The Q&A Archives: Brown Lawn

Question: We planted a new lawn last fall. The soil is redish like clay. It was limed, seeded, fertilized and placed hay on the top. The gras came up in the fall and it looked nice and green. It received full sun and is on a hill. Now the lawn in brown all over, no matter how much it is watered. Please help.

Answer: Based on your description, I am not certain what has happened. Sometimes a slope is very dry because it drains quickly. And, clay soil is difficult to moisten once it dries out -- it needs a very slow watering applied over a long time so it soaks in and reaches about six inches down. These types of factors could have affected the soil moisture level for your lawn's roots. It could be dormant, or if it is not greening when you water, it could be dead. Another possibility would be that you used an annual grass seed last fall that did not survive the winter. Or, there could be a problem with lawn grubs for example. Or, there could be an adverse reaction to overfertilizing or a chemical application. I would strongly suggest you work with your local county extension to find out what has happened to cause the browning and based on knowing that, decide what to do next.

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