Lawn went dormant/brown AFTER it got through the tough summer?!

ls3c6September 21, 2011

Throughout the entire season I used the scott's 4 step program, mowed @ 3" typically twice a week, made sure the lawn received 1.0-1.5" of water each week and it looked absolutely great the entire year... even during prolonged weeks of 90-100f temps.

AS SOON as the temps got optimal mid-late august the grass must have thought it was winter or something, everything got yellow/brown (as did all the neighbor's lawns in varying states of maintenance)... I tried more water, did nothing, aerated on sept 1, nothing... mowing freqency had went from once every 3 days to once every 8 days. My lawn's mostly KBG/PR here in West MI and when it's healthy it's a chore to keep cut!

So baffled and disappointed, I went ahead and laid the Scott's step 4 on Sunday the 18th and to my surprise, by Tuesday it is greening up again and looks 5x better... what gives?

I'm hiring a very reputable lawn care company to do my fertilizing next year, they do 6 applications per year instead of scott's 4 and when you do the math, it's the same price considering you get 2 more apps and i'm thinking 4 just doesn't cut it here if you're super anal about having your lawn very green thick and lush under all conditions through the whole year except winter.

Since i've already put down step 4 should I put something more down say thanksgiving-ish time? Should I leave @ 3" for the last cut?


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reed_nj(Central NJ 6A)

I'm not sure that the fertilizer was the primary cause of the grass greening up again. I've noticed my grass go dormant in the late summer, and now it's growing really well due to the cooler weather and the rain we've been having. Other can chime in here on whether KBG and/or PR are more susceptible to going dormant than, say Tall Fescue. For next year, consider getting a soil test done now, so you'll know what the lawn is lacking. And it helps to add compost to the yard, because it supplies organics to the soil allowing all the beneficial bugs to do their thing and naturally loosen up the soil. This might allow the grass roots to extend farther down and help sustain them through the hot summer months.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 8:25PM
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Dont bother with scotts 4 steps. I use scotts but i fertilize maybe 6-8 times a year. Usually every month with turfbuilder when the weather is cool and theres lots of rain like i fall and very early sring. Doesnt burn at all. Your lawn probably needed a good feed. Usually when it goes yellow/brown and its not because of water it needs some N.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 11:04PM
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