thin thatchy areas in lawn

We're in the Chicago area. I have a new house and lawn that was sodded 1.5 yrs ago (fall). Last year the turf was beautiful. This spring we have a number of large areas in the lawn that are thin, and seem very hard under foot. There is a good amount of thatch in these areas as well. Someone told me it may have been snow mold, as we had a LOT of snow last winter. I never noticed a color to these areas. Finding it on the east and west mostly. No tunneling. What do I do?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Since you noticed very hard soil underneath, it's possible that this ground was especially compacted after construction (which is very common) and therefore the grass didn't take root well, and in its weak state, didn't overwinter.



It is also true that snow mold can be a problem in your area. If it is snow mold, the dead spots will be circular (roughly) and should create a peculiar sort of polkadot pattern on your lawn. In that case, confirm the ID with reputable garden center, and then ask them for a control product.



If the areas that are dying are large and don't seem to have any distinct pattern, it's probably just grass that died over winter. In that case, you'll need to reseed or resod the areas, and you should till the soil beforehand, to make sure the grass takes this time.


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