Too much dead grass
Ever since we have moved into this home, I have been trying to get my lawn re-trained. It looked fine under the previous owner (at least it to few times I saw it), but he was watering pretty much every day (about an hour per zone). I think, for the most part, my lawn is doing great. I have it back to about 3 times a week in the heat of summer and about once a week during spring and fall.
But that is not what my question is about. Every spring it seems to take much longer for me to get my lawn to snap back from winter that the rest of my neighbors. My lawn seems to 'die' every winter and then it takes a while for new growth to 'hide' the dead lawn. This doesn't seem normal to me. In the spring (and the last mowing of the fall), I have ended up having to mow way short so that the new grass in the spring can more easily hide all the dead blades. After a month or so of watering and several mowings it starts to look great again (although if you spread the blades you can still see a lot of the old dead grass in many areas). It's not thatch. Also when I rake, the old grass comes up pretty easily (and lots of it). In fact if I had the time (or energy) raking my entire lawn in the spring and pulling up all the dead grass seems to help it green up a little quicker. But I would rather solve the problem instead of treat symptoms. I have a few new ideas for this year but wanted to get some other opinions as well.
Any ideas of what I might be doing wrong? Or is this normal for some types of lawns and I just happened to get that type of lawn while my neighbors didn't? Thanks for your help.
A few other notes: I started mulching instead of bagging about two years ago. I probably didn't fertilize enough the first few years but have been pretty good the last two or three.