lawn health question, dry brown grass

spoon059June 25, 2014

Hi everyone, new to the forum. I have a large area in my back yard that grows nice and green in the spring, then immediately turns brown and withered in the summer.

I don't know what type of grass that I have, here is a closeup of the affected area.

I live in central Maryland, we have owned this house for 6 years. I didn't do anything to the grass for the first year or two.
Starting in year 3 I used Scotts fertilizer in the spring, summer and fall.
Year 4 I used Milorganite in the spring, summer and fall at the wife's request for a more organic approach.
Year 5 I didn't do anything, as I didn't see any changes in this problem.
I have used a core aerator. I have tried watering about 1 inch of water at a time, twice a week thinking the lawn was just parched. It didn't change anything.
I mowed around 3" in the past and went up to 3.75" this year hoping that might help. It didn't change anything.
I thought perhaps I had an overabundance of thatch so I bought a thatch rake and raked a 20' by 20' area to compare to the rest of the yard. It didn't change anything.

My back yard is mostly level, though there is a small hill in the middle. The problem appears all over the yard. No trees, plenty of sunshine all day.

Ideally I want to rid the back yard of weeds and clovers as well, but right now I am most concerned with fixing this dry, brown grass. My wife about killed me when I watered the lawn heavily an entire summer and doubled our water bill... especially when it looked just as bad at the end.

I appreciate everyone's help!

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yardtractor1

I'll be interested to see what others say. A turf grass regardless of water and disease (btw your close-up shows lesions on some blades) goes dormant and still recovers nice and green every spring.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 10:39AM
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yardtractor1

Here's a link you can use to identify the disease.
The NCSU site also has a grass ID app. that you can use to identify what grass you have:
http://turfid.ncsu.edu/ItemID.aspx?orderID=GR&orderDesc=Grass

Here is a link that might be useful: disease

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 12:07PM
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spoon059

Thanks, I will look into that and see if I can determine grass type and possible disease type.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 7:12AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Does water seem to puddle up right in that spot?

When you've tried everything, then it's time to look into a soil test. The best soil test for any money is the cheap one at Logan Labs in Ohio. The least expensive of all the comprehensive soil tests is the cheap one at Logan Labs. They test everything. You can pay a lot more and get a worse test. When you get the LL test back, I can help you find a place where there are volunteers (like me) who will read the test, tell you what it means, tell you what you need to fix it, where to get the stuff, how much to apply, when to apply, and more if there is more. They just don't do that on this forum.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 12:10AM
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morpheuspa

>>They just don't do that on this forum.

Cough.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 12:59AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

When did you last do that on this forum? You wanna take that on? I can't do it like you can.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 1:10AM
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morpheuspa

Sure, if I catch it, I'll do it.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 2:33AM
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yardtractor1

>> "Cough." " I can't do it like you can."

That explains my sneaking suspicions.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 8:49AM
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