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Please help my lawn!

After recently installing a patio in my back yard, my yard was torn up, so I had to plant new seed over a large area. I'm in central Illinois with good black dirt and I researched the best grass for the area. I got a mix of perennial rye and Kentucky bluegrass from a very reputable seed company. I tilled the ground first and used a starter fertilizer. After planting the grass in March, the rye came up very quickly a couple of weeks later and it was very nice, full, and even. I watered it quite a bit, and by May, you could see the bluegrass filling in. After I was able to mow, I made sure to only mow when it was dry, and the blade was sharp on the mower. I raked every time to ensure there were no clippings left behind. A few weeks ago I noticed the bluegrass was taking over, and you couldn't see too much of the rye any longer, which I thought was great. However, it is now thinning way out and has many bare spots. What isn't bare has browned quite a bit. Over this time, it has been extremely hot, but it has also rained quite a bit and the ground has stayed quite wet. I haven't seen the need to water because of this, but don't know what to do. I thought about using a slow release fertilizer, but I'm concerned that it'll burn up and nothing will be left. I've also thought maybe I should wait it out and overseed with straight bluegrass this fall. Any thoughts on what I should try would be greatly appreciated.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1031
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:12 am
Location: central Ohio

Re: Please help my lawn!

I'm not real fond of grass lawns, they take too much work for me. But I have tried to grow bluegrass. First of all, raking might have pulled tender young plants out of the ground. Some clippings left on the lawn can be beneficial, they provide organic material and are a source of nutrients. If the clippings aren't hay field thick you really shouldn't have to rake. Second, bluegrass requires a lot of nitrogen. You need to fertilize it at least 3 times the first year according to several sites I've read. Third, if your soil is very alkaline it will cause the grass to yellow. In such cases a dose of iron should help.

Do a google search of "kentucky bluegrass lawn care". You'll find a lot of good info.

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