Why does my San Francisco lawn take so long to recover?

David Henshaw
16 days ago

I have a small backyard lawn in San Francisco, near the ocean. The grass is only 3 years old.

Every winter it's taken over by clover, and it takes months (until May) before they leave and the grass thickens. I believe I'm giving it sufficient water with a sprinkler system (I test the soil moisture), and I do put a fair amount of nitrogen fertilizer on the lawn at least once a month. Beneath the lawn it's all sand (you can thank the ocean for that). I've done a household chemical test and it tells me the sod is constantly deprived of nitrogen. Pictures attached - you can see examples of thick clover, and grass that is extremely thin.

Any ideas what I can do to encourage healthier grass? Or, is this what I should expect in this foggy, salty microclimate?

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