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New grass comes up, then dies. Why?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by yacht, Aug 21, 2005.

  1. yacht

    yacht LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    I recently built a new home and am doing all of the seeding myself. The grade slopes quite drastically to the walkout basement so I planted grass there as soon as I could to avoid having it erode away during a heavy rain. The grass came up beautifully and got very tall. Being in the middle of moving and wrapping up everything related to that I didn't have time to mow it. After about 2 months went by I noticed that the grass started to slowly died off and, now has completely died. Is this due to my not mowing it that it somehow smothered itself out or is there a deeper issue here? Possibly heat?
  2. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    What kind of grass seed did you use? and what time of time of the year was it planted?
  3. PRapoza451

    PRapoza451 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    Damping out. Fungus.
  4. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    Is the grass seed a warm season variety? I've seen Rye do that (in Louisiana) when planted in the summer. It'll germinate fine and grow until if figures out how hot it is, then dies.
  5. yacht

    yacht LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    I'm using a regular sun and shade landscapers mix. I don't know exactly what variety but it was what Tractor Supply Company had the most of so I assumed it's the right kind for this area. It was planted in southeast Pennsylvania in late July with all the heat but I planted the same grass in other areas and it DIDN'T die. The fungus thing sounds possible and so does the heat. Does the fact that I didn't mow it for a long time have anything to do with it?
    Also, the soil is a little more sandy in the area of the walkout basement if that makes a difference or not but I'm growing some huge tomatoes in the same soil just a few yards away. Hmmm???

    Thanks for you help.
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    planted a variety with a heavy amount of ANNUAL RYE GRASS. Its will die out after a cple of months. reseed with a heavy fescue blend or ifits steep its cheaper and easier to pin sod down.
  7. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    central pa not sure but are you in a drought? that could be your problem lack of water.
  8. yacht

    yacht LawnSite Member
    Messages: 104

    I moved to southeast PA and lately we've been getting some decent rains. I watered throughout the time we weren't getting rain so I don't think lack of water is an issue. Since this is happening on the walkout portion of the basement could it be the soil that far down is substandard and incapable of prolonged grass growth??
  9. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    Is it possible that you broke the 1/3 rule and simply cut off too much of the blade, thus killing the grass (especially with it being young)?
  10. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    What kind of fertilizer did you use? Too much N in the first seeding can cause the grass to grow too rapidly to achieve a substantial root system. Without roots, it will die no matter what kind of soil it's in. A first cut at 3-4 weeks will force new lateral growth. Use a low N fertilizer during hot, summer seeding,(also helps to reduce the chance of Pythium Blight to appear in hot, humid conditions) and follow up w/ a higher N content around 4-5 weeks afterwards.

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