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View Full Version : Lawn stress or fertilizer burn or worse?


kirk1701
06-28-2009, 04:03 PM
Hey guys, said I would post these pics up but now looking at these red thread pic's in the other thread it looks a bit like my yard also so the more I look the more concerned I get.

Up till now I thought it was just stress, the main part of the front yard gets full sun from 11 AM on and as you can see in the pic's, the side is shaded which by the way looks great (well except for a few of my famous herbicide burns) :drinkup:

Some of this was present in some photo's from about a month ago, as suggested I raised the blades which made it better. However, I did put a light lime app down on June 15th ahead of 2" rainfall along with a light app of 10-10-10 because I knew these rains were coming and I played the weather.

Then, we got hot and humid, 90-95 degrees for the last week solid, one or two isolated t-storms and the ground has stayed wet.

Pic's of side to follow. Am I looking at stress from the heat even though I raised the blades, fert burn or red thread?

kirk1701
06-28-2009, 04:07 PM
Pic's of the side, took same time as the pic's above so the shades area could be more seen. Its just now 2 PM and this area is just now starting to get sun and lasts till about 6 PM during the summer.

Again, the brown spots seen here are my famous herbicide burns :laugh:

dishboy
06-28-2009, 06:48 PM
Need a close up picture

One of the pictures showing your edge looks like you the mower down the drought stressed lawn. Root feeding insects with insufficient irrigation may look like what you have going on. From what I saw your damage does not appear to be red thread, need closer picture, that much damage you definitely would be seeing the Red in the thread somewhere.

kirk1701
06-28-2009, 07:27 PM
Need a close up picture

One of the pictures showing your edge looks like you the mower down the drought stressed lawn. Root feeding insects with insufficient irrigation may look like what you have going on. From what I saw your damage does not appear to be red thread, need closer picture, that much damage you definitely would be seeing the Red in the thread somewhere.

ahh, so thats where it gets the name red? We'll, thats one down as I definitely do not see any red. Here's some close ups from various places.

Keep in mind we've had 6" + of rain for June. 3" or more which came down after the lime and 10-10-10 app but what I think maybe going on at the street (I assume thats what your referring to mower down) mowed at the same height; 3.75" but the spreader could not handle the large granules and clogs up so I do the turn without stopping. Have since learned here to do a circular pattern to prevent that :)

I think, not sure but think more product was put down in the turn?

RigglePLC
06-28-2009, 08:06 PM
Fungus disease is still possible. But I suspect drought stress. Uneven pattern could be due to grass seed mixture. Some hardy grass mixed with seed from less hardy grass. Do you have tall fescue, rye and bluegrass?

Could be fert burn along the edges at road. Also weed killer spots--as you mentioned.

kirk1701
06-28-2009, 08:33 PM
Fungus disease is still possible. But I suspect drought stress. Uneven pattern could be due to grass seed mixture. Some hardy grass mixed with seed from less hardy grass. Do you have tall fescue, rye and bluegrass?

Could be fert burn along the edges at road. Also weed killer spots--as you mentioned.

You are correct on the grass seed mixture.

This was last year after TruGreen got their hands on it.
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=235151&highlight=kirk1701

Needless to say, I fixed it last fall myself, didn't kill off Chemlawns cheap seed but just reseeded with a power rake and Rebel V 100% tall fescue, drought and disease resistant seed. (or so it says) :laugh:

EVM
06-28-2009, 08:49 PM
I say fert burn with some disease "brown patch".

kirk1701
06-28-2009, 11:59 PM
I say fert burn with some disease "brown patch".

OH great, two problems.

So should I water? We were I say were expecting storms tonight but guess the weatherman was just wrong but whats new. :dizzy:

garydale
06-29-2009, 09:31 AM
Looks like only some grass varieties are affected.
Maybe this will help you key it out.

http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/BP/BP-125-W.pdf

cgaengineer
06-29-2009, 10:00 AM
Looks just like my fescue area in my rear lawn...drought stressed is my guess.

cpa4t9r
06-29-2009, 12:33 PM
I live in Brown Patch country. Hard to tell in the pics but don't see any lesions on the grass around or in the middle of the patches in one of the pics. I had some BP flare up in my front yard a few weeks ago but was able to treat it before it got too hot for the grass to recover. Most of the time when I see BP, it covers a larger area rather than just in focused spots.

My $0.02.

kirk1701
06-29-2009, 04:59 PM
Looks just like my fescue area in my rear lawn...drought stressed is my guess.

We'll, took the chance this morning and watered the area on the hill, thinking the bank/hill is usually the first to get brown from drought to start with we'll might be drought.

