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View Full Version : Is my lawn drying up or is it something else?


nhoodjr
05-21-2007, 07:58 PM
The situation:

I live in central North Carolina, the piedmont region. We are currently in a moderate drought but nothing severe. We have not been getting steady rain in a little over a month now however a few thunderstorms.

The yard is 97% full sun.

I water religiously most every day in the evenings and in the morning sometimes. My yard is around .99 acres. I have fescue grass (http://www.sta-green.com/ProductCategories/GrassSeed/RegionalSelectsSoutheast/) and the yard is now 4 years old. Avg temp in the past 2 months has been 78-85 degrees. I lime 2-4x a year, fertilize (http://www.sta-green.com/ProductCategories/LawnFertilizer/LawnFertilizer/) 2x a year and seed either once or twice a year... probably once from now on since the lawn is established. It is cut with a Toro Z @ 4".

After each seasonal treatment (spring and fall) the lawn bursts into the most beautiful yard in the neighborhood with tons of compliments and slowdowns from drivers by. I try to get the slow release fert. After about a month it goes down hill.

The Problem: (see pics (http://picasaweb.google.com/nhoodjr/PicsOfCrazyYard?authkey=Tesghr7Ot3U) below)
I realize in low moisture moderate heat areas that things will tend to burn up quickly. But what has always bugged me about my lawn is it will only do it in certain areas that I like to call brown islands. You can be standing somewhere in the middle of the yard with one foot in nice, thick green grass and the other in decrepit wilting brown grass.

Houses in the same hood dont spend half the time in their yard, have same amount of sun and never water and their grass stays green and thick a lot longer then mine. I spend more time then anyone I know trying to have a simple green thick lawn (don't we all)


If the problem is the lack of water then I would consider installing a sprinkler system, but if it is not, i do not want to waste my time. I am turning to the pro's to help me solve this so-called mystery of...

What the Hell is happening to my lawn?

Pics:

Click here for the Pics. (http://picasaweb.google.com/nhoodjr/PicsOfCrazyYard?authkey=Tesghr7Ot3U)

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
05-21-2007, 08:02 PM
Well we are going thru a drought here,to me it looks dry try cutting on 4 or 5 inches.

nhoodjr
05-21-2007, 08:12 PM
Yep, done... mow on 4in... I dont have 5" setting, highest it goes is 4.

DCE
05-21-2007, 08:48 PM
nhoodjr - hey neighbor! I'm in Winston and yeah, my front yard looks exactly like yours in the pics. I'm no expert on this but I think it's due to the lack of good steady rain. Heard on the news tonight we normally should be about 2.50" for May but we're something like 0.48". Ouch.

Early in the Spring when we did get some measurable rain my yard actually looked really good. This after aerating real good, throwing seed and slow release fertilizer down. But when the heat turned on and the rain became few and far between, it's like my yard came to a grinding halt. It looks like $hit now. I get full sun so the ground is just baking and baking and baking in the afternoons. Short of installing a sprinkler system, which is probably more than I can afford, I guess I'll have to be at the mercy of watering with regular sprinklers and praying for rain...

nhoodjr
05-21-2007, 08:57 PM
DCE... nice to see a neighbor on here. I frequent this place a ton, but never get to post because im usually looking for info rather than giving it.

I'm glad to hear im not the only one suffering. I came on here hoping to hear its the heat/no rain. But you never know, sometimes there are things that the experts can spot on a dime and I wanted to be 100% sure before I start looking into a system. I've done the rain dance to many times. I spend to much time and energy in my yard to have mother nature screw it up for me. I WANT MORE CONTROL!!! Muhahahahaha.

DCE
05-21-2007, 09:09 PM
I spend to much time and energy in my yard to have mother nature screw it up for me. I WANT MORE CONTROL!!! Muhahahahaha.

Join the club, my friend :) This is something we risk...it's kind of like gambling! Seriously though, this is perhaps the driest spring I've ever experienced. I remember one spring a few years ago it was so wet and raining so much that it was just a crapshoot on timing when to mow! I am willing to bet things will even out for you and I if we get some measurable rain...and not these 30% chance, hit-or-miss thundershowers. Unfortunately, the forecast for the upcoming holiday weekend looks hot, humid, and dry :cry:

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
05-21-2007, 09:58 PM
That is the coolest avatar.

NickN
05-22-2007, 11:07 AM
<i>
I water religiously most every day in the evenings and in the morning sometimes.</i>
<p>You've got brown patch from too much water staying on the leaves for too long of a period.Stop the watering in the evenings.Only water in the morning.Lack of air movement and too much water will cause this.Look on the leaves for irregular lesions and you'll know for sure.From the pics it's hard to tell,but looked to me to have these lesions on them.

nhoodjr
05-22-2007, 08:11 PM
<i>
I water religiously most every day in the evenings and in the morning sometimes.</i>
<p>You've got brown patch from too much water staying on the leaves for too long of a period.Stop the watering in the evenings.Only water in the morning.Lack of air movement and too much water will cause this.Look on the leaves for irregular lesions and you'll know for sure.From the pics it's hard to tell,but looked to me to have these lesions on them.


Leisons, by that do you mean brown spots on a rather green leaf? As of someone was walking through the grass and lightly sprinkled some grass killer by accident?

NickN
05-23-2007, 09:56 AM
Yes.They will be irregluar brown to dark brown spots.

Capemay Eagle
05-23-2007, 02:05 PM
I have my sprinklers set for 3:30am. The cycle is complete around 6:45am. I was always told that you should never water your lawn during the day, because the sun will actually burn the grass. The water on the leaves acts like a magnifying glass.

nhoodjr
05-23-2007, 02:12 PM
See, the funny thing is that my neighbor 2 doors down runs sprinklers all the time and his yard is healthy with no disease. we buy all the same seed and fert. Only difference is he has lots of shade trees where i have full sun.

Capemay Eagle
05-23-2007, 02:35 PM
If the problem is the lack of water then I would consider installing a sprinkler system, but if it is not, i do not want to waste my time. I am turning to the pro's to help me solve this so-called mystery of...



IMO, If you really love your yard and spend a lot of time working on it you should definitely install a irrigation system. You have more control and a sprinkler system is more precise. Also sounds like you could use a few more feedings. I am attaching a 5 step program I have been using. It has been working well for me. Maybe give it a try...I am in the northeast so these steps may vary down south.

bahamamills
05-23-2007, 02:41 PM
I was always told not to water after dark because of disease and fungus but this is comng from the local authority for turf in the are.

http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/pubs/management/ag-367.pdf

Its a large file so be patient.

jeffinsgf
05-23-2007, 03:03 PM
The "magnifyng glass" theory is bogus, but that doesn't mean it is a good idea to water during the day. Water on grass on a hot day will have a cooling effect on the plants, but the water evaporates before it can penetrate to the roots.

Running the sprinklers in the early AM takes advantage of maximum pressure and minimum interference with other water usage. There's less worry about fungal problems since the sun is coming up soon (as opposed to watering at 9 or 10 pm).