View Full Version : over watering

06-25-2002, 03:22 PM
Hi All,
I'm new to this board. I purchased a new home in Feb of 02, and the builder was not albe to sow the lawn until late may due to all the rain southern indiana had. I had the builder overseed the yard when they started.

The grass was growing good there for awhile and it just pretty much stop. The color of the grass was kind of yellowish. The I noticed that the soil in areas was turning black, almost like a mold. Could this be from to much water?

I pretty much want to give up on the lawn until Sept, when it gets cooler.

Should I have the soil Tested?

The builder did used good topsoil. The ground is very hard here. There is a clay base underneat all this. There is almost no shade around the house.

"A man with a brand new lawnmower and nothing to mow".

If pictures would help, I could post them.



06-27-2002, 10:27 AM

A soil test could never hurt you, just help. It will certainly inform you of what your soil is lacking.

06-27-2002, 02:47 PM
I agree,
a soiltest is always good to let you know what's going on. You may be wasting money on fertilizer if you have poor soil-conditions.
To talk about overwatering, what time of the day do you water? How long? How often?
Is there water 'standing' on the lawn when you are done?
Overwatering can kill many beneficial insects in your lawn, if the water can't run off or if you water during the hottest hours it won't help either. Same with not enough water, it encourages shallow root-growth.
From what I've gathered, the ideal scenario would moisten the earth to about 2 inches below the surface, if you were to dig a small hole the dirt should be wet 2" to 3" down.

06-27-2002, 07:33 PM
Roots need oxygen, water and nutrients. If its getting to much water it can be drowning the plants. Kinda like putting your head under water. No oxygen you die, so does it.

Soil test would be a great thing. Since it was just built, you may also have an organic matter problem. The soil test we have done on newer homes lately show none-to almost no organic matter. The plug will be clay from top to bottom.

06-28-2002, 03:07 PM
And another thing,
you did mention that the builder topdressed the lawn with good top-soil, however - you also said the soil was very hard. A lot of times the ground around new construction has been compressed by all the construction equipment driving over it again and again.
Perhaps the soil is in need of some loosening/ aerating?

06-28-2002, 03:18 PM
I will be going to the Co Op today to have a soil test, I let you know.



07-12-2002, 01:49 AM
where are you located in southern indaina. I am located in evansville. Have new lawn and I am struggling a bit with the clay soil. I plan on topdressing, aerating and over seeding in a couple of months.

07-12-2002, 11:14 AM
Aerating, if you use a core aeration implement, is top dressing your grass. Are you planing on additional top dressing beyond aeration? Why not let your cores dry a couple of days after aeration and then use a power dethatcher set to cut into your sod 1/4 inch. This will bust up your cores, top dress your lawn and provide grooves in your soil for the seed. The more soil contact you can get for your seed, the better the germination rate. Good luck.


07-12-2002, 11:27 AM
if you busted up the cores, wouldn't that be the same as topdressing with clay soil? I figured on adding a good organic matter.

07-12-2002, 11:42 AM
Busting up the cores will top dress the lawn with the soil type of the cores. If your soil type is clay, then yes, you are top dressing with clay. The purpose of top dressing with your aerated cores is to insure proper germination of your new seed. The holes left by aeration will fill over time with a mixture of erroded soil, grass clippings (if you mulch mow) and dust and dirt blown into your lawn by the wind. This will be of a high organic content if left to nature. Also, grass roots roots live only for 6 months to 2 years maximum. They die and add an incredible amount of organic matter to your soil naturally. This is why the prairie soils of the Midwest are so rich & good for farming. Top dressing with organic matter is a lot of work and can be costly. What type of OM are you planning to use? I know you want to do the right thing but top dressing with OM is really unnecessary to increase OM in your soil. Aeration is the right thing to do. Over seeding with new cultivars can greatly improve the vigor of a lawn and its resistance to disease. These are all the right things to do for a healthy lawn. Good luck.


07-12-2002, 11:57 AM

Clay is tough to grow grass in because of the difficulty of air to infiltrate the soil and compacted clay soil is difficult for grass roots to grow in. The best time to ammend a clay soil is before you install a lawn. The best ammendment for clay is composted organic matter. After a lawn has been established, frequent aeration helps to improve your soil structure. Roots must have oxygen to fucntion. The soil must have oxygen for a healthy community of soil microbes. Aeration allows easier air infiltration, water infiltration and nutirent infiltration into the soil. It helps of incease the pore space in your soil. All of these help a lawn to grow on a heavy clay soil. Aeration is the best solution for a lawn established on a heavy clay soil base.


07-12-2002, 11:53 PM
I would get a soil analysis. You will have a better idea Of what you are dealing with. Get someone to show you how to read it. I assume this is fescue we are talking about? I have seen seedlings not grow if there is a deficiency in the soil. The ph is probably off, etc. You might want to contract a turf management company.

07-15-2002, 08:09 PM
Hi All,
I did aerate a couple of weeks ago and it help. I also thatched the lawn over the weekend. The lawn is starting to come to life. I still have a problem with the water not absorbing into the ground. How many times in a year could i aerate. I live in Bloomington which is south central Indiana. Thanks to everyone who has replied to this thread.


07-15-2002, 08:27 PM
In sever cases, you typically would aerate in early spring and late fall. Not generally recommended that you aerate in summer because the lawn will dry out so much faster. It's OK if you are going to watch it closely and keep it watered when needed.

Aeration holes should help with water penetration. If you are experiencing problems with wetting the soil, you might try a wetting agent. Use a hose end sprayer to disperse. A dilute application of liquid detergent can be used as a cheap wetting agent. Good luck.