Lawn dies in the fall........ Why???

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Old 10-26-18, 03:49 PM
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Lawn dies in the fall........ Why???

Wonder if anyone can give me some advice. I've really noticed that in the past 4-5 years my lawn really thins out and dies off in certain areas each year. Doesn't seem to be sun related. I've started fertilizing the past couple of years and seems to have helped a little, but why can't I go into winter with a thick lawn so my dogs aren't running around in the mud? I really hate wiping off paws!!
Any ideas?
 
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Old 10-26-18, 04:24 PM
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You should post your location.
 
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Old 10-26-18, 05:48 PM
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Good suggestion. I'm in central Illinois.
 
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Old 10-26-18, 06:17 PM
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Dogs and healthy lawns are tough combinations to make work. As an experiment, I would fence off a portion of the lawn from the dogs next year and see how that section looks compared to the rest of the lawn next fall.
 
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Old 10-26-18, 06:33 PM
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Yeah I'm sure the dogs do a lot of damage, but even the grass outside their perimeter is dying out as well. And we had decent rain this fall. That second pic is right off the patio so it's not like they run around and poop and pee in that area. I watered there a lot because I wanted that thick going into the fall, but still dying and thinning out big time. Happens every year now.
 
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Old 10-26-18, 07:17 PM
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My next steps would be a soil test and a core aeration, then.
 
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Old 10-26-18, 11:38 PM
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I suspect the grass, like all grass, is going dormant in the winter!
 
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Old 10-27-18, 03:37 AM
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Unless you have a lawn service to maintain and regularly treat the lawn, you will have various types of grasses, weeds, and insects that will grow and and die or go dormant at different times.
 
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Old 10-27-18, 04:37 AM
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I think a lot has to do with what type of grasses you have. Some grasses remain green throughout winter but others go dormant and turn brown. For example you might think you have a fescue lawn and expect it to stay green but are seeing that you have a good deal of crabgrass mixed in.
 
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Old 10-27-18, 09:04 AM
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Well, there are "warm season" grasses and "cool season grasses"



Quick guess is the patches of grass that are going brown are warm-season grasses that grow when the temperature gets up over 80 degrees, going dormant for the winter.
The still-green patches are cool season grasses which still grow down to around 60 degrees.
 

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Old 10-27-18, 09:44 AM
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grubs or weeds?

I live in Southern Maine and my lawn does the same thing in late fall.

The browned out areas in my lawn are broad-leaf grass or WEEDS that likes it warmer/sunnier and the other dead areas are because the grubs ate the roots.
 
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Old 10-27-18, 08:09 PM
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lawn dies in the fall

My neighbor never sprays or treats for weeds because he has dogs. I spray, fertilize and treat for insects. HIS crop of weeds seems to resist all of the pests I spray for and looks nice and green until the first frost. Now my grass is still green and his looks like many shades of of brown death. (Northwest Ohio)
 
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Old 10-28-18, 04:45 AM
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Now my grass is still green and his looks like many shades of of brown death. (Northwest Ohio)
And at this time of year, does anybody really care?
 
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Old 10-28-18, 05:26 AM
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Ummm, yes. That's why I posted this.
 
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Old 10-28-18, 09:56 AM
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I have a lot of bermuda grass that invaded part of my lawn, and those areas brown up around this time of year. Any warm season grass will.

The problem is, a lot of cool-season grasses, like tall fescue or perennial rye, do not "self-heal" very well. They don't spread very much, if at all. So as they get worn down, less desirable grasses (for me, that's bermuda grass, which spreads aggressively), or weeds, move into the bare spots.

Our extension service recommends periodic overseeding in the fall with desirable grass types, to try to patch the worn areas and compete with the aggressive weeds and undesirable grasses. It's going to be too late to try that this year, but it might be worth a try next year. See if your extension has a grass type recommendation based on your area, and give it a try. You'll probably have to do some weed removal beforehand too.
 
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Old 10-28-18, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperSquirrel
Our extension service recommends periodic overseeding in the fall with desirable grass types,
You can selectively "overseed" by leaving a few strips of grass go to seed.

Let warm grasses go to seed in high summer, then cut. I do this for some low parts of my lawn, I WANT warm-season grasses there so I don't have to mow wet-muddy areas in spring.

Let cool season grasses go to seed in autumn. I do this for areas close to the house, where I want green grass year round.
 
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