Safroniabee
Full Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:09 pm

What is wrong with our lawn?

This was our back yard in May.
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And this is our back yard today..
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It has happened this way every year. We built in 2012 so we started with a dirt back yard. We've seeded every year, aerated the last two years, we have a lawn service come and apply fertilizer and/or pre-emergent at scheduled intervals. In the spring, it looks lush and green and thick (except for a few spots where the dogs go), then in the summer it looks horribly patchy or just downright brown.

I know it's typical for lawns to go dormant in the summer heat, and we could certainly do better about watering, but our yard is by far the worst looking one on our block and I know our neighbors aren't all watering regularly, and some are clearly not tending to their lawns at all, yet they look way better than our patchy brown mess. I'm at a loss!

We are also seeing a bunch of mushrooms back there now, even when it hasn't rained recently. Also not seeing that in other yards. I'm worried we have some kind of fungal issue back there.. But I had no idea something fungal could survive 90+ degree weather with very little rain and zero shade (no mature trees).

Help!!!!

ButterflyLady29
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Posts: 1031
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:12 am
Location: central Ohio

Re: What is wrong with our lawn?

That's not dormant. When grass is dormant it's still there, just brown.

Where are you located? What is your soil type? What kind of grass are you planting? Do you water the new grass all spring and summer? How are you prepping the soil for seeding? Do you spread straw on your new grass seed?

Yes, lots of questions. But this info is vital to solving your problem.

I assume you have small children from the toys and sand box. So a clover lawn would be out of the question because of attracting bees. Seeding clover along with the grass was the only way I could get any grass to grow on my clay/gravel "soil".

Safroniabee
Full Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:09 pm

Re: What is wrong with our lawn?

I don't mind the questions at all!

I'm in Tennessee. Our soil hasn't been tested but it looks claylike and is very rocky. The grass is tall fescue, planted in fall and watered well until winter. It was core aerated before seeding and we did not spread straw. The seed took well though and looked amazing the next spring.

I'm starting to think adding Bermuda would be better, since it gets so hot here? I just don't understand why other lawns in our neighborhood look so much better than ours, when I know the homeowners aren't doing anything for maintenance or watering. The houses are all within literally a few feet of each other, so I don't think our soil could be all that different from the houses on either side of us.

ButterflyLady29
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Posts: 1031
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:12 am
Location: central Ohio

Re: What is wrong with our lawn?

My mom had kind of the same issue when she had a house built. Every other surrounding yard looked great but it took years for grass to grow in our yard. Our yard was junk fill while the other yards had some topsoil spread on them. But her yard was the last on the street.

Was your home built about the same time as your neighbors?

The only other solution would be to add some topsoil or mulch. Maybe there is a type of grass that will grow well in rocky clay but I don't know of any. The clover would grow well there but it does attract bees. Not a problem if you never play on the lawn.

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