The Q&A Archives: Two areas of concern

Question: First, my main concern is in regards to my fairly large backyard. Whenever it rains my entire yard is like slush. It will be like that for days. You can literally get your shoes stuck in the mud. I'm pretty sure it's clay. I just started into this gardening area. So i'm kind of lost. I'm trying to do some type of gardening or landscaping, I think I need to tackle this problem first. Any help would be great help.
Second. I use the yearly treatment for my front lawn. You apply it every quarter. I can't think of the name right now. My lawn was a nice and thick bright green. My father-in-law said it needed iron, or so I think it was. Little black pebble like stuff. Well now my grass looks like its dying. There are dead patches, and now you can see the soil inbetween the grass. What can I apply to get my grass back?

Answer: Based on your description, there is a severe drainage problem in your yard. I would strongly suggest you consult with a professionally trained and degreed landscape architect or other professional with extensive experience in correcting drainage issues and see what they suggest. Drainage is complex in that water always needs to run downhill, so it must be re-directed to a more desirable area where it can soak into the ground. Sometimes there is a fairly simple solution such as a swale and retention area, but other times it requires redirecting runoff collected over a larger area. This might be important in terms of protecting your home's foundation as well as making the yard more usable, so that is why I really suggest you get professional on-site advice.

For the lawn, begin by running some basic soil tests to check the fertility and pH levels. The test results will tell you if you need to fertilize and/or add lime to adjust the pH. That testing is the first step to getting a healthy lawn and it is the most important. Yellowing can be caused by many factors such as pest or disease, drought, lack of nitrogen, exposure to herbicide, overfertilizing, and so on. I would suggest you consult with your local county extension for help with diagnosing your lawn problem(s). Based on the test results and the symptoms, they should be able to help you develop a custom lawn care plan for your yard.

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