The Q&A Archives: My lawn is turning yellow

Question: I had my neighbor planned the seeds for grass when we first moved in about 8 months ago. At first, the grass grew but was very thin. My house is facing East so in the morning, there are alot of sun in my front yard. I have my sprinkler on for 5 mins and about 5 times aday. But the grass are gradually drying, turning yellow, and getting more thin. Is there like a grass fertilizer to put down?

Answer: I think you are watering too frequently. To have the healthiest, greenest lawn possible, water deeply once a week (twice if the weather is really hot) to force the roots to penetrate deeply. Deep rooted grasses don't need as much water as those that are shallow rooted, and won't turn brown as easily. (Frequent, light watering will keep the roots close to the surface, making them dry out faster in warm weather and require even more frequent watering.) It's best to measure the amount of water your sprinkler puts out so you'll know how long to keep the water running. Put some tuna cans out on the lawn and turn on the sprinkler. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then check the water level in the cans. If there's not an inch of water in the cans, turn the water on again and continue to time how long it takes to get one inch of water in the cans. This will let you know how long you'll need to water to supply one-inch of water per week to your lawn. Put your lawn on a regular feeding and mowing schedule, too. Feed in April, June, September and December with a 3-1-2 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. Mow when blades are 1 1/2" to 2" high. Don't let the grass grow really tall and then mow or you'll take off too much of the living tissue and scalp the lawn. I would rake out the dead grass and debris, then reseed those areas. Hope following the above guidelines will give you the greenest lawn on the block!

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