Turf Talk
Our Turf Talk blog gives you the professional advice you need to care for your lawn.

I have a two foot strip of dead lawn all the way around the foundation of my house. I’ve tried everything to get it to grow but nothing seems to work. The rest of my lawn looks great. What’s happening around my foundation?

Without having seen your house I know that the exterior is stucco. Psychic power? I wouldn’t be in lawn care if I was psychic. Every stucco home built in Manitoba shares the same problem. Stucco contains lime. Over time, the lime in the stucco gets washed down the side of your home and into the soil around the foundation. Lime is alkaline, meaning it raises the pH in the soil. Your lawn requires a pH of 6.5 to 7.0 to remain healthy. Lawn fertilizers are slightly acidic. When you apply fertilizer (an acid) to your lawn, you change the pH of the soil which results in a deep green colour. Add too much fertilizer (or acid) and you can unintentionally “burn” your lawn. Lime works in the opposite manner. As the lime washes off the stucco on the walls of your house, and into the soil around the foundation, it is changing the pH of the soil, making the soil too alkali. The lawn becomes pale, or even grayish in colour before dying. Correcting this problem is difficult to impossible. Since the foundation has been so fully and completely saturated with lime, it would be nearly impossible to determine how much fertilizer would be required to reverse or control the problem. My advice to you would be to install a decorative rock border, flower beds or other landscape feature around your home.

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