thinning lawn

Asked June 7, 2018, 4:19 PM EDT

Hello,

I've been in my home for the 3 years now. The lawn has never been great, but with fertilizer it looked good our first year here. Last year it was thin...I aeriated and fertilized, but it did not look as good as the prior year. This year it is looking worse. I am not sure what to do...is it a bug? is it a fungus?

Weld County Colorado lawns and turf

1 Response

Hi, this is Steve, and thanks for contacting Ask An Expert with your question on your thinning lawn. Thanks for the picture, it helps. These problems can have a wide range of causes as you probably know and finding the correct remedy can take a while and be a matter of trial and error. I will be sending you fact sheets for you to review, these are based on research as to best practices on the Front Range. In the meantime, some things to consider: was this a new lawn 3 years ago? If so, sometimes builders don’t do as well in soil preparation as we might like and new sod looks good at first but then will decline over time. Your picture does show this area of grass surrounded by gravel which could increase the temperature of the area which might need extra water. Does your lawn come in contact with other lawns and if so, how do they appear? If they look significantly better, then likely you do not have an insect or disease problem (unless the neighbor has treated for that issue). Do you winter water your lawn? That is fairly significant in our climate, especially with the lack of winter moisture we have had. Aeration is a positive and it is good you have done this. We actually like to see the aerator make several passes over the yard. The fact sheets will have many good tips on irrigation, fertilization, height of mowing (also critical to mow bluegrass 3 or so inches high regularly), etc. I will also include information on Lawn Renovation if you feel that would be necessary. Additionally, you might consider a soil test to determine your fertilize needs and other components of your soil. Information is included below or you can get a kit at the Weld County Extension Office at Island Grove Park in Greeley.

There is a lot to read through here, so sorry in advance. Hopefully, with time, your yard will make improvements and it is a challenge where we live. Good Luck.

Fertilization http://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/garden/xcm222.pdf

Winter Watering http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/fall-and-winter-watering-7-211/

Lawn Renovation http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/renovating-the-home-lawn-7-241/

Lawn Care http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/lawn-care-7-202/

Irrigation http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/watering-established-lawns-7-199/

Soil Testing http://www.soiltestinglab.colostate.edu/documents/HORTICULTURE_FORM.pdf