Lawn issue - Grass growing in clumps with pic

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Posted 5/2/2011 by Boiler Fan in NSBR Board

Boiler Fan

PeaNut 96,715
July 2003
Posts: 3,611
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Loc: Boilermaker Country!

Posted: 5/2/2011 12:30:12 PM
We bought a foreclosure home 2 years ago, and it was snow covered when we viewed it (every time) anyhow - Wehn spring rolled around, we noticed that the builders had put sod is a very small area, and left the rest. They weren't much on landscaping, so we are progressively putting in landscaping and working on getting the lawn up to par with what we want it to look like.
There are many areas of the grass that have bare spots, and have "clumps" of grass growing spiratically. It looks like this
What in the world can we do to get rid of these clumps? It looks terrible. We have no ideas . . . Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 257,022
April 2006
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Loc: USA

Posted: 5/2/2011 12:41:17 PM
We use Scotts Lawn Service. They came out treated for weeds, fertilize and will also plant the correct seed for your lawn and area for an additional cost. We have a contract and they come every 1 1/2 to 2 months to do a treatment. It has made a tremendous difference in our lawn. If you have one of the lawn service companies in your area, you could ask them to come out and give you an estimate and advice on what should be done to get your lawn going. Congrats on your new home.


PeaNut 180,283
December 2004
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Loc: California

Posted: 5/2/2011 12:46:23 PM
I'm not a pro at this by any means, but maybe you have a couple different kinds of grass and some is growing faster than others?

We had a funky lawn when we bought our house and decided to just redo it. We borrowed a rototiller from a friend, but you can rent them too. We tilled the yard and spread new seed. It was much cheaper than sod and turned out great (just takes longer to see growth, obviously).



PeaNut 37,647
May 2002
Posts: 2,868
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Loc: Indiana 47949

Posted: 5/2/2011 12:53:31 PM
It looks like it might be some type of crab grass or weed. The weeds usually grow alot faster than the normal grass. On thing you can do is to take a small bit of it to a garden center and they can tell you if it is a weed and if so what to use to kill it and then just rake it with a metal rake and reseed the lawn with grass seed and then you will have a nice pretty green lawn.

Or you can take it all and make a colorful garden with a bunch of flowers. And some veggies of course.



PeaNut 198,192
March 2005
Posts: 2,301
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Loc: Ohio

Posted: 5/2/2011 12:58:03 PM
It's not crab grass, but it's some other kind of invasive - I can't remember the name our lawn service always uses. Go to a store and ask about options, they'll point you in the right direction.

The balding/dead areas look to me like last fall's grub damage. That's a whole other issue to treat. I think now is the time to treat it (it's getting toward the late end of treatment time around here) and reseed the area.

I am completely not a professional - just someone that has what looks like similar lawn issues.

oooh, what you said!

PeaNut 27,933
January 2002
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Loc: bedlam

Posted: 5/2/2011 1:00:59 PM
Sometimes with new construction the soil quality is not even all over the lawn. The builder will have piled dirt in one spot, or taken top soil in another to level the plot out. This leaves you with a very uneven lawn that will not grow well.

Take some soil samples into a good nursery or hire a landscape company who can analyze your lawn for you. They can tell you if soil quality is the issue and give you tips on how to fix it.


Notes From Bedlam
The Project Princess Strikes Again-my craft blog


PeaNut 411,280
February 2009
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Loc: you can take the girl out of the country...

Posted: 5/2/2011 1:11:38 PM
I think that stuff is sometimes called "pasture grass". I am on my iPod so can't see the details of the pic, but if the blades are pretty wide and thicker than normal grass, that's my best guess. Dig up on of the smaller clumps and take it to a garden center (real one, not lowes or walmart). They should be able to help identify what you have and give you options. I would consider tilling the whole mess up and dedicating the spring and summer to restarting the yard from seed.

do justice, love mercy

PeaNut 265,707
June 2006
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Loc: Northern Virginia

Posted: 5/2/2011 1:13:42 PM
When mine looked like that, it was a drainage problem. It wasn't consistently wet, but the melting snow had killed off all but the strongest grass. We had a big snow and then a lot of rain. Bad news for the grass. Roots took too much water and the soil was too compact so the water tended to sit.

