Does your lawn have moss? Moss grows best in shady locations, but you can get rid of it easily. Spread lime in areas where moss grows and by spring you’ll only see darkened areas where it once was. Apply lime once a year to keep moss at bay.
What about those dead spots? Did you have a very dry summer? Grass will look like it dies above ground in order to send all the energy to the roots in dry periods. The grass should come back in the spring if this was the case.
To prevent this from happening, water your lawn deeply (at least 8 minutes per area) to allow water to seep into the ground and water the roots.
Not a dry summer but you still have dead spots? Perhaps the grass seed mixture you used had a large amount of annual grass, which comes up quickly and is a beautiful green, but dies off quickly.
This is one of those areas where you do not want to skimp on grass seed–buy the best or you’ll end up doing the same project again. Follow the directions carefully, and if you feel you must cover the seed with something to keep in moisture, use straw. Hay has just too many weeds, and those weeds will be driving you nuts for years.
Our lawn decided that it wanted to grow purple violets instead of grass. My husband has spent countless hours digging up each individual root, yet it still comes back. Roundup works well, except that it kills everything, grass included, wherever it is sprayed. I poured some in a glass bowl and applied it just to the leaves and the plant died without killing the grass, but it is quite a project when you’re talking thousands of violet plants.
My husband has always been a bit compulsive when it comes to our lawn and the violet invasion is bothering him deeply. I blame the nervous tic over his left eye on the violets. I remember a number of years ago when we were outside just checking out the flower beds when a UPS delivery driver pulled in. He even made a comment about how he would never, ever step on a lawn like ours. I remember well how our lawn had nary a weed and was cut to a perfect one inch.
Mowing the lawn regularly keeps it growing well. Cut it too short and it will burn during hot spells, cut it too long and you’ll be doing it again in just a few days. I highly recommend using a bagger to catch the dead grass and leaves; it will save you hours of work raking. As long as you have not used pesticides or fertilizer on your lawn, the bagger can be emptied into the compost bin.
A beautiful lawn doesn’t have to take up all of your time, and a little maintenance in the fall–spreading lime, raking, and using a fall maintenance weed-killer fertilizer–will give you a beautiful lawn without much effort.