I wasn't going to water but since we were not blessed with the rain and severe storms we were told were coming in yesterday I guess I had no choice :cry:

cgaengineer
06-29-2009, 05:26 PM
We'll, took the chance this morning and watered the area on the hill, thinking the bank/hill is usually the first to get brown from drought to start with we'll might be drought.

I wasn't going to water but since we were not blessed with the rain and severe storms we were told were coming in yesterday I guess I had no choice :cry:

You may try watering for 20 mins on/off/on/off to see if you can get enough water in the soil before runoff. My guess is that it will not recover until this fall and you would be better to leave it dormant then to try and bring it back.

kirk1701
06-29-2009, 05:53 PM
You may try watering for 20 mins on/off/on/off to see if you can get enough water in the soil before runoff. My guess is that it will not recover until this fall and you would be better to leave it dormant then to try and bring it back.

I have no problem with watering and keep it watered, as its been said I have no irrigation so I'm doing it with a water hose (and a $120 water bill) in mid summer. Which was the reason for getting the seed I did that said "Drought resistant". However didn't expect it to turn brown this soon, especially with the 6" of rain we had :dizzy:

Anyhow, like I said I watered this morning and maybe its wishful thinking on my part but I do think I can already see a difference :laugh:

and, might hit it here again this evening but I'm thinking doing that I would be inviting disease also? Opinions?

RAlmaroad
06-29-2009, 06:06 PM
Theory says to water deeply and less often to promote root growth. That's for a perfect world. I've tried that deeply stuff, watched the blades of grass to make V's (supposedly to catch water), putting a pie pan to measure to 1.5" of water per week. Again, for a perfect world. I'll be the first to say it--it's a bunch of bunk. You've got to water as ofter as the grass needs it to stay green and keep it from turning to straw. I'm old and done it all. In SC, I water EVERY DAY during the heat of the summer and slow down to every other day during the spring and fall. That's because the sandy soil WILL NOT HOLD any moisture. It leaches about as fast as it hits the ground. Sand is a different soil and is surely not in perfect conditions with sun in the daytime hitting 100 degree plus.
So Kirk, your lawn will need lots and lots of water--more than you may be willing to admit to keep it like you want it. Don't want to sound mean and nasty; it's just a matter of fact. I know that you've told us that you have hoses and sprinklers. Have you ever thought about putting in a shallow well just for irrigation? I know the water table in Kentucky may be hundreds of feet deep and just not cost worthy.

The whole thing short is that grass needs lots of water for fertilize to incorporate correctly, for micro-nutrients to break down into usable food for grass, to photosynthesize light into usable products such as sugars to make the roots absorb the micros that the water broke down in the soil and on and on and on.

Without water there is no life.
Anyway, good luck from a Tennessee Hill Guy to a Kentucky Hill Guy.

kirk1701
06-29-2009, 06:37 PM
Theory says to water deeply and less often to promote root growth. That's for a perfect world. I've tried that deeply stuff, watched the blades of grass to make V's (supposedly to catch water), putting a pie pan to measure to 1.5" of water per week. Again, for a perfect world. I'll be the first to say it--it's a bunch of bunk. You've got to water as ofter as the grass needs it to stay green and keep it from turning to straw. I'm old and done it all. In SC, I water EVERY DAY during the heat of the summer and slow down to every other day during the spring and fall. That's because the sandy soil WILL NOT HOLD any moisture. It leaches about as fast as it hits the ground. Sand is a different soil and is surely not in perfect conditions with sun in the daytime hitting 100 degree plus.
So Kirk, your lawn will need lots and lots of water--more than you may be willing to admit to keep it like you want it. Don't want to sound mean and nasty; it's just a matter of fact. I know that you've told us that you have hoses and sprinklers. Have you ever thought about putting in a shallow well just for irrigation? I know the water table in Kentucky may be hundreds of feet deep and just not cost worthy.

The whole thing short is that grass needs lots of water for fertilize to incorporate correctly, for micro-nutrients to break down into usable food for grass, to photosynthesize light into usable products such as sugars to make the roots absorb the micros that the water broke down in the soil and on and on and on.

Without water there is no life.
Anyway, good luck from a Tennessee Hill Guy to a Kentucky Hill Guy.
Anyway, good luck from a Tennessee Hill Guy to a Kentucky Hill Guy :laugh:
Nice ending RA :drinkup:
First, NO your not sounding mean your sounding honest and thats what I want. I can't correct the issue otherwise. :drinkup:

That being said, don't think we haven't looked into a well, LOL actually the local water co. has took it upon themselves to collect $4 per bill from every homeowner for some kind of flood management agency but anyhow, think my parents looked into it and were told we could not dig a well but I find that hard to believe, its our property. (I take care of the outside by the way not a kid)LOL

Back to the lawn and needing to be watered I bet your right there also, because as you see from the pic's the whole front is on a slope, some worse then others but none the less sloped and the hill where it's getting brown is going to run off even faster, the road where its getting brown I know for a fact dig down more then half an inch and its gravel, probably from when the road was paved last.