I did exactly what the guy at the garden store told me to do. I did all this the day before a set-in kind of rain was predicted, but I was told to water it heavy for several days after seeding.

NB: I have a postage stamp, because I live in a townhouse, so whether you want to do this yourself or not - up to you.

I loosened the soil with a manual cultivator (the rotary kind), and dug out the largest of the clumps with a trowel. Then I seeded generously with a wet/shade grass seed mix (Scott brand, my garden store purchases it for the local country club - a little more expensive but very hardy for my application) and used a rake to settle the seeds into the soil. Then without loosening the soil, I reseeded once a week for a month. If it didn't rain on a particular day, I watered it generously.

I started that in late February, when we had our first warm spell. Today I have about half the grass I really want, but we're getting ready to head into the heat of May and I'm not going to seed any new grass now - the hot sun will harm the new grass. I think what I seeded earlier will be fine. It's had a little time to harden up.

Total cost: about 6 hours of work total, two bags of grass seed at $12.99 apiece, and one manual cultivator, $20. Two years running and I guarantee you I will have the greenest front yard in my subdivision

(ETA: This month my grass just took off and it looks amazing. I am just thrilled with the results. It is lush, even, and very green and lovely. It is absolutely the best postage stamp on the street - and for so little money too.)

Boiler Fan

PeaNut 96,715
July 2003
Posts: 3,611
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Loc: Boilermaker Country!

Posted: 5/2/2011 1:20:49 PM
I will certainly dig a small clump up and take it in to the local Greenhouse and see if they can help me.
I am appreciative of all the suggestions. I'll hve my husband read through these with me again tonight.
We live in a nice neighborhood and I hate being the one with the ugly lawn!



Needs a New Pea Title

PeaNut 44,870
August 2002
Posts: 14,918
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Loc: Valley of the Sun

Posted: 5/2/2011 1:27:01 PM
It is better to water in short time frames often, than for longer periods less frequently. Water will carry away the seed unless you have a freakishly perfectly level yard. The seeds will all settle to the lowest spots.

We have to seed every winter if we want grass (Bermuda dies in the cooler temps and comes back once it warms up - we use rye grass during the winter) and we water for 2 minutes, 5 times a day to get it germinated.

Aerate the lawn, cover it with seed, then cover it with compost or manure. Water frequently but in short spurts. Just enough to keep the ground wet, but not soggy. The compost/manure will keep the moisture from evaporating during the day and if the temps are still a little cool at night, it will keep the heat in.

You should not have to reseed multiple times. Once should be sufficient. After it has germinated, you can reduce the frequency of waterings and slowly shift over to longer periods of time. Let it grow and grow, probably several weeks before the first mowing. After about a month, you will want to fertilize it.

"When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself." -- Wayne Dyer

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 497,090
January 2011
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Layouts: 1

Posted: 5/2/2011 2:05:49 PM
we have something like ......from our dog peeing in the same exact spots everday for almost 10 years now....i wish she would move around.

When I was trying to perk up our lawn I sprayed the lawn with liquid miracle grow yard was beautiful after 2 weeks.

Baby Pea Step

PeaNut 509,771
May 2011
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Layouts: 0

Posted: 5/28/2011 1:24:44 AM
Hope this helps. Composting is fun & rewarding. Some work but "FUN WORK" & great outdoor exercise.

Beach invitations

Pride of the Peas

PeaNut 25,575
December 2001
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Loc: Stuck in the Middle With You

Posted: 5/28/2011 11:45:10 AM
We had what looks to be the same problem. This year we contracted with TruGreen and it has really helped. Dh talked the salesman down 20%.

Proud Wife and Mom to four big goons!
I cannot be old enough to have three teens and a tween.

God, who foresaw your tribulation, has specially formed you to
go through it, not without pain but without stain.
-- C. S. Lewis

Gail OH
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 108,385
September 2003
Posts: 7,430
Layouts: 0
Loc: Ohio

Posted: 5/28/2011 12:19:40 PM
We grow weeds and moss, terrible soil here

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