A new lawn that is turning brown and dying is sure to discourage any homeowner. However, don't lose heart if your grass appears to be dying. If you can figure out what is going wrong with the lawn soon after you notice the problem, it can be revived. The key is noticing the problem quickly and taking action before too much grass is too far gone.
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The easiest way for new grass to die is to not water it adequately. New sod needs to be watered long and deep as soon as it is laid in place. If you hold back for fear of overwatering the new grass, there is a good chance you will end up underwatering it instead. The soil should be watered 6 inches deep during that first watering and should be kept wet consistently for 14 days following that, to make sure that as much of it lives as possible. If you notice dead patches right away, start watering more.
Walking on it
When new sod is laid down, you are not supposed to walk on it for close to a month. If you walk on it, drive on it, set furniture on it or do anything else that stresses the root system, you will see some of the new grass die. When this happens, you must stop stressing the grass immediately. Stay off it for another few weeks to allow the roots to take hold, and continue with a strong watering regime.
If you have problems with new grass dying, it could be from a lack of nutrients in the soil. Don't fertilize until the roots have had a chance to take hold in the ground. Tug carefully on the grass to see if the roots are anchored in the soil. Once they are, start the lawn on a treatment of a new-lawn starter fertilizer. These products contain everything that new grass needs to thrive.
If growing grass by seed, one of the most common mistakes made by people is to seed the lawn in the spring. The problem with this is that the plants are trying to become established throughout the spring and summer seasons, when they have the most stress and the most competition. This often results in the new growth dying off. The way to combat this is to plant new grass in the fall instead of in the spring. Then treat for weeds first thing in the spring to allow new grass to flourish.