My small northern Illinois front lawn faces west, and thus is brutalized by the late afternoon sun, my blacktop driveway, and a 40 year-old locust tree (which provides afternoon shade for the house, so I'm not cutting it down). This side has all the dandelions and simply can't grow as lush as the east-facing backyard, which has very few, if any dandelions/weeds and no large shade trees.
I mow high and weekly, fertilize both sides equally (Scott's, but I will post soon about how to move away from chemical fertilizers...) and water equally (although it's obvious to me that the west side dries out much faster than the east).
I think the locust tree pulls a lot of the water and nutrients away from the grass that surrounds it, which makes me want to water more, yet that puts me in the category of a "frequent waterer".
Might a core aeration in the spring be appropriate here so more water gets down to the root level faster (even though a large % will be stolen by the tree)? I don't think I have a thatch problem (I bag all clippings... another practice I want to change).
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