Dry Spots In New Lawn - Knowledgebase Question

Placentia, CA
Avatar for dl1419
Question by dl1419
July 9, 1999
Back in April this we seeded a new lawn a water saver seed purchased it from Home Depot. It grew okay for two months. After that we put Turf Builder from Scotts Co, Lawn Fertilizer w/ 2% iron. Then in some spots the grass turned brown like dead/dry grass. Before we planted the grass we purchased mixed dirt and we laied it approximately 4 inches deep.

Can you plase tell us what we can do stop the dry spots from appearing and to turn them into green grass again because we don't have a lot of experience in gardening. How often should we wet the lawn and how long? So far we used the sprinklers twice a day, in the morning at 7 AM for 3 min. and in the afternoon at 5PM for 3 min. Please help us have a beautiful green lawn.

Answer from NGA
July 9, 1999
There are many kinds of grass seeds; some for sunny spots, shady spots, high traffic areas, cool season, warm season, and everything in between. Your seed was probably a mixture of these. Cool season grasses will go dormant during the warm weather and warm season grasses will go dormant during the coolest months of the year. 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 your 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!.

Hope following the above guidelines will give you the greenest lawn on the block!

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