I'm not sure where you live but:<br>You're right about your gutt-feeling in respect to CHEM-U-LAWN <br>type services. They'll turn your lawn into a chemical junkie, that<br>in the long run will look green as hell but will by no stretch of the<br>imagination, be healthy, for the soil organisms that SHOULD be<br>present, you, your dog, or for the grass itself. <br><br>There's no use following well meaning advice since not even you <br>know what you're dealing with at this point. Liming soil that's <br>already too alkaline, or applying more fertilizer to grass that may <br>be burned from excessive fertilizer applications will only make the<br>problem worse, by throwing it further out-of-whack!<br><br>Since you've only lived on the property for 2 years, you have no idea<br>what the former owners did (or didn't do) You may have COMPACTED<br>SOIL (needs aeration) or a THATCH BUILD UP.<br><br>#1 Get Your Soil Tested.
<br><br>The most reliable, complete (and in the end cheapest) testing is<br>done through the Dept. of Agriculture Lab. in your area.<br>They generally work out of the State Universities, and have offices<br>in almost every county in the USA.<br><br>[color:green]STATE CO-OPERATIVE EXTENSIONS</font color=green>
<br><br>For about $10 they will give you an assessment of the amount of<br>organic matter present in your lawn, as well as the pH and nutrient<br>levels, and then give you a spot-on analysis and recommendation<br>for exactly what you need to do to "bring it up to snuff"
<br><br>When you talk to them on the telephone, they will tell you to come<br>in and buy a Soil Test Kit --- it's just a bag to put the soil sample in,<br>and the ALL IMPORTANT DIRECTIONS on how to take a proper sampling.<br><br>The added bonus, is that you now have access to a network of<br>professionals (FREE OF CHARGE - I MIGHT ADD) that are dedicated<br>to answering any questions, and to give advice about any pest <br>or disease problems that may be causing those dead patches.<br><br> #2 While you're talking to them, ask about bringing them a <br>representative sample of your turf problem.
<br><br>Get a low cardboard box (like the ones a case of beer comes in.)<br>Cut a 9"-1' square plug of the turf from the margin between the<br>Problem Area and a Healthy Area. (Dead Turf & Live Turf)<br>They'll need to see the entire chunk from the root zone, to the top <br>of the grass.<br><br>Bring the plug back home, and stomp it right back into place, and <br>water it in, and it should be none-the-worse-for-the-wear.
<br><br>[color:green]"...or am I a butterfly that's dreaming she's a woman?"