Originally Posted by Hoosier Red
I just moved into a new house in May. The previous guy didn't take great care of the lawn and it had a lot of brown spots.
I tried putting seed down(without doing anything else) and when it looked like that was taking, I spread some fertilizer on the whole front yard early in June.
Now I've got huge dead spots, and most of the grass is getting a little worn. How can I get the grass green before the end of the summer.
Nitrogen is what makes your grass green. Applying just about any commercial fertilizer will have enough in it to do that. However, assuming you are in Indiana, you can forget about green until the heat wave is over. Cool season grasses respond to heat by going dormant. It's perfectly natural.
Without seeing your yard, it's hard to know what the problem is with the brown spots, but let's just assume your lawn is just lacking in established turf, aeration and nutrients (that usually is the problem).
When it cools off, your healthy grass will rebound, provided we get a little rain. Otherwise, I'd say, water it a lot in the mornings- that will help keep the root system healthy.
Start a program for rejuvenating the lawn in late Summer. Keep watering, overseed, make sure you keep the root zone moist, then you can apply fall fertilizer...which is basically a greenup of Nitrogen. If you are ambitious, try aerating and topdressing. Otherwise, just rough up the brown spots, overseed and keep moist.
Scotts four step program is pretty good, except that they add an extra, largely unnecessary step in the mid summer. That's step 3 I think...and it's basically nitrogen with an insect killer. So, you could start with their fall fertilizer, then pick up with Step 1 in the early spring. Step 2 is fertilizer with broad leaf herbicide, which you would apply May-June. I usually just keep watering in July and early August. At the end of August I start with the overseeding and then go into fall fertilizing.
On that sprinkler system. I would recommend you give it a good soak once a week. That's about 1-1.5 hours. Short, frequent doses are more effective than long ones done less frequently.