Disappearing Lawn

stevenwjMay 17, 2014

I have an odd issue where grass along a wall on our lawn has basically disappeared, leaving just a mud behind. No it's not a lawn thief. :)

The grass was fine in the early spring but has since died. The mud left is seems to have a lot of worm holes, but not many worms.

So far the only thing I can think of is that at the high end of the wall, there is a compost pile and I am wondering if maybe the nutrients are seeping along the wall and killing the grass.

Any thoughts on what is causing this and what to do about it?

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andy10917(NY 6a)

Three other more-likely possibilities: (1) the wall creates shading, and the grass fades out and disappears, (2) the strong sun on concrete heats the nearby soil and moisture evaporates and it is too dry, and (3) if the wall is concrete it is leaching lime into the nearby soil and raising the pH too high.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 12:01PM
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Thanks for the reply Andy. Unfortunately, the wall runs N-S and so the grass gets a good combination of sun and shade; In Northern Scotland the sun isn't hot enough to heat up the wall/soil to that level (and to my eye it's almost too wet). Regarding the lime. I hadn't thought of the pH being too high, but might check now.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 3:27AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Yeah,...your profile shows zone 8 but it also shows United Kingdom, so Andy was looking at the zone and not the location. I was right with him on 1 and 2 with alternative 3 running a distant 3rd. I still think it might be a shade issue. Do you know what type of grass it is? Is the the same grass that grows out on the prairies or moors or whatever you have there? Those are going to be full sun types of wild grass. Or do you have fescue, rye, or Kentucky bluegrass type of traditional lawn grass?

When you say the wall runs N-S, what does that mean in Scotland? The problem with N-S is the location of magnetic north. I'm thinking you mean polar north where you have equal light in the morning as in the evening.

Compost nutrients generally tend to result in improved color, density, and growth. Does the pile receive a continual supply of fresh livestock manure as a source of foodstuffs? If the pile is not simply a pile of fresh manure, then it should be leaching good stuff.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 3:10PM
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Have you checked out those worm holes to confirm they are earthworms and not root munching grubs???

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 11:49AM
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