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Help with thinning lawn

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by snmhanson, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    I have a little less than an acre of grass which was hydro-seeded a couple of years ago. When it was first done it came in nice and thick and lush. After a while however it started thinning out in areas. Now it is a challenge to keep those areas thick enough to fend off weeds and I have clover patches throughout the yard. There are some areas that are thicker but nowhere where the grass is what I would call estate-quality. I have tried just about everything to thicken it up - fertilizer, adjusting watering amounts and frequency in the dry months, overseeding, adding certain things that were recommended to help make the soil more fertile (I don't rememver what those were right now) and nothing seems to thicken it up. I de-thatched and overseeded about three weeks ago and the new seeds don't seem to be sprouting where there is already grass, however in some bare areas that I seeded at the same time I have a couple of inches of growth already. It looks ok from a distance for a couple of days after I mow but up close you can see that it is really thin and within a few days of growth it is all uneven. I am just about to the point where I want to rip it all out and re-seed but my wife would kill me if I brought that up. Does anyone have any ideas about how I can thicken it and make it healthy?

    Also, there were a couple of areas of grass in a corner of the lawn that I neglected last fall and left some leaves sitting through the winter. Now they are just matted down dead grass. Will they fill in this spring by themselves or are they going to need some attention to get the grass to return?

    Thanks for any help anyone can offer.

  2. blaze347

    blaze347 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 101

    Approx. how big is the total area of thinning? Is the thinning circular? What type of grass seed are you using? Last, are the thinned out areas on a steeper grade than other parts of the yard?
  3. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    Most of the lawn in thin to some degree. There are areas that are thinner than other areas and a few areas where it is thicker but overall I would say it is just not thick and lush like I think a healthy lawn should be. Some people would probably think my lawn looks marginally ok but what I am after is if you are standing on the lawn and look down you see mostly green grass. Right now you see blades of grass and a fair amount of brown grass and some small spots of dirt, not the dark green thick coverage that I am after.

    As far as grass seed I am using a Pacific Northwest blend of Tall or Red Fescue, Bluegrass and Rye. I have tried seed from different manufacturers from basic Home Depot Scotts brand to seed from the supplier to most landscapers around the area.

    It is thinner on the upper areas of a gently sloped area but I also adjusted the irrigation output for that area and it get quite a bit more water than the rest during the dry season. There should be plenty of moisture in the soil currently from all of the rain we've had this spring though so I don't think that lack of water is a huge issue. About the only thing I can think of that I haven't tried is aerating - maybe it's worth a try.

  4. Cahsking

    Cahsking LawnSite Member
    Posts: 111

    I would try a fert service. See where it is at come fall then slit seed it again. Next spring it should be good enough to post in Stripes 2007.
  5. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 456

    Have a "knowledgable" person check your lawn (like an extension agent) and get a soil test. You need to know whats causing your problem before you can fix it.
  6. Talon1189

    Talon1189 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    You have received some good advice......but without a picture we are just guessing here :confused: Are the thinning areas getting shaded? It could be anything from grubs to a desease :rolleyes: I would aerate then fertilize and water..........wait a month, then decide the next step if you are not happy. Good Luck! :)

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