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Burnt lawn - Can I repair by this fall?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by abrucerd, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

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    Normally I don't care much if my grass browns in July/August due to drought, which has happened again this year.

    However, we're going to try to sell our house next spring, and I didn't even think about trying to take photos of the outside before the lawn looked crappy.

    I know that fall is the best time to grow grass... any recommendations for a plan to get the lawn back into shape so I can snap some photos in October?

    As it stands now, the only green areas on my lawn are some patches of crabgrass and other weeds. Should I spray some weed killer, let the lawn sit for a few weeks, then plant grass seed and water continuously? Am I better off just using roundup and starting from scratch?

    Thanks!

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  2. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Sound like you just need water more than "repair". Start watering now, and if weeds get out of hand apply the appropriate herbicide. You want your weeds to be healthy right before you kill them ;).
    MasterMech and abrucerd like this.
  3. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    I second the advice of just watering the lawn. During a drought grass goes dormant but should come back once it receives enough water. I would water it liberally for 2 to 3 weeks and see if it comes back before doing anything drastic.
    abrucerd likes this.
  4. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

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    Ok... I'll try to water it before I do anything else. How soon after watering can I expect the green to return? Should I keep mowing?
  5. Bocefus78

    Bocefus78 Minister of Fire

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    Water 1" per week minimum. That is what grass likes to stay green....it'll take more than 1" per week to get it back to green initially. Do you fertilize?
    abrucerd likes this.
  6. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    The brown will never turn green again...it is the new growth that greens up the lawn. So mow it a bit short while still brown so that stuff can start to decompose, water the $%#^&$ out of it, and mow it higher than you normally would from now on.
    abrucerd likes this.
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I just pour the last of my gas in the lawnmower. The grass instantly gets greener.:confused:
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Does this depend on the grass? We can go a couple months without rain. Most Puget Sound area lawns brown out every summer during the dry spell and are totally green and in need of mowing by mid-Sept or October.
  9. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    It could, but I can't say for sure one way or the other. Usually, although not the case this year, unirrigated lawns will be totally brown around here right now. They'll green up in August, but the majority of the once brown blade doesn't green up. It takes a couple mowings before all the brown is gone. I usually just mow it a bit shorter than normal to get the dead off and down in the thatch so the green growth is more visible. There are also some annual grasses that have completed their cycle, go dormant, and don't come back.
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Can I get some that go dormant from April to Oct?
  11. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Jags likes this.
  12. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Yes. It's called concrete and green dye. My BIL installed a concrete lawn for a guy once. No joke. Something like 80 yards concrete with green liquid dye added to the truck. I haven't seen it but he said it actually turned out nice. He left some rings around the trees and some beds for flowers and whatnot. This was on a small lot in town.
    Jags likes this.
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Hmmm...I think astro turf or cement might get real pricey, real quick for my yard (5 acres).
  14. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like you need to put in some alfalfa and let someone else do your mowing for you.
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I really want to get a large tree line (think forest) going. Reduce the mowing and...well...I kinda like trees (and I want to build a useful wind break).
    Joful likes this.
  16. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Heard that. My yard was once a cornfield. I had my forest started last spring, then the drought killed it :mad:.
  17. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    If I had that much land that would be exactly my plan. Reduce the lawn to a manageable size and plant low maintenance plants, future firewood in the rest. Maybe adding some small veggie garden in one corner. I rather enjoy my time than spend hours on my lawnmower every weekend.
    Jags likes this.
  18. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I already have a garden, but that doesn't take up much room (24 x 24). I do have lots of trees planted, but being small, I still have to keep the grass, etc knocked down around them. Need to plant a few hundred more.
  19. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Have you thought about replacing the grass with some groundcover? Maybe something that likes partial-sun to shade so it will still be there once the trees are larger.
  20. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I am unaware of anything that would do that.
  21. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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  22. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    When I get a chance, I will have to peruse that site.
  23. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Nah, he just needs a bigger mower.
    MasterMech likes this.
  24. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Much bigger than this, and I wouldn't be able to maneuver. I have a couple hundred trees as it is.
    100_1552sm.jpg
  25. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    How about planting some corn and wheat? You seem to have the proper equipment already. ;lol

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