We recently got a love letter from our HOA to re-sod or treat our lawn and I am trying to see if I can fix it myself or should seek professional help.

Our lawn (St Augustine grass) was kind of neglected this past summer - we were out of the country from July- mid August and the lawn was not watered regularly. Before we left, I mowed the lawn to the lowest setting on my mower. The lawn was green and healthy. But when we got back, there were a lot of brown spots and some dried out dead grass.

We don’t have a sprinkler system so the only water it got was from the occasional rain shower during that 6 weeks. We live in Houston and this summer was really hot – 90 to 100°F every day.

Can I put in fertilizer to revive the lawn? If so, what type of fertilizer do I need? Since I didn’t water the lawn regularly, does it only need watering? Do I need to re-sod?

This is what the lawn looks like. The curbside one doesn't look really good.

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  • Do you mean the lawn on the curb? Oh how funny. We gotta teach you a few things about your yard so that dang HOA leaves you alone. It looks to me that the bulk of the stressed grass is your neighbors. Your property ends just this side of that manhole cover or water turn off/back flow for your property, yes?
    – stormy
    Nov 4, 2016 at 21:59

1 Answer 1


When was the last time you applied fertilizer? This lawn just doesn't look that bad at all. Should be easy to get back UP TO HOA specs. My goodness! What is your watering routine is it automatic? Do you have a lawn trimmer? What the heck are those dudes in the HOA thinking? They must not have much of a life to be bugging you about this lawn, in TEXAS? This time of year? What do your neighbor's lawns look like, my goodness.

Just by your pictures, I would say get a rake and rake up as much of the brown areas as possible, just FRUFF the grass and soil a bit. Aerate if you haven't done that recently and then fertilize.

I fell in love with this ORGANIC don't panic lawn fertilizer. I hate the words organic/natural but I found this slow release, Dr. Earth's Lawn Fertilizer which is more expensive, you need to use more, read the directions, the response is slow and steady (I think plants like slow and steady instead of fast and furious), lasts lots longer, comes with mycorrhizae (the symbiotic part of the root/soil) and thatch decomposing bacteria. Blow it off your concrete. In case there is iron in the mix...other synthetic lawn fertilizers one needs to apply at least 4 X per year, this organic slow release only 2 -3X per year. But totally worth the money!! I'd switch if this ORGANIC great fertilizer were 5X the cost!!

Let us know how it looks in a few weeks. Should be beautiful...my goodness what a NIT PICKY HOA. Grins!!

Oh, your tree in your lawn, please check that there is no soil, no mulch up against the bark. Just pull back the soil/mulch until you can see the roots. Right at the level of the soil should be the root ball. The trunk never is lower than the surface. Developments are notorious for planting the trees too low, the tree dies and usually YOU get to replace it!!

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