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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems whatever I do, I can't get rid of dead grass blades in my lawn and they never seem to decompose. Dethatching only seems to get rid of about half the dead blades - going over it twice.

Here's a before and after dethatching.

Before
Plant Terrestrial plant Grass Groundcover Agriculture


After
Plant Terrestrial plant Grass Groundcover Grassland


The lawn looks OK from a distance, but up close you see lots of dead blades and thin grass that I want to thicken.

I fertilize on a regular basis and these photos are during the wet spring we've had. I'm in the northern Idaho climate.

Green Natural landscape Grass Flooring Rectangle
 

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It seems whatever I do, I can't get rid of dead grass blades in my lawn and they never seem to decompose. Dethatching only seems to get rid of about half the dead blades - going over it twice.

Here's a before and after dethatching.

Before
View attachment 514824

After
View attachment 514826

The lawn looks OK from a distance, but up close you see lots of dead blades and thin grass that I want to thicken.

I fertilize on a regular basis and these photos are during the wet spring we've had. I'm in the northern Idaho climate.

View attachment 514830
Even I look good at a distance. :cool: If the clippings are not decomposing that indicates very little biological activity is needed to break the clippings down. Might try a quality bio-stimulant, or organic fertilizer to build that rhizosphere back to active. Too much Nitrogen can actually reduce the biological activity since the plants don't need the microbes.
 

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If the brown or white grass blades are still vertical --that is--not lying on the soil, I suspect fungal disease. Dollarspot for instance. Once the blades for any reason lose their green and lay flat, the soil bacteria and fungi start decomposition--provided the moisture and temperature conditions are within range.
Of course, low potassium results in yellowing of the older leaf tissue. Same as in corn.
A soil test is a good place to start. Costs more--but if you want to be sure get a leaf "tissue test". Then they can check for 12 different mineral nutrients and micronutrients.
Of course, you want to avoid watering at night or after noon--because high humidity promotes fungal disease--particularly if the temperature and humidity are both high.
You may need to consider overseeding with a modern, top-quality, dark green, disease-resistant grass seed cultivar.



 

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It seems whatever I do, I can't get rid of dead grass blades in my lawn and they never seem to decompose. Dethatching only seems to get rid of about half the dead blades - going over it twice.

Here's a before and after dethatching.

Before
View attachment 514824

After
View attachment 514826

The lawn looks OK from a distance, but up close you see lots of dead blades and thin grass that I want to thicken.

I fertilize on a regular basis and these photos are during the wet spring we've had. I'm in the northern Idaho climate.

View attachment 514830
Most of the lawns in my area look like that this time of year. Seed heads and stems are dying now, soil temperatures are climbing, and fine fescues are going dormant (I think I see that in your lawn). In addition, the spring flush is over, and the grass is shedding un-needed leaves and its deeper root structure because of the high soil temperatures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It doesn't matter the time of year for my lawn. It's completely brown in the winter - which is what I expect, but when it comes out of winter, some blades never turn green. We've barely been above 70 for any days so far this year and it's been very cool and wet the past month. But this condition is every year.

I used to think it was a mower issue, but now I'm leaning towards the grass. Here's a video I took near the end of last fall.


What should I do to get a full green lawn?
 

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The grass is cut ...... but it doesn't look like the bagger is picking it up. And underneath those clippings the grass looks fine. I don't see a grass problem there. I see a mower problem. Check your mower and see why it isn't bagging the clippings. Is the underneath of the deck clogged up? Have you changed to a different type of blade? Is there a cover/plate that is installed that is preventing the clippings from reaching the bag?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The house is about 19 years old and the lawn was put in then. I've overseeded each fall for the past 3 years.

I've used multiple mowers and still the same issue, and if I would have zoomed in on the mowing video, you'd see dead blades that are still attached to roots. I just wanted to show what mowing low pulls out.
 

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The house is about 19 years old and the lawn was put in then. I've overseeded each fall for the past 3 years.

I've used multiple mowers and still the same issue, and if I would have zoomed in on the mowing video, you'd see dead blades that are still attached to roots. I just wanted to show what mowing low pulls out.
The original lawn may have contained a lot of fine fescues, and 19 years is long enough for it to overpopulate and become a nuisance. You may want to renovate a small area of your lawn with an excellent new variety of grass this fall and see how that compares to the rest of your lawn next summer. If the new grass solves the problem, you can do the rest of the lawn next fall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The original lawn may have contained a lot of fine fescues, and 19 years is long enough for it to overpopulate and become a nuisance. You may want to renovate a small area of your lawn with an excellent new variety of grass this fall and see how that compares to the rest of your lawn next summer. If the new grass solves the problem, you can do the rest of the lawn next fall.
Thank you. Where can I find recommendations for "an excellent new variety of grass"?
 

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I would start with one or more of your local universities, they will have information on the varieties that perform well in your area and how to do the renovation.
 
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