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Dead areas and general care

Posted by WillBeames CT (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 17, 14 at 16:21

Last summer areas of my lawn died for no apparent reason. In all about 6 or 7 areas, each at least 10'x10' died. Nobody in my neighborhood (or anywhere else that I went for that matter) had the same problem so it wasn't drought. It had the appearance of a grub problem but there were no grubs. I was told by a local contractor to wait and see if the grass returned in the spring but it hasn't so now I'm left to repair it.
I also have some areas that were waterlogged this winter and are now rutted.
To try to take care of both problems my intention was to do the following.

1: Dethatch the lawn paying particular attention to the dead areas to remove as much of the dead grass cover as possible.
2: Mow the grass short and clear up all the thatch.
3: Use the rental machine "Turf Revitalizer" and with the blades set to an inch and a half go over the areas where there are high spots and ruts to till the top in an effort to level them out. Smooth out with a rake if possible.
4: Overseed the entire lawn (good and bad areas) using the same machine.

I also have annual problems with crabgrass. If I'm overseeding I can't put down halts to prevent the crabgrass so what can I do instead ? I see that Scotts have a fertilizer product that prevents crabgrass for 12 weeks yet allows new growth.....does anyone have experience with this or other suggestions ? As I have half an acre cost is a consideration.

Any comments or suggestions for my repair plan, what may have caused the grass to just die like that and what to do with the crabgrass problem are appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dead areas and general care

I suspect you have a problem that your neighbors don't have but I would need more information.

What kind of grass do you have?
Is shade from trees or buildings an issue in your lawn?
How often do you water and for how long?
How high/low do you mow?

The problem I suspect is you have a low lying area which needs to be raised, you water too frequently, you mow too short, and you have Kentucky bluegrass in the shade. Or it is a mix of those, hence the questions. Knocking the tops off the high points won't help the low spots. Those need to be filled carefully so you don't change your drainage and dump all the rain into your basement.

If you are doing everything right, then you won't have an annual problem with crabgrass and won't ever need any crabgrass preventer. Note also that what I'm prepared to suggest will cost you nothing but the possible expense of more soil. And that's dirt cheap.

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