What’s the fix to return bare grass area to its happy place?

Asked January 12, 2020, 11:22 AM EST

I was away for several months late spring to late September; a neighbor was caring for the grass areas of my back yard. While the lawn was never lush (regular grass, zoysia, clover, and weeds grew) when I left there were no bare areas (see attached). I’m not certain what he put down (did or didn’t do), and he’s not talking. What’s a fix to return grass to this prominent bare sunny area of my back yard?

Harford County Maryland

3 Responses

We notice bare spots and a warm season grass called nimblewill. Here is more on this weed https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/nimblewill
There may be other weeds but the photos are out of focus. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawn-weed-id-and-management
There may be several reasons for dieback such as drought, poor drainage, planting the wrong type of grass species. Some grass mixes include annual grasses that eventually dieback, etc.

AT this point we recommend that you renovate the area in early April and lay sod (turf type tall fescue). You can also seed but there is a lot of competition for weeds in the spring. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/grass-seed

Now you can test the soil for pH, liming, organic matter, and nutrient deficiencies.
Here is information on soil testing https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing

Turf type tall fescue grows best in full sun but can tolerate part shade. The majority of sod produced is a mixture of tall fescue with some Kentucky bluegrass to help it knit together. It is recommended to purchase certified sod certified by the MD dept of Agriculture https://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/turf_seed.aspx
Here is our page on sod - installing and tips. Before laying the sod, you can till and rake out the weeds. You can make adjustments and add organic matter if needed when preparing the soil https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/sod


Thank you for the speedy and comprehensive response.