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Bare spots and patches


LawnSite Member
Des Moines, IA
I just moved into a new house and need help with my lawn. I have very large walnut trees that have dumped tons of small leaves everywhere. I just raked the entire yard (15+ compost bags!) and noticed that most of the lawn is pretty thin, most likely due to the leaves sitting between the blades of grass. I also have some completly bare spots (from old swing set/sand box) on the lawn that I need to fix. I live in Des Moines, IA and I think I have a Bluegrass/Rye/Fescue mix that is 35/65 sun/shade mix. A lawn care company (rollover service from previous owners) put down crabgrass preventer last week. Any suggestions without seeing any pics?

Critical Care

LawnSite Bronze Member
Central Oregon
It sounds like you're on the right track, but as a note to be aware of, walnut trees have a "natural herbicide" built into them. Plants often have a tough time growing beneath their canopy. Off hand, I don't recall what the chemical is that they release, and I'm not sure if there is anything you can do about that, but for sure I'd want to get those leaves up as quickly as possible.

The shade tolerant grass mix sounds right.


LawnSite Silver Member
S.E. Michigan
Walnut trees secrete a substance called "juglone".