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Old 21-06-2011, 02:13 PM posted to
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Default Lawn is looking worse every day - Pic attached

On Jun 21, 8:26*am, willshak wrote:
turbosl2 wrote the following:

I have a 1.5acre lot in upstate NY that we just seeded last sept/oct.
The grass came in really thin last year because it was to late and cold
to get it to get higher than an inch or two. I added Scotts winter (4 -
15,000sqft bags). This spring (about april) my grass looked FANTASTIC,
really dark green but not very thick yet. Some areas that are shaded
more are nice and thick and green but the rest of the yard the grass is
yellow and burnt looking. It looks like the grass is rotten or brown and
dead at the base but as it gets to the top it gets greener. I am in
complete sun and in pure sand. I have an inground irrigation system with
rainbird 5000 heads. Last year i watered 15mins per zone *(i have
16zones, each zones nozzles totaling a flow of 12GPM). Meaning to water
1.5acres i am using roughly 2900 gallons of water. I did this 4 times a
day to get the seed to germinate. This year i did the same in the
spring, but the rain sensor tripped when we had rainy days. I keep
reading to cut back and water deep and in the morning. I changed to
20mins a zone, every other day starting at 5am until i think around
noon. The grass got crispy and dried out. I now water 15mins a zone
(which is a 4hr cycle) starting at 5pm, then at 10pm, then again at 3am,
then at 8am. The grass is looking better but still yellow and crappy. I
just put down scotts turf builder today HOPING it will come back to

Can i cut back on my watering, or is it because i am in pure sand that i
need to water this much. I cannot seem to water deep and get it to
survie, and remember i have 16zones which 30mins takes 8hrs so i feel i
have to water at night.

Or is my lawn just lacking nutrients and now that i fertilized i should
be good? How can i tell when it is in need of fertilizer nice water?

What do you think?

There is not much nutrients in sand to support growth. Overwatering it
just washes what there is of it down further.
It is probably growing better under the trees because the decaying of
falling leaves provide nutrients there.
You will have to rake in some compost wherever you want grass.


In Hamptonburgh, NY
In the original Orange County. Est. 1683
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If it's really just sand, as opposed to sandy loam, then I'd
agree that is part of the problem. However, I suspect the
bigger problem is the watering practice. When you've seeded
you need to water several times a day to keep it constantly
wet for germination. But that was last Fall. Now the grass
needs to be watered at most ONCE a day and then not
again until it needs it. With sandy soil, that might mean
watering it every 3 days. With average soil you might get
away with every 5 days this time of year. That assumes
no rain from nature, typical temps, established turf.

There are a few things wrong with watering it the
way it's being done. By splitting up the watering, you
lose more to evaporation. It takes a certain amount of
water to get everything wet before water reaches the
soil. And when you stop, what's left on the grass
evaporates. You're only running 15 min cycles, so
a significant amount of what you are putting down
never reaches the soil, ie a higher percentage is
being lost than if you did it in one shot.

Watering at 10PM is the worst time. It leaves the grass
wet all night. With summer temps that can be high at
night, that is a prescription for fungus and disease. Given
your location and the weather so far, you're probably OK.
But if you get into July with higher temps, watch out. You
want to water starting in the early morning hours so that
it's ending before the sun can evaporate it. That way you
lose the least to evaporation, but also don't leave it wet
all night. Watering during the day should usually be
avoided because more water is lost to evaporation.

Finally, even if you put all the watering you are doing
into one period which would make an hour, you might
be surprised at how little water is making it to the turf.
Get some used tuna cans and place them in random
spots and find out how much water you are actually
putting down. The fact that the grass is doing well
in the shady areas suggests to me that there is a
good chance this is a watering problem. In full sun
with 1.5 acres, you're going to need a hell of a lot
of water. You should be putting down a min of 1/2".
I don't know what kind of system you have, but if
it's the typical residential system, I bet it's going
to have to run a very long time.