Diagnosing Lawn Issues

Asked August 9, 2018, 11:57 AM EDT

About 6 to 8 weeks ago blotches of what appear to be dead grass began appearing in my back yard lawn (see attached photos). This area of my lawn is exposed to the sun for a major part of the day. My front lawn however is relatively free of those dead grass blotches. The front is fairly well shielded from the sun during the heat of the afternoon. My questions area... 1) Is it likely that these patches are dead or have they just gone dormant for the rest of the year? 2) Is there any treatment or measures that should be taken? 3) I have dethatched the area and have laid down a 'starter fertilizer' in preparation to overseed. Is this a viable plan? 4) We are on very sandy soil, do you have a recommendation for the proper grass seed to use in this very sunny area of our lawn that would be more resilient? 5) We do have underground watering that runs for 20 minutes per zone on every other day. Is this too much or too little in normal situations? Thank you for any information you can provide regarding these issues. Sincerely, Gary Janas

Anoka County Minnesota

1 Response

Look though the websites below and see if any of these fits your situation. Pull up grass near the edge of the brown and green divide. Does the brown grass have roots? If not it’s dead? If yes it may regenerate unless there is an insect or disease in process. If possible pull up a section and take it to a Master Gardener diagnostic site. Contact Master Gardeners of Anoka County at: http://www.anokamastergardeners.org/events-projects/. For suggestions on types of grass based on the characteristics of your soil see website below. I can’t comment on the rest of your questions until the cause of the browning has been identified. 1. http://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/turf/irregular/ 2. https://www.turfmagazine.com/lawn-care/common-turfgrass-diseases/ 3.https://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/factsheets/managing-diseases. 4. https://extension.umn.edu/lawncare/seeding-and-sodding-home-lawns