So that being said, think it would hurt to water in the evenings also?

RAlmaroad
06-29-2009, 07:16 PM
Think of it this way...Golf course supers can not water in the early morning because of 6:00 T-off times and even the sheer mass of ground to irrigate so they must water during the night. That said...early morning watering is out the window also.
However to be on the safer side we water on the coast beginning at 4:00am to get through all of the stations by 10:00. I have one lawn that has 8 stations--some are spray heads and most are rotors. It's all jazz as to what works for the soil in the area. I'd almost bet that your soil is compacted red clay and it takes a slow steady rain to penetrate that crust deep enough. Run off is a waste. There's an old farm trick called subsoiling. Very drastic for a lawn but it might cause the ground to absorb. I'd talk with the agent. He may have a topographical map of your area showing the strata. You may be on a rock. Beats core drilling.
Who says you cannot drill a well? Last time I looked--we were still the USA. Drill it, let them fine you, then you sue the county. Figlio di puttane!

kirk1701
06-29-2009, 07:50 PM
Think of it this way...Golf course supers can not water in the early morning because of 6:00 T-off times and even the sheer mass of ground to irrigate so they must water during the night. That said...early morning watering is out the window also.
However to be on the safer side we water on the coast beginning at 4:00am to get through all of the stations by 10:00. I have one lawn that has 8 stations--some are spray heads and most are rotors. It's all jazz as to what works for the soil in the area. I'd almost bet that your soil is compacted red clay and it takes a slow steady rain to penetrate that crust deep enough. Run off is a waste. There's an old farm trick called subsoiling. Very drastic for a lawn but it might cause the ground to absorb. I'd talk with the agent. He may have a topographical map of your area showing the strata. You may be on a rock. Beats core drilling.
Who says you cannot drill a well? Last time I looked--we were still the USA. Drill it, let them fine you, then you sue the county. Figlio di puttane!

Makes sense RA, but its not red clay I've tilled up part of it and brang in 4 loads of top soil on the front yard to for landscaping it (I had ditches and water stood in them and couldn't run off and would kill anything). However, I did not put any on the bank thats showing the most stress; I didn't want to build it up anymore then it already is and the fact I tilled part of that bank, I know for a fact underneath is rock, big rocks, some the size of baseball and basketballs; its not only soil (Reason I didn't till up the whole thing that was rough). It was only later I learned you could kill off the weeds (it was nothing but weeds) with round-up and reseed with a power rake :dizzy:

So, I'm watering now, watered some of it this morning and will do the same over the next couple a days I'll let you all know if its looking up :)

Also looking for some compost to put down to hold in the moisture but I'm not buying recycled leafs the city picks up :mad:

That not only has weeds in it but coke bottles as well?? :dizzy:
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=280858

Thanks again

Oh and as for the well; yea I agree.

kirk1701
07-03-2009, 05:41 PM
OK everyone be honest, just took a comparison pic and between the one in the first post and this one to me, don't seem like it looks any better but at least its no worse either. I like to think of the glass half full rather then half empty :)

I've watered everyday (sometimes twice) since the post above which was Monday and today is Friday.

Had 4 sections to completely cover the whole front here's the schedule.
Monday: 20 minutes twice a day
Tuesday: 20 Minutes twice
Wednesday: 20 Minutes in evening
Thursday: none
Friday: Today and just checked and area is still pretty moist.

No use watering today due to forecate :drinkup:
There will be a few scattered showers and thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and evening - hopefully not enough to damper cookouts or fireworks displays. The best chance for rain and thunderstorms will come late Saturday night and Sunday as an area of low pressure moves right across Southern Kentucky. This is when we could see some heavier rainfall with some 1-2" amounts before ending early Monday morning.

Not to mention the temps which have barely broke 80 degrees for the past week :confused:

Now on the other hand, starting to wonder if there is not something else at play here so I guess its a good thing I keep photos for records.

First two pic's I just took. Last two I took last Sept before I started my fall reseeding after the horible brown patch. Notice the area down the road and down the side of driveway; same thing happened last year so might I have something else going on along the road and driveway?

mdlwn1
07-03-2009, 08:06 PM
I had to skip over reading these replies so forgive me if someone answered this (i doubt it)

This is painfully easy to anyone who has been doing this for a while. It started out as fungus...likely red thread. Then it went over to droubt damage. Fungus areas that dry out,.....DIE. Similarly areas that have droubt damage are more suseptable to fungus. The weