Problem Lawn - Sod Dying Off After Two Months

Asked August 7, 2019, 2:37 PM EDT

I have had problems with my front lawn for years. I simply cannot get grass to grow there. I had it sodded several years ago, but it quickly deteriorated. I blamed myself for that. I thought I had not given it enough attention. Last year I had a significant grub infestation, which killed off a large section. This spring I treated for grubs and resodded. For about two month the lawn looked great, then at the beginning of July, it started to die back as shown in the first picture attached. It is not for lack of water. I have been watering regularly and the green parts seem perfectly healthy. It seems like a chemical burn or some problem with the soil. I've had the soil tested through the extension service, including for salts, and nothing was unusual. There was a mountain ash in these area of the lawn previously. Any ideas about what the problem may be and its potential solutions? I am truly perplexed. Are there reliable services that could evaluate this? All of the commercial lawn services seem to have a standard lawn treatment schedule they want to sell, but have little interest/expertise in figuring out something unusual. Many thanks, Gordon

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

We do not recommend grub treatments in the spring because grubs are usually too deep to be killed. We recommend fall treatments for grubs. Pull up a section of healthy grass and look for insects/grubs. You could send a picture of the roots of the ?dead grass and healthy soil. Do you have clay soil? It can be difficult to establish sod over clay soil without significant preparation. It is also possible that you got a bad batch of sod. Contact your supplier to see if this is possible. See the following website for additional information. See: You could also send a sample to the plant disease clinic. See: