Published on July 28th, 2015 | by Henri


Grass dies in patches of lawn

Q.  Over the years, you have provided me with many useful gardening hints. Here is my question and I hope you can help me.

I have several large patches of bare ground as a result of putting in drainage pipes in my lawn. I have rototilled the areas, raked up and removed all the weeds and rocks, put in Scott’s grass seeds, plus top soil and fertilizer, and watered throughout the spring and summer months.

All of the areas have nice shade from our trees. In some areas, I have done this three years in a row in the spring. The grass grows beautifully but sometime in mid-July to August, in all these areas, the grass starts dying and turns brown. Meanwhile, in adjacent areas of lawn, where there was no construction damage, the grass is still very green and alive.

As I mentioned, this has happened three years in a row. Every spring, I go through the process to put down new grass seeds because the entire area is bare and covered with weeds. Can you explain to me why the grass dies in August? Yes I know August is very dry, but the rest of my lawn is fine. Why doesn’t the grass put down deep enough roots after three years?

A.    There may be a problem with the chemical composition of the soil in the affected areas that affects grass.

I have a similar experience in a small area where I grow great rhubarb, but cannot grow radishes and other vegetables. A soil test was done and provided me with a list of the needed nutrients.

Call the extension service of your local university for advice on having the soil tested, followed by recommendations on treatment.

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