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Grass, Trees and Water

KathyInAR

Founder
Staff member
There is a tree line of big, tall trees on the property line between me and my backyard neighbor. Can someone explain to me why when water is provided via a sprinkler system and/or rain three/four times a week during the grass growing season, it is nearly impossible to keep the grass a nice green color up near and to the fence line? Of course everyone says, "it is because the trees are taking all the water." I easily understand that theory/truth if the only water was the occasional rainfalls. However, when water is constantly being applied from above on a regular schedule, why don't the grass roots grab all the water they need before the water soaks down below their reach???

The builder sodded the yard with Bermuda grass which the the most common grass in this area. Of course, Bermuda grass takes an insane amount of sun and with the trees along the property line, the grass really never thrived and gradually over time I ended up with lots of bare spots along the fence line and in the corners even having tree folks come in and trim my side of the trees and aerating the lawn yearly. I have had a lawn service that services my lawn 7 or 8 times a year with various fertilizers and weed stuff, as well as putting the grass to sleep for the winter stuff since day one. The grass in my front yard is great, nice and thick and green as can be...there are no trees.

Some of the people I had look at it said the grass was dying back by the fence because it was "low" and it was too wet...and when we had rains and/or the watering, it did stay wet. So 2 years ago I had a drainage system put in and that did help a bit and some of the grass came back but still there was a lot of bare spots especially right up within a couple of feet of the fence and especially in the corners where the biggest trees are. The photo below was where the drainage system came from the back to the street. Within 2-3 weeks there wasn't a sign that it had ever been dug up as the grass spread and filled in nicely as well as the sod they put back over the dug area turned back green.

This spring I spent $2,500 to have shade tolerant zoysia sod installed. The zoysia and Bermuda grasses are compatible as far as the lawn treatments but requires less sun than the Bermuda. However, it isn't doing as well as I had hoped and "everyone" says "the trees are taking all the water" thing. Maybe since this is the first year, it will do better next year and hereafter once the roots are well imbedded in the the solid ground. I am ready to plow up the back yard, cement it and paint it green! Haha...not really, but I am finding it frustrating...especially with how much money I put into it...with the lawn service, winterizing and startup as well as the maintenance of the sprinkler system, not to mention the cost of all the extra water 8 months out of the year and my back yard still looks like crap! I wouldn't mind the cost if the back yard was pretty, but it isn't.

I miss my St Augustine grass that I had in Louisiana!!! In 17 years, I never put one drop of water on it--it got water when it rained...Bubba put one application of a weed and feed down in the spring and my grass rivaled any golf course. St Augustine doesn't do well here, too far north.

GRASS1.jpg
 

KathyInAR

Founder
Staff member
Could the chemicals used to treat the fence and posts be leeching into the soil effecting the grass?
I don't think so, because on the sides of the yard where the grass gets plenty of sun, and there's no big trees, and the other side of the fence the grass is fine and thriving.
 
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