The Q&A Archives: Yellow grass, dead grass, just not growing in many places

Question: I purchased my home last October, the builder used hydroseeding, the lawn was gorgeous. They mowed the lawn sometime in November and it was dirt was quite soft, the mower was sinking into the grass/mud. Now, I fertilized in April. My front lawn is fine, but my backyard lawn has huge areas where the grass looks like dry hay. Parts of the lawn are yellow as well. One area did not get seed and I have tried over and over using Scotts Sun and Shade, still no grass there. The soil is clay and there are so many rocks. Could that be effecting the poor grass growth and the no grass growth. What should I do? Thank you.

Answer: I think you can repair the damage and get some turfgrass growing, but it will take some work. I'd spread about 3" of top soil over the ruts and low spots and tamp it down (or roll it), then broadcast seeds and cover them with a fine layer of peat moss to help keep the new seeds moist. Water as often as necessary to keep the seeded areas from drying out. The seeds should germinate in 7-10 days. Since their roots will be growing into topsoil, they should establish a healthy root system before the roots begin to penetrate the native soil. Grasses will grow in clay soils but extra care in watering is needed. Clay soils retain water for a long time so your grass will need to be watered deeply but infrequently. Too much water causes the grass to turn yellow because the soil is saturated at the root zone which drives out water and suffocates the roots.

Best wishes with your lawn!

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