting with 1/2" to 1" of loam (selectively spread in areas that need it), seed & fertilize or do I have to get the dead grass matting up and out of the ground for the new loam/seed to establish? Something tells me that I need to get the dead matting up as it would be fairly hard for new seeds in thin soil above to establish itself, but maybe I'm wrong.

Below are some photos of from last June, you can see the bare spots/depressions in the pictures but with it being April right now and everything dormant, it looks 300% worse and the 'matting' is more evident in many more places than shown in the pics...

Hope to get some help...with a 3 year old and 12-week old twins, I don't have much time to dedicate but am willing to put as much effort as I can to get this addressed before green-up gets into high gear. Comments appreciated.



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I had a similar issue several years ago and applied Bayer 24 hr and it stopped the problem, but lawn took a year of tlc to recover. Your surviving grass looks good and should fill in over time assuming you keep the buggers out.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 12:55PM
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That's the thing...the dead brown matting is still locked into the soil and takes a lot of stabbing with the corner of a rake to peel it up. Last year NO grass grew where these areas were, almost like they were impenetrable to new grass.

1. Loam over dead spots with 1/2"-1" loam, seed & fert.
2. Pull up dead grass, loam, seed & fert.
3. Pull up dead grass, put seed down in the depressions & seed.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 9:49AM
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