The Q&A Archives: Lawn Dead Spots

Question: I live in coastal South Carolina (zone 8-9) and have centipede. I have several areas (in the sun), the largest being about 15 feeting in diameter that the grass will not grow. I have tried centipede sod, centipede seeds, some sort of renourishment product (I forget the name) and I removed the first 6 inches of dirt two years ago and replaced it and still cannot get the grass to grow. Rye grass will grow with very limited results. I would really prefer to have centipede there. Thank you very much.

Answer: Sounds as though you've done everything right in terms of making the area hospitible to growing centipede - especially replacing the soil. The only other consideration is drainage. Replacing the soil would have removed any underlying disease problems so drainage is about the only other concern. Is it possible that the area holds too much water or that there is something beneath the soil that is sucking up the water - tree roots, perhaps? Start by thoroughly soaking the soil and then watching to see whether those areas in question drain as well as the rest of your lawn. If the water remains in those areas for a much longer time, poor drainage is the problem; if the areas dry much faster than the rest of the lawn, there are probably tree roots drinking up the moisture. Tree roots can travel nearly twice as far as the canopy is wide so even a large tree quite a ways from your lawn can have a detrimental effect.

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