It seems my lawn is just narrow grass with the leaves not being much
more than 1/16" wide (1.5mm). It looks good when observed from street
level, but when standing above it, it is very sparse and the dirt is
showing more than the grass. I don't know what kind of grass it is, but
the grass seed sown a few years ago was a contractor's mix.
I would like to have a lawn with a wider grass leaf, maybe up to 1/8"
wide (3mm). I'm in the NE US (New York).
I'd wait till early Sept, then kill the whole thing off with
glyphosate (Roundup), wait a week to 10 days for it to die, then mow
it short, rake up debris and use a slice seeder to reseed with a good
quality grass appropriate for the area. If you want something for
full sun, I just saw Pennigton seed at Lowes that was a blend of
Justice Tall Fescue, plus another tall fescue and I think a blue
grass. Justice is what I have here in NJ mixed with Midnight
bluegrass and it's been a super lawn. Justice was ranked very high
in the NTEP ratings.
IMO, when you have a lawn with some crap grass, it's far easier and
more likely to produce results you will like to just start over. Of
course you should also make sure there is enough decent topsoil, get
it analyzed, adjust PH, etc.
It's not clear whether your problem is due to the type of grass or the
environment (fertilizer, pH balance, etc). Have you put down any
fertilizers recently? If not, it may simply be lack of fertilizer. I
also have contractors mix and I thought they were a bit too wide.
Also, fertilizer should make the grass grow denser, which will hide
the dirt. It's always a good idea to have the soil sample tested by an
independent lab (not a lawn service company).
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