I live in Eastern PA, where the soil is generally rocky and has a high clay content. Last fall I had the soil renovated, which consisted of having a landscaper come in with a "rock hound", removing any rocks over 1" at a depth of 4", then adding topsoil to amend the soil, and re-seeding the entire lawn with tall fescue.
The results were fantastic - within a month we had a lush green lawn. A proper pre-emergent, weed-killer, and fertilizer schedule was continued after the winter, and we were impressed with the lawn.
Then, suddenly, as it began to get warmer during the summer, the lawn turned brown within a week. (See the attached photo). I realize that it has been hot in Eastern PA, and lawns go dormant in the heat, however my lawn seems much browner then any other in the area, all of which seem to be doing ok.
Here is the run down on the lawn:
Mostly sun, sections shaded
No irrigation, but heavy watering is done at least once a week
Proper treatments have been applied on schedule (pre-emergent, weed & feed).
PH is normal
The big mystery is why is the lawn so brown in comparison with others? Perhaps there is still too much clay/rocks in the soil? Does the lawn need more organic material (ex: top dressing)? Or is the lawn simply starving for nutrients and need better fertilizer? Is it just a "new lawn" (around 1 year now) that still needs time to root?
I am of the opinion that the browning is too severe for it to be related to heat, and that there us an underlying issue. The neighbor's lawns have the same conditions but are much greener and are growing great. Obviously, seeing how green the lawn finally was in the Spring was amazing, however the sudden and ongoing decline is discouraging.