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New house, how can I fix/make the lawn thicker?

Posted by tetuanrp Southern California (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 18, 13 at 17:03

Just moved into a new house with a backyard (my first one!). So excited to begin landscaping, and getting my green thumb. One thing I noticed is that the lawn isn't very thick, and in some places is bare. I want to plant grass seed, but not exactly sure which kind to get. Part of the lawn may not receive any sun, or very little, so I need a shade tolerant grass. I've attached a photo of what's currently there, and the garden shop said it's fescue.

They had me pick up something called Marathon Sod 2 (Dwarf Blend), I planted in some areas where there were patches and it grew in very skinny and narrow. Perhaps it's still growing, but I'm trying to get grass to match what I currently have.

Any suggestions?


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RE: New house, how can I fix/make the lawn thicker?

If you showed them a picture of that and they told you it was Marathon, I would take that as a clue and never visit them again. This is a coarse bladed grass with a light green color. Marathon is a fine bladed grass with a deep green color.

From here that appears to be St Augustine. It is very shade tolerant, in fact it almost needs a little shade to really thrive. You cannot get St Augustine seed. It spreads about 10 feet per year, so you don't really need seed once you have a little bit of it.

Before I can tune up your practices, I need to know what you've been doing. There's no sense spending a lot of time telling you things you already know.

Where do you live? (SoCal is a diverse place ranging from Indio to Lake Arrowhead to Palmdale to San Clemente. And don't say, LA, because nobody lives in LA. You have to be pretty specific due to temperatures, humidities, and wind. West Covina is different from Pomona believe it or not.

Can you post a picture of the entire lawn showing the thin spots?

How have you been watering (duration and frequency)? Most noobs get this very wrong - and so do a lot of old timers.

If you have fertilized since you moved in, what did you use and how often?

Have you used any herbicide, insecticide, or fungicide? If so, when and what?

Would you characterize your soil as hard? ...and I mean when it is wet.


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