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Last reply on Jul 31, 2013

Why does my grass die every summer?

Last reply on Jul 31, 2013

I don't have allot of grass because I prefer flower beds, but the little grass I do have always looks great in spring, but by July it looks like on the attached pictures. It was not very dry or hot this summer, nothing unusual, but it looks awful. I usually reseed in the fall, it looks great for a while but dies in the summer. I always buy the seeds that are drought resistant and for shade and sun.
We also have 3 dachsunds that use the grass.
Any suggestions?

10  of  25 comments
  • Stephanie @ Garden Therapy
    Stephanie @ Garden Therapy Canada
    on Jul 27, 2013

    Grass naturally goes dormant in the heat, it's part of it's life cycle. If you can handle it being brown in the summer heat, then when the cooler weather and rain come again, it will grow back healthy and green. I'm all for natural lawns and can handle a few months where it takes a rest. But I know that most folks like to keep it green...which means lots and lots of water.

  • Irish53
    Irish53 Hicksville, NY
    on Jul 27, 2013

    Epsom salt are loaded with nitrogen - great for lawns. Do lots of research for next season. We use Pennington seeds here.I get better results than Scotts.

  • Elaine Young
    Elaine Young Fresh Meadows, NY
    on Jul 28, 2013

    This has been happening to our NY lawn for the past couple of summers. In our case it was grubs - Japanese beetle larvae eating the roots of the grass. Can you peel back your grass like a carpet? If you did into the soil below (not even too far down) do you see the white curled up grubs? We applied beneficial nematodes and that has helped a bit, but we need to reapply them in the fall. We are also going to try milky spore applications, although that can take a few years to be effective. Both the nematodes and the milky spore are organic methods. There are, of course, chemical pesticides, but you may not want to use them, especially if you don't want your dogs (or yourself!) exposed to chemicals.

  • TJB-INC Landscape Contractor
    TJB-INC Landscape Contractor Hamden, CT
    on Jul 29, 2013


  • Karin W
    Karin W Junction City, KS
    on Jul 29, 2013

    @TJB-INC Landscape Contractor , not watering is not the problem. That's the only thing I am sure of in this case.

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    360 Sod (Donna Dixson) Buford, GA
    on Jul 29, 2013

    HI @Irish53 and everyone....I feel compelled to correct the false assumption that Epsom salt is loaded with nitrogen. Epsom salt is in fact magnesium sulfate. It contains no nitrogen. If you plant is suffering from lack of magnesium, it will help. There is some evidence that it helps seeds germinate. There is also evidence that it helps the production of chlorophyll (hence the greening of the plant after applying). There is definitely a place for it in your garden for sure, but it doesn't replace fertilizing with nitrogen.

  • Cathe Ashcraft
    Cathe Ashcraft Weatherford, TX
    on Jul 30, 2013

    I would think what you have is a winter grass, like winter rye or something similar, I have a few patches also, that do well unil it gets hot, no matter how I water or fertilize.

  • Don Goldwyn
    Don Goldwyn United Kingdom
    on Jul 30, 2013

    After your Doggies have Urinated on it .Water it down to dilute the urine ASAP

  • Peg
    Peg Cold Spring, NY
    on Jul 30, 2013

    I'm on the same page as Donna Dixson with my thoughts on using epsom salt. If the dying of the grass is from too much nitrogen from dog urine, epsom salts helps grass absorb nitrogen, (not that it supplies it) so then there would still be an issue of too much nitrogen which would kill grass. Also, did you know that if you have a male and female dog, the male usually urinates on top of where a female did, which helps dilute her urine, then there's not much of a urine burn issue for those pet owners. cool, huh?

  • Caroline
    Caroline Brooklyn, NY
    on Jul 31, 2013

    Aerating soil and adding compost should help. Soil is probably very compact. Have similar problem with my lawn which also looks great in the spring, but once the hot weather comes in all the lawns on my block look terrible. Come the fall and cooler weather, grass picks up and looks pretty good. Know it has nothing to do with watering as I have been very diligent about giving a thorough watering regularly to no avail. Also heard that adding gypsum helps in loosing up the soil. Wishing you well.

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