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Defeated by my lawn

Posted by mrakers85 Missouri (My Page) on
Fri, May 9, 14 at 9:40

I thought I had everything going well with my lawn, and now it appears it has defeated me. To give you the background, here is some helpful information on what I did to treat this.

1.) I live in Missouri - St. Louis area.

2.) I overseeded in September 2013 with Rebels Tall Fescue Southern Blend. Bought the house in September 2011. My neighbor told me he thinks the previous owner had laid sod.

3.) I did not fertilize prior to winter (is this my issue?) but on March 15, I used Scott's Turfbuilder with Halts. After a pretty cold winter, we had only had about 3-4 days total above 60� by that point and the day after I put down the Scotts, it snowed about 1/2 inch. Within 2 weeks, the grass was the greenest on the block and was looking solid.

Earlier this week I put down Scott's Weed n Feed. But this might have been too late to really see anything beneficial for the new grass.

4.) I have kept it watered this spring, more than any of my neighbors.

6.) I typically mow once a week at 3 inch height.

7.) Have not had a soil test, although this seems as though I need to.

8.) The only areas I'm seeing dead grass is the brand new grass that looked so healthy, and is now dying.

I'm looking for any help as I go into the fall. I know reseeding now is wrong, but I don't want to face this every spring as I get my hopes up, and even had a neighbor tell me that they could finally see how well my lawn was taking off, only to have it covered in dead grass three weeks later.

Here is a gallery of pictures with time stamps to let you see the issues I've faced.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Defeated by my lawn

Was the reseeded area soil that was dug up for some type of construction or something? If so, was the topsoil and subsoil mixed?

A *good* soil test is a great way to find out why the grass isn't thriving in the soil. Logan Labs has the most complete soil test at a reasonable price. Many "cheap" co-op tests have so little info that they are worthless at diagnosing a problem.

RE: Defeated by my lawn

How often and for how long are you watering? It could be the short little grass roots rotted from being saturated all the time. New seed should be watered 3x per day until it sprouts. Then back off steadily until you are watering a full inch, all at one time, every 10 to 14 days. When the temps get into the 90s every day, then move to watering every 7 days. Measure how long it takes your sprinkler to water an inch by placing cat food or tuna cans out in the yard.

Also you will be much, MUCH happier with an oscillator type sprinkler than the RainBird type. Oscillators apply a very even coverage. RainBirds shoot water out which lands at the circumference of the circle. When you get an oscillator, get the turbine type (about $20). The mechanical linkage kind are harder to get adjusted right and seem to stop working in a few months.

At the end of next fall be sure to Winterize right when the grass stops growing. Then next spring don't fertilize with anything until late April or May AFTER the normal flush of spring growth is over. If that means you have to mute the Scott's commercials on weekends, then so be it. They have already sold you unnecessary stuff.

If you want to kill weeds next spring, spot spray with the appropriate weed killer.

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