How to handle this lawn problem

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Old 07-02-20, 09:12 AM
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How to handle this lawn problem

Ok, first a bit of history. We bought our house new in Jan. 2019. We are about 30 min north of St. Louis. The lawn was seeded in early May of last year, with a new layer of topsoil. They put down fescue (or so they said) At that time, I had ordered a new riding lawn mower but with problems in delivery etc, it didn't get in on time and the lawn grew a lot, and I mean a LOT of crabgrass. Once the mower was delivered, I treated it like any other lawn I continued to mow it and take care of it.

Early this year, in about March, I put on some Scotts Triple Action. Mostly in the front, but the back got some too. The lawn did great, greening up, crabgrass gone, and Ive mowed it regularly all spring. Then about 2-3 weeks ago, right after I mowed it last, it seemed to just stop growing. A lot of the grass is in clumps, partially green, partially brown, but no taller than it was when I mowed it. (I blame the open spots on the way in which the grass came in, and I'm hoping for it to 'fill in' sometime soon.) I've watched the rain, to make sure it's been getting water regularly and have put off mowing until I was sure what was going on. Of course, waiting means that the weeds have grown in. But still, the grass is right where it was when I mowed last both front and back yards. I don't understand what caused this or how to proceed.

Can someone explain what is going on here? I'm considering putting Scotts on again but want to learn about what might be going on. THANKS - finally got the pic uploaded!

 

Last edited by Marvinator; 07-02-20 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 07-02-20, 10:05 AM
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Not sure where you lived previously, but in the midwest, a lot of lawns really slow down growing once it hits summer. If they don't get enough water they will often go dormant. Fescue is a cool season grass. It grows best (fastest) in spring and fall. Tall fescue is more heat and resistant but it can succumb to those as well. So what you are seeing is normal.

You could look at it as a perk. No one likes to mow when it's so darn hot out! LOL

It's usually good to plant a mix of several types of grass, (such as Kentucky Bluegrass) not just one... that way the whole lawn won't go dormant at the same time, some will still thrive. The bluegrass also has the ability to spread itself, so where the conditions are favorable for it, it will thrive. You don't often have bare patches with bluegrass because it tends to fill in if you can keep the weeds down.

Since you say you are in Missouri, this document might be helpful.

https://ipm.missouri.edu/MEG/2014/5/...20bermudagrass.

Personally I would not plant warm season grasses like zoysia simply because they tend to be dormant longer than they are green, at least up here. If I was going to make a suggestion, it would be to oversow this fall with a mix of Tall fescue, hard fescue and Kentucky bluegrass and rake it in.
 
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Old 07-02-20, 11:21 AM
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In addition to what XSleeper mentioned you can spot treat the broadleaf weeds with any brand product containing 2,4-D. It is a liquid and a pump sprayer makes application easier. Just walk the area and spray the weeds. Overspray will not hurt the desirable grass.

As for why the lawn look like this now it might have to do with last season's heavy crabgrass growth. The Fescue couldn't push out the very aggressive crabgrass so your left with clumps where the seed first took. Then winter kills the crabgrass (after it's spread it's seed unfortunately) and you are back to having the Fescue that was planted.

I like to do an early season application of a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer. I like to have this application down by when daffodils bloom as it must be down before the crabgrass seeds germinate. Then later when the time is right you can do a spring fertilizer application if you want.
 
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Old 07-02-20, 02:50 PM
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The lawn was seeded in early May of last year
A new yard is something that takes years, especially when seeded.

Water, fertilizer, week killer, just keep at it and in 5 years your going to have an awesome yard, yes it takes that long, have done it many times!!
 
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Old 07-19-20, 10:53 AM
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What's going on here?

I've decided to keep at the lawn and overseed it this fall with K-31. In the meantime, and in the couple weeks after my last post, my yard had a new growth that is rather inexplicable. See photo attached. It appears to be a broader leaf grass than the stuff that is planted, but it's growing in this weird area, sort of like Mother Nature drove her truck through here and left this green 2 rut path! LOL Is this normal for this time of year/ What is this stuff?

 
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Old 07-19-20, 11:29 AM
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The picture is too far away to tell.
 
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Old 07-19-20, 11:39 AM
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yeah, I'm not wide awake yet. It's too hot for coffee. (LOL) Let's try this again, here is a pic more close up. I guess I was just amazed at the way in which it is growing in a long line, though today I do see a lot more of it, in larger patches around the yard. The shorter, darker grass is the stuff they planted when the lawn was put in. The broader leaf is the one that has come up in the last two-three weeks.

 
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Old 07-19-20, 11:51 AM
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Looks like the beginnings of a nice patch of crabgrass. Spring crabgrass application wears out about this time of year.

The stripes probably have something to do with application error or something.
 
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Old 07-19-20, 11:53 AM
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I will not worry until later in the fall. When I overseed, I plan to put down some good fertilizer. That should take care of it. THANKS for the input!
 
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Old 07-19-20, 11:55 AM
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just keep at it and in 5 years your going to have an awesome yard,
Its a marathon, not a sprint, just keep at it!
 
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Old 07-20-20, 06:03 PM
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I can't tell how many square feet of lawn is involved. Some in your post #5 off to the right.... looks OK. Is there a problem I can't see? Other photos show a problem area. Can't tell about your irrigation system and timer ?

If you want a pristine lawn.....hire a pro and spend the big bucks..... and also get a warranty that all will be well for 60 days...... and put it on a credit card so you have some leverage...if things go sour.

Other than that....find someone to till/kill and put down HEAVY duty weed block for 2 months and later, slit holes in the weed block every foot or so and plant creeping thyme or a low growing ground cover suitable for your sun/shade situation and watering set up.
 
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