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About a month ago I asked this question about my lawn. To summarize, I just had this house built, so the grass was only put in a few months ago and the sprinklers did not turn on for 1 week last month. The suggestions I got all said to just keep watering it and it should come back in a few weeks. It's been over a month now and I see very little improvement to the grass. This is what it looks like now.

My dead lawn.

I also applied this plant food after a suggestion from the original landscape company and I have not cut the grass at all. Is there anything else I can do to get my lawn back or do I need to cut my losses?

EDIT: To add to the information above; the grass was sod when it was put in a few months ago. Do I need to hire a landscaping company to tear it all out and re-apply sod? What are my options?

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    Parts of it look extinct to me - what type of grass is it and where in the world are you? Does your sprinkler system cover the whole area, or is some of it not working properly? – Bamboo Aug 3 '12 at 17:38
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    Was it sod? If it was sod, then it's dead. Sod needs a lot of regular water for at least one full season for the roots to take. If they didn't take, grass is dead. – DA. Aug 3 '12 at 19:29
  • DA's question is what I should have asked - whether it's turf (sods) or not rather than which type of grass. – Bamboo Aug 4 '12 at 12:40
  • DA, yes it was sod. So what do I do next to get my lawn back? just spread grass seed, hire a landscaping company? – Christopher Garcia Aug 4 '12 at 19:45
  • Bamboo - Yes, it's sod and I'm in Bakersfield, CA. The summer is very hot and dry. The sprinkler system covers the whole area completely. – Christopher Garcia Aug 4 '12 at 19:46
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You can't just spread grass seed - you'd need a fine tilth of about an inch of soil to sow it into, and what you've got there are dead sods. I'd lift them and replace the dead ones with new sods, but what I'm puzzled by are the bright green strips on the left of the picture. They're turf or sod shaped, and I can't imagine why those two bits would remain bright green, but immediately next to it are large dead areas of turf. Which is why I asked about your sprinkler system working properly...

I suppose its possible you over applied the lawn feed in those areas, and that might have caused the extreme green effect, but for any feed to work, the grass has to actually be alive in the first place, and I suspect you applied feed when half of it was already dead. So that doesn't really explain those two strips either...

  • I would dig down under the two green strips and see if there is a drain tile or other contractor "surprise" underneath. – kevinsky Aug 6 '12 at 13:05
  • @Bamboo Ever since we moved in, I noticed some small strips/chunks of grass that were radically thicker/lusher than the rest of the grass. The strips you're referring to are part of what I noticed before. Being that there has been so little improvement, I'll have the landscaper come out and tell me how much it will cost to lay new sod. Thanks for all the advice. – Christopher Garcia Aug 6 '12 at 14:51
  • And ask him what his explanation is for the green strips at the same time... – Bamboo Aug 6 '12 at 18:05
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Turf either roots into the soil underneath in two or three weeks and starts growing, or it dies.

I guess the strange green strips going into the dead area "got lucky" and found something they could grow in.

If this is on a new-build house plot, I would question whether the ground was properly prepared (and even if it was actually soil, and not builder's sand!) before somebody just unrolled a truck load of turf because they had been paid the bare minimum for the job. Unless there is some soil that can grow grass underneath, replacing the turf will be throwing more money away.

If it was my property, I would take up the dead stuff now, make sure what is underneath it is properly prepared, and postpone replacing the turf till about a month before the end of the grass "growing season" in your climate. That way, the ground will still be warm but the new turf won't be fried by summer sun, and you will probably have more rainfall as well. If you do that, don't mow the lawn until next spring.

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