Part of my back lawn, in full sun, dormant now due to lack of water and high heat.

The soil is dry and hard 30x20 foot area. What is my best course of action. I was thinking of having it double aerated (plug type), and brushing some better soil/comopost into the holes along with seed; rather than roto tilling. I have a dog and do not want too much bare ground that will make muddy paws. There is some grass in this area, just doesn't grow well.
11 Comments Displaying 11 of 11 comments
  • KMS Woodworks Nederland, CO
    Is this space irrigated? Any course you chose should take the upkeep in mind. As it would not make much sense to install $$$ patches of sod and have it all dry up and die in a few weeks.
  • You should use a tiller and turn the soil over and add good quality compost to the mixture to help soften the soil. This assumes you have more of a clay based topsoil already.
  • Joe Washington Marietta, GA
    Correct me if I'm wrong but I'll assume you now have a cool weather grass. In the short term I would consider mulching the area with a hardwood mulch. It's tough to give up on grass but it looks like you'll be fighting a losing battle this time of year
  • Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    Joe makes a good point about grass type. Sounds like you could have tall fescue, which is popular in coastal Virginia. If so, this is definitely not the time to plant, and unless you have irrigation you are always going to have a problem with it going
  • Clay B Chesapeake, VA
    I would like the grass to stay green in winter. I do not mind it going dormant in summer heat, as it will green up again. I'm just having trouble getting it to grow thick and full, lots grass plants, but dirt spces in between. I'll probably end up doing
  • The soil really holds the key. When it is good, the roots will grow deeply and you will see little of this type of problem. To quickly improve the soil you need microbes to build humus. To do this, find a nursery close to you that sells organic
  • Travis P Atlanta, GA
    You are correct in calling your grass "dormant". Fescue will go dormant in summer to survive the heat just as Bermuda grass goes dormant in Winter. As long as this period isn't too long, the grass will green up as the weather moderates.
  • Clay B Chesapeake, VA
    Peter's Natural Gardening, thank you, but I've got to ask, what does the Molasses do?
  • Molasses is the most simple sugar. Because of this it is easily digested and eaten by the beneficial microbes to aid as a food source for energy and to increase reproduction. When synthetics are used they cause a rapid breakdown of soil structure,
  • Clay B Chesapeake, VA
    Update: Aerating is the best thing I've ever done for my lawn. The hard to grow areas are doing much better, grass is thicker. Plus I don't have to water as much. I pay a lawn service to do the aerating in the fall. Not much more than renting. This last
  • Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
    Good news.
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    Elizabeth Z