It can be very frustrating when the picturesque, cloudless blue summer sky is undercut by a patchy, dead-looking lawn. In these last days of summer, it's common to assume that a discolored lawn is dead, but Iowa State University Extension Turfgrass Specialist Adam Thoms recommends inspecting the lawn more closely before assuming anything.
"One of the great things to do is to actually get out and pull on the lawn, especially if the grass is still yellow looking. If it pulls right out in big chunks in your hand, it's probably dead. If there's still some resistance, it's probably coming back," Thoms says. "With the rains we've had throughout Iowa the last couple weeks, most of the grass, if it's going to come back, is starting to green up. If it hasn't shown signs of life, it's probably dead."
On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Adam Thoms and Iowa State University Extension Horticulture Specialist Richard Jauron about seeding, re-seeding, core aeration and other late summer lawn tasks, and also take calls from listeners.