The Q&A Archives: Why?

Question: I need lawn advice. I have a small patio area. I love to garden.I started with nothing, as I bought a new build. I put in a little flowerbed with a rock border around the House/Lawn area.I have put in a lawn a least 5 times. The First time I put down sod.It was always patchy. The next year I tried to reseed/overseed.It was not good results. I have added soil and fertilizer to see if the soil was the reason. The next year I dug it all up and put in pure grass seed (FESCUE). It does not survive! It is always patchy.
This year I have spent almost$200.00 on St. Augustine sod. It has taken... around the edges only. I put it down in Feb. I just bought some new pieces where it did not take and they are dying. I am so frustrated. I just want a little piece of green to call my own. What can I do?????

Answer: Good grief! It sounds as though you are doing everything you can to solve the problem. As long as grass has plenty of sunshine and water and it is planted in well draining soil, it should grow lush and green. Since you've added top soil, the soil should not be the problem. That narrows it down to adequate watering and being careful not to overfeed. Lawns need at least one inch of water per week. You might want to check to see how much water your sprinklers are actually putting out. Place several empty cat food or tuna cans on the lawn and water as you normally do. When you're finished check the amount of water in each can. If it doesn't equal an inch, you're not applying enough water. If the water runs off the lawn before you've applied one inch, break your watering down into 15 minute increments, to allow the water to soak in. Turn the sprinklers on for 15 minutes, off for 15 minutes, on and off again, etc.

As for feeding, be sure you're not over applying the food. Too much nitrogen can burn the roots and kill the grass.

I sure hope this information will help you grow a healthy lawn!

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