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sywells25

Yet another question about brown patches

3 years ago

My lawn is 30 miles south of Albany and a few miles west of the Hudson river. It’s a weekend place, so we’re not there on a daily basis. I have a guy who mows, spreads seed and fertilizer, but basically I handle all the other lawn care. It‘s a big lawn, over 26,000 square feet, bordered on two sides by water — a creek and a brook that feeds into the creek. We get our water from a well. When we bought the place five years ago, the guy who took care of the lawn was pretty full service. He seemed to be doing that was needed, when it was needed and the lawn looked fine. Then he retired. Within two seasons, the lawn was 75% weeds. Since then, I have worked hard to establish a healthy lawn to address the weed problem without extensive use of pesticides. Also, I have always told the lawn guy to mow on the highest setting.


The grass is primarily TTTF. In 2017 and 2019 I overseeded with Scott’s Turf Builder Sun and Shade. For 2018, I used seed from a supplier in Buffalo, NY. I fertilized in 2017 and 2018, but I have not been able to this year. I had the soil tested at the local extension office and it too acidic. Lime was applied and it’s fine now. I planned to be present for the first mowing which was scheduled for May 12th, but the lawn guy had an emergency and couldn’t mow until a few days later and by that time we had returned home. On the 12th, the grass was long, but the lawn looked good especially considering the amount of damage the deer had done over the winter because there had been virtually no snow all season. So he cut the grass and texted me after the fact that he “cut it twice” because it was so long. I can’t imagine that was good for the lawn, but it couldn’t be undone. The next time I saw lawn was last weekend. The front lawn had several large brown areas. The lawn guy said they were there when they mowed on May 28th. I checked for grubs, but the grass is firmly rooted. Lawn guy volunteered that his mowers weren‘t leaking. The patterns of the dry patches are odd. In some places it looks like something was lying on the lawn for long time. This problem is only in the front yard. The back yard is ok with one exception where I think they actually left something on the lawn (a large fence panel that had been leaning against the deck) then put it back the last time they mowed.


Also, I noticed there was a lot of grass with seed heads. The grass in those areas was much taller a few weeks ago and hadn’t developed seed heads. I’ve included a picture.


There has been very little rain, but lots of cloudy and partly cloud days. The temperature seems more variable than usual. There have been days starting in early May that reached the high ‘70s followed by days in the 40s and 50s.


Well, that’s it. I’d really appreciate your thoughts on next steps. Thanks!















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