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Old 10-25-2014, 11:53 AM   #1
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Need help with front lawn


There has been a drought in California so my lawn is not as green as usual. The lower part of the lawn looks very different than the top half. Notice in the photos the difference. I took out a tree a few years ago, so there are still roots below the lawn on the bottom half of the lawn. If I try to put a shovel in the lawn, it would hit a root pretty quick. I am not sure if that is what is causing the problem or maybe another lawn/weed seed has started to grow.

Should I take out the front part of the lawn and just reseed it now in the fall, or wait until spring to see what the lawn looks like then. I am not sure if putting new seeding on top of what is there will help.

Any advice would help.
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Old 10-25-2014, 04:30 PM   #2
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Not much you can do when you are under Water control by the State/County/City. You could probably replace it with a more drought resistant grass. But you still have to give it some water during the month to keep it alive.

Looking at your pictures, it does appear that you need to approach the problem with the fact that it may be a soil issue, that is causing a lot of bare spots.

You can take a soil sample and send it off to UC Davis Ag Extension and have them give you an assessment on how to correct the problem. Local Green houses/Landscaping companies also have the ability to test soil conditions and give you some ideas of how to make your yard look as good as your next door neighbor's, that appears to be sod, not a seeded lawn as yours is.




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Old 10-25-2014, 09:02 PM   #3
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Not much you can do when you are under Water control by the State/County/City. You could probably replace it with a more drought resistant grass. But you still have to give it some water during the month to keep it alive.

Looking at your pictures, it does appear that you need to approach the problem with the fact that it may be a soil issue, that is causing a lot of bare spots.

You can take a soil sample and send it off to UC Davis Ag Extension and have them give you an assessment on how to correct the problem. Local Green houses/Landscaping companies also have the ability to test soil conditions and give you some ideas of how to make your yard look as good as your next door neighbor's, that appears to be sod, not a seeded lawn as yours is.
I was watering it on the drought schedule, but I think it has to do with the tree root soaking up the water, or the soil. I did try to kill the roots by drilling a hole in the big roots and put sea salt in it. But I think the issue is the actually grass there just looks like weeds rather than grass. Its doesn't look the same as the grass on the upper part of the lawn. I will try to take a close up of the blades.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:52 PM   #4
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The roots aren't going to pull water out of the soil if the tree they were attached to is dead which it obviously is in this case. Drilling the holes in the large roots and putting salt in there may be part of your problem! Quite likely the salt is leaching out into the soil when it does rain or you sprinkle. As mentioned by the PP getting soil samples evaluated is your first step. Also considering a graph type it demands less water would certainly be a good thing to do.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:59 PM   #5
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The Salt is going to poison the soil and keep anything from growing. You may have no choice but to get the Soil Sample done and for a quick fix for the front, Prep the soil, then lay down a good drought resistant Sod. For your back if it is in the same shape. Maybe HydroSeed it after prepping the soil properly.

The biggest problem with droughts is that trees will search for all sources of moisture underground. That means you will find them in sewer lines, even if you believe that the joints are tight.



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Old 10-26-2014, 07:05 PM   #6
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I just put the salt in the hole I drilled in the tree root, trying to dry it out. It still seems like the root is alive. Once in a while a small tree would pop out of the lawn. Not sure if these is a way to kill the root without killing the lawn.
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:08 PM   #7
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I just put the salt in the hole I drilled in the tree root, trying to dry it out. It still seems like the root is alive. Once in a while a small tree would pop out of the lawn. Not sure if these is a way to kill the root without killing the lawn.
Once again, the salt leaches out and kills anything. If it is a small sapling, just dig it up and remove, or mow them. After a few times, the sapling will not come back.



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Old 10-26-2014, 11:34 PM   #8
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When I bought my house, it has a geothermal heat pump that pulls cool ground water for the A/C then dumps it into the canal. I am on a canal and the ocean is very close. I thought I could test using the ground water to water my grass. I tested a smaller area. The water was brackish to salty, which I did not know at the time. It started killing the grass. I gave up on that idead very quickly.

Grass too close to the ocean can die due to salt spray too.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:35 PM   #9
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Once again, the salt leaches out and kills anything. If it is a small sapling, just dig it up and remove, or mow them. After a few times, the sapling will not come back.
I mow over the small saplings. Periodically they pop up so not sure if the root is really dead. The tree was about 50 feet high, so the roots are all over the front part of the lawn.

I attached a photo of the front part of the lawn and the back part of the lawn. The grass in the front is very different, almost a type of weed.
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