Bermuda Lawn – Thinning Due to Standing Water
Q: We are in year 2 of our new house. The first year the bermuda grass grew really good. The next year we had a lot of spots where water would sit and the grass would not grow. We have fertilized and put seed down and nothing has helped.
A: Bermudagrass vehemently dislikes standing water on it….and it’s showing its displeasure by thinning out as you’ve noticed.
Your first step is to figure out where the water is coming from and divert it from the lawn. Next job is to loosen the existing soil in the dead spots because I’d bet it has lots of clay in it and the clay has become tightly packed due to the standing water.
Packed clay keep grass roots from going very deep, so the grass dies at the first hint of drought or cold. You should use an aerator on it: don’t stop until there are 10 holes in every square foot of lawn.
If you fix the water and hard soil issues and then fertilize a few times, the grass will cover the lawn just fine.
Don’t expect fertilizer to solve your problems though…fix the water/soil problems first.