Q: Over the years, with tree growth and much more shade, our bermudagrass has thinned out terribly. Where it is bare, in places where water accumulates, there is a black cast to the soil. After things had a chance to dry out two weeks ago, the black stuff turned into what looked like a thin sheet of plastic. Is there something to clear this up?
A: You have algae growing on the soil. This is a common problem where poorly drained soil is exposed to sunshine. The best solution is grading to improve drainage. Mix in some good soil conditioner while you’re at it, so plants other than algae can grow there.