Bad Lawn

Asked September 23, 2019, 12:08 PM EDT

I've been having problems with my front yard for about three years now. I had a lawn service that would aerate, apply a lime application, and reseed every fall. I would get a lush, green beautiful lawn in the spring until about mid-June and then the entire yard, except for a few spots would die. The first year my lawn service blamed it on me over watering, that the roots were too shallow; after following their watering instructions to the letter, my lawn still looked horrible for most of the season the following year. Now my lawn service is blaming it on it being a high traffic area. Now one, not even me, walks on my lawn. It is up from the sidewalk, so dogs aren't peeing on it; I'll occasionally get one of the feral cats in the neighborhood going on it, but I make sure to remove the feces as soon as possible and water the remnants down. The other thing happening is that I have some bearberry ground cover near the front sidewalk and that's dying too. I'm at a loss as to what's going on and I need some advice. Everyone else around me have green lawns and don't appear to be having the same problems. Help!

Baltimore Maryland lawns and turf native plant care bare lawn bearberry dying

1 Response

Let's start with a soil test to see what's going on with the soil. Here's our webpage which provides a list of soil test laboratories you can use and a video about how to collect the soil sample: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing

We are having a horrific drought. We'd recommend you water the bearberry and possibly your lawn.

What is the soil composition? Clay, sand, loam? Is this fill dirt and if so, where did it come from? What else has been added: fertilizers, herbicides, sidewalk salt, organic matter?

Please read through our website information about growing lawns. Something might jump out at you.

Also, regarding the bearberry, read about southern blight fungus and look closely at the bearberry for signs of it: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/southern-blight

Ellen