Full Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:06 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Next step is.......

I desperately need help with a section in my front yard. I will start by saying this is a small triangular section that was newly sodded a few years ago.

Well initially it looked wonderful but the next seaon the grass looked good in the spring but as summer arrived, small areas started to look brown and thin.

I reseeded twice last year in mid-late August with decent results and again this spring things looked great. Then summer came (in Wisconsin have had record drought) but I consistently watered twice per week at 5 am for 90 minutes and throughout everything, have had a lawn service fertilizing 4-5 times per year. Other areas within the section look fine and have remained green so I am baffled what is happening.

My lawn service confirmed that the area is dry but there are no insect issues. Considering I have been watering, I just find it hard to believe it just needs more water.

I guess I'm wondering if this sounds familar or anyone has any ideas as to what is the issue. I am considering doing another reseeding but not sure if it's worth the time and energy??

Any help/suggestions is greatly appreciated.

Senior Member
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:00 pm
Location: Chicago area

Hello Chipper. Ken here in the Chicago area. It sounds like that area is
really compacted and water is not sinking in. You probably need to aerate.
Either rent a gasoline powered one or buy a small step aerator. Both of them
take out a plug and allow the soil to expand, which improves water intake.
To confirm that the area is dry, I would cut out a plug of soil in the brown area
after your next watering to see how far down the water is getting. Good luck
and keep us posted on what you find. Take care.

Full Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:06 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Well I have an update about the lawn. I decided to get a second opinion and was told the soil in the affected areas was sufficiently watered and dryness was not the issue.
He told me that it looked like insect damage and more specifically, chinch bug damage. He also noted that some of the grass in the section ( I reseeded twice after sodding initially) wasn't good for this area and also that the use of liquid fertilizers (used by lawn service I had been using) could also cause the issue to worsen due to quick growth and shallow roots.
He recommended that the second week of September I should rake out the affected areas, aerate and then reseed.

I guess that will be my plan????

Also he didn't actually find any chinch bugs but I told him I had sprayed the entire area with an general insecticide from Bayer a few weeks prior so he thought the spray must have worked but the damage was already done so.....

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