My lawn is 8 year old sod.
For various reasons in some areas the grass dried, (died) out. So I watered heavily and now a nasty weedy type grass is growing among parts of good grass.
The local nursery wasn't 100% sure what the weed was but best guess....use weed and grass killer with glycophosphate isopropoline (spelling). "Try to not get it on the good grass."
I am so discouraged....will I win the weed war? As the weed (and good grass) die what will grow back? How will the "good" grass have a chance to regrow in the dead areas?
Why is yard work so hard!
I believe that glycophosphate is one of the ingredients in Round-Up. I'm not sure if the iso... ingredient is another one, but glycophosphate is toxic. It's something I would never consider using, but I'm probably in the minority outside the organic gardening community.
Can you post a photo of this weed? A good closeup of the soil would help as well. Sometimes it's easy to eradicate a weed without poisoning the soil.
Any thoughts on why the grass died? How large an area is this? Does it appear to be spreading? When did the grass start dying? Have you reseeded and if so what happened to the new grass?
Don't be discouraged. If I had a camera I'd send you a photo of the weed trees in my yard (I'd taken out over 3 dozen black locust seedlings so far, and they're miserable suckers).
As to your last 3 questions, let's take a look at what weed this is - it might not be as bad as you suspect.
Also, could you add your location to your profile? Your area might make a difference, especially if you're in a drought area.This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Thanks, especially for your encouraging words.
I decided to just pull it out by hand. I don't want to use harsh chemicals.
There was no one reason the lawn died. Just a series of unfortunate events.
Should I re-seed that area or will the good grass grow in if I water it well? If I re-seed is there a best way to do that?
I live 20 miles east of San Francisco. Of course we are in a drought year. But I do have a small yard and am doing a lot to reuse, recycle, water.
If the conditions that caused the lawn die-off still exist, any reseeding or resodding would likely re-occur, regardless of how much you water.
However, if those conditions don't exist, you could try re-seeding, but I would work the area very well to get the soil in a better condition that it would be given a die-off and drought.
I suspect by now that it's hard and clayish. So that will have to be addressed.
You could add some coffee grounds first, working them into the soil and allowing the worms to feast on them. They help aerate the soil.
Compost would help as well, as long as it's not fresh compost - I've read that freshly turned under compost which hasn't decomposed releases methane gas which inhibits seeds sprouting. I tested that theory once and found that sprouting was indeed much lower than it normally would be.
I would try seeding in a central area first, to see whether the seeds sprout, take hold and spread. If they do, they'll spread outward into the open space and you can save yourself some work.
Or you could plant around the exterior and hope that the lawn will spread inward.
I'm not a lawn person but it's my understanding that lawns are best seeded in the fall. Given the drought in your area, that might be a consideration.
I would reseed a few days before an expected rain event, or given the drought, water well after seeding. Check the soil every few days to see if it's dried out and rewater if necessary.
But working the soil and adding some compost would go a long way toward ensuring the success of your newly seeded area.
Hope this helps!
Since we're doing the bump this morning anyway, I'll share a little about weeds taking over the grass.
Back in June, we had to have our entire septic system replaced--tank & leach field. Of course, the lawn was destroyed by that operation. We did everything they recommended at the garden store to restore the grass. We raked. We removed loads of stone. We fertilized. We seeded with "premium" seed. We put down organic compost that we bought from the garden store. We watered regularly. Several weeks later, all we had was sparse, wispy, grass, but lots of weeds.
So, maybe it was too hot. Went back to the garden center and bought more seed. Pulled out as many weeds as I could. Raked the new seed in and, this time, I covered the seed with straw (thinking that would protect the seedlings) but, once again, only wispy, sparse, grass came up but even more weeds. The weeds (mostly crabgrass) root really well.
You and I may still doubt my methods, but, I had to remove my compost bin in another area of the yard (its wood pallet frame was composting). So, I smoothed out the earth where the compost heap had been and planted seed. Guess what! That grass is doing great!
Moral of the story; don't underestimate the power of nutrient rich soil.
Maybe too late, but.....
If your yard is sod, you should replace areas of the same.
Around here unless you're planting Zoysia or Bermuda fall is the best time to plant fescue type turf grass or in a cooler climate Kentucky Blue. Trying to reseed in the heat of summer is a waste of time, water and of course money.
I'd think with your Western NY location you'd want to plant now. I'll probably overseed early next month. With my garden project I mentioned in my 811 tale of woe post I won't have time before early October to do the prep to overseed. The front yard isn't looking too bad this year. We've had a fairly wet summer and it never went dormant. The back yard has an invasive weed coming in from the woods that nothing short of Round Up seems to kill. It will die back soon and the grass will likely take over once again, until next summer when the invasive week will take over. Wet, Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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