lawn - Knowledgebase Question

St. Louis, Mi
Question by claudiafaver
June 2, 2010
Our lawn, freshly seeded in the spring, is slowly but steadily dying out. Patches of brown dead grass emerge here and there and expand. We have tried more water, fertilizer, airing the soil, nothing works. Please help!

Answer from NGA
June 2, 2010


It's difficult to diagnose a problem without seeing it so we'll have to try to eliminate problems to try to determine the cause. Usually, overwatered turf turns yellow before it turns brown. This is because saturated soils can suffocate the roots, which shows up first as yellowing and then, when the roots die out, browning of the entire plant. Brown or burned patches sound more like water stress - not enough water - or sunscald, which can happen to young grass blades when the sun is very intense. A fungal disease can also cause the browning blades. Try looking at the affected grass with a magnifying glass. If you see black, brown or orange colored spots on the leaves, it's probably a fungal infection. Whatever the cause, you may simply want to rake out the affected areas and reseed. Cover the seed with a little compost or peat moss to help keep them moist so they'll sprout quickly.

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