Help! my lawn is dead

Discuss how to and whether you should renovate your lawn
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slycee
Posts: 3
Joined: September 8th, 2020, 10:32 am
Location: MA
Grass Type: I don't know
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Help! my lawn is dead

Post by slycee » September 8th, 2020, 11:37 am

Hello,
hoping someone can help me identify a problem with my lawn. I'm in MA, and installed sod 3 or 4 years ago. It was high quality sod, but the past 2 years the same section of the lawn turns completely yellow and dies.
It's a weird circle, with a very defined line of death. Just beyond the line, the grass is green and healthy.

I haven't seen much for grubs, and I watered it religiously.

Any thoughts. I'll add some pictures below..
Thank you.
Image

Image

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andy10917
Posts: 29112
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Help! my lawn is dead

Post by andy10917 » September 8th, 2020, 8:00 pm

Can you offer any details on how the area progresses from OK to dead? Does it start as a small area and spread, suddenly go straw-like, and our the boundaries the same from one year to another?

slycee
Posts: 3
Joined: September 8th, 2020, 10:32 am
Location: MA
Grass Type: I don't know
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Help! my lawn is dead

Post by slycee » September 8th, 2020, 8:57 pm

Thanks Andy.
It is definitely the same area each year, and the same defined line. And wasn’t really spreading from smaller areas. The entire area seemed less healthy, even when still green and being watered. I left for a weekend end of July and came back to the area slightly yellow. And a few weeks later the entire defined area was like straw.
It’s currently crispy and dead. Although with the lack of rain, I haven’t been trying to keep it going.

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andy10917
Posts: 29112
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Help! my lawn is dead

Post by andy10917 » September 8th, 2020, 9:12 pm

Look, this is a real puzzler. Let's go after the obvious first. Get a long screwdriver and probe the dead area as deep as you can), and the healthy area too. Shallow buried material will cause problems like this (no ability for deeper roots and soil dries out badly). Nature rarely draws sharply-defined straight lines -- but human do.

Masbustelo
Posts: 251
Joined: September 14th, 2018, 10:56 pm
Location: Western Illinois, parallel to Lake Michigan.
Grass Type: Green Haze Mazama Rear, Trivialis front
Lawn Size: 20000-1 acre
Level: Some Experience

Re: Help! my lawn is dead

Post by Masbustelo » September 8th, 2020, 9:30 pm

Was there a structure there at one time? I have lawn over an old gravel driveway. It does what your picture shows every summer. The rest of the year it looks normal.


slycee
Posts: 3
Joined: September 8th, 2020, 10:32 am
Location: MA
Grass Type: I don't know
Lawn Size: Not Specified
Level: Not Specified

Re: Help! my lawn is dead

Post by slycee » September 8th, 2020, 9:34 pm

Ok. I’ll check that out.
There was a pool put in right next to this area, so possibly some of the rocky debris that was dumped in this spot is causing this.
I will admit when I prepped the lawn before rolling the sod I may have gotten lazy, not spreading enough loam over this area.

I’m thinking I might need to cut the sod out, clear out any rock, and put down a lot more loam. Or would putting loam right over the dead sod be okay?

User avatar
andy10917
Posts: 29112
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 10:48 pm
Location: NY (Lower Hudson Valley)
Grass Type: Emblem KBG (Front); Blueberry KBG Monostand (Back)
Lawn Size: 1 acre-2 acre
Level: Advanced

Re: Help! my lawn is dead

Post by andy10917 » September 8th, 2020, 9:47 pm

I think Masbustelo sees where I'm going. Adding topsoil is just masking the issue. Badly-compacted soil can be like a layer of bricks - the grass can't penetrate it. It almost looks like there is/was a concrete "pad" there, and the straight lines are screaming with some type of hint(s).

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