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Scotts has helped turned my lawn to hay

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by dschribs, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. dschribs

    dschribs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Last year, I bought a house that had a gorgeous lawn. Dark green, thick, no weeds, very little wrong with it - if anything. In the Sping, it came up fine. Just as great. In my last house, I used the Scott's 4 step program so I thought it would work just as well for my new house. I put the first application on in early April (Turf builder plus crab grass control). A few weeks later, I notice the lawn was geting more brown - and less green. It was very dry. However, it was still acceptable. On July 4, I applied Scott's second step (truf builder plus weed control). Well, it's now July 22 and the lawn looks absoluetly horrible. Dead spots, dry, hay like patches and very little green left. Admittedly, I may have applied too much fertilizer as I think the number on my spreader was one higher than recommended by Scotts but I find it hard to beleive that could have decimated my lawn.

    So...what do I do now??

    I was thinking of sending a soil sample to UCONN to test the PH. COuld this be a PH issue? Would a soil sample tell me if I applied WAY too much fertlizer?

    If I did apply too much, will the lawn "turn green again" next year or is it gone for good?

    At first I was thinking that it might be a watering issue but when I checked with the neighbor, he said that the prior owner watered very little. However, he was doing something right because when I came to look at the house last year in late August - the lawn was absoluetly perfect.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated...

    Here's the pics so you can see the sad state of affairs at my home...

  2. Jeepster

    Jeepster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Water it every other day or so and leave it alone.....The PO probably didnt do a damn thing to the lawn and it was doing just fine. You said it was really nice. Should have just left it alone. What height were you cutting at? Should be cutting at 3-4"
  3. leejp

    leejp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    Can't tell exactly from the pictures but it could be grub damage to me... Scotts Step 1 and 2 wouldn't have caused or prevented this.

    Try to peel back the turf where there's damage. You may actually be able to see the grubs.

    I home for your sake it's not grub damage. If it is indeed grub damage, drop back 20 and punt... you'll be reseeding in the late summer.

    PS... never over apply fertilizer/weed control.
  4. dschribs

    dschribs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    I know it's not grub damage. The roots are intact and you can't "peel back" the turff. I've had grub damage before and I know the hard way what it can do to a lawn.

    Could it be some type of grass that was affected by the weed killer in the Scott's I put down??

    Also, if it is "burnt" from fertilizer will it come back or is it gone for good?

    How about a ph test? I live in CT and UCONN will do a soil test for ten bucks. Could it need lime or might that make it worse?
  5. leejp

    leejp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 129

    If the lawn was perfect last year I would doubt it's the ph as it can't change all that quickly. Putting lime down wouldn't hurt as here in the Northeast the soil is generally acidic.

    If it was a hot day (90*F+) when you put the fertilizer down you might have killed the grass. You wouldn't be the first.

    Too much fertilizer would "burn" the lawn as well. Did you use a Scotts spreader? Those can be calibrated I believe.

    If this is due to too much fertilizer / improper application the grass is dead. You can water regularly and see if it comes back. If it doesn't, late August is the ideal time to seed around here.
  6. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,752

    It may sound silly, but maybe the lawn is lacking something the previous owners fed the lawn. Maybe if there is some way to contact the original owners and find out what they did. Maybe they used chemicals or nothing at all. I really doubt a couple of bags of weed preventer are your problem. The Northeast has been very dry, at least here in S. Jersey it has been, the lawn could just be stressed.
  7. McCallum & Sons

    McCallum & Sons LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Looks like fertilizer burn. It's too late to save the brown areas. De-thatch in fall to remove dead grass and overseed.

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