Lawn is dying, why?

Hi, My Lawn is dying, I'm in the Northwest US in eastern Washington State. 4 years ago it was in reasonable condition. Each year it got a little worse.
I cant figure out what is wrong, HELP! How do i fix it?
Here's some pics i took this evening http://67.168.169.36/Lawn.html
Thanks, Eric
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Call a landscape company.
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Eric wrote:

I think your lawn is fescue. Have you had a relatively dry summer? In general you need to overseed a fescue lawn every year (or perhaps every other year in your part of the country). Where I live in the Southeast we typically lose about 20% of our fescue every year due to heat stress and our normally dry mid summers (though this year we have had a fairly wet summer). One would think that fescue would be much happier in your part of the country with your milder summer weather, though I would think that occasional overseeding would still be required, especially if it has been drier or hotter than normal. If this is the case, you'll want to wait until September for overseeding. Visit a garden supply store and check the back of the seed bags for overseed rates (lbs/1000 sqft). If you can afford to do an aeration (you can rent a power aerator at Home Depot, or you can pay a lawn service to do it for you) this would be a good time to do it as well. If you aerate, overseed, and apply a winter fertilizer (make sure it does not have a pre-emergent ) you will give your seed the best chance of making a good lawn.
Good luck.
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If you have a lawn that needs to be overseeded every year, or even every other year, I'd get a new one. I have a tall fescue lawn here in NJ and have never had to overseed it. But then it's a cool season grass, so why are you trying to grow it in the southeast?
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My area of the Southeast is a transistion zone. It gets hot enough to stress cool season turf grasses in the summer but it also get cold enough in the winter to damage (an sometimes completely kill) sub-tropical grasses like bermuda.
I realize that NJ is much better suited to Fescue than my area, but I am surprized that you never have to overseed. Since Fescue only spreads by seeding (unlike bermuda which puts out runners) it would seem that any damage you get due to insects, fungus, foot traffic, etc. would remain bare unless you let your lawn grow tall enough to let it put up seed shoots and produce seed. I've never let my yard go long enough between mowings to ever see a seed shoot. No seed = no replacement grass.
Honestly, overseeding is no big deal. You get 50 lbs of seed for your average suburban yard, load up your broadcast spreader and put it out. Certainly no worse than putting out a round of fertilizer.
Chet Hayes wrote:

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Judging by the pictures, you're using the wrong tense. Your lawn isn't dying, it's dead. Anything you do now, without understanding why this lawn is dead, is, IMHO a waste of time.
My first reaction to this was insects/bugs, since there are significant dead patches. It would also fit the getting worse each year. There are a variety of tests for insects, most common is to get a coffee can, cut both ends off, stick it in the lawn, fill it with water and see what floats to the surface.
My second reaction is what have you been doing for the past 4 years to let is get to this state? Where it may have been easy to fix a few years ago, it's pretty serious now and could mean a complete re-sod/re-seed. Nows the time to find a reliable and knowledge landscape person and get their professional opinion.
--
Jim Sullivan
seattle, washington
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Jim: I noticed the pine tree in pics do you remove the dead needles/thatch from yard affect soil ph etc also how much sun does it get daily, looks like you water. Also ask guy across street what he is doing different from you as his looks fairly good fert mow height. Would think if bug problem he would have also or treats to prevent. The question is what is different on other side road.
Good luck
Pat R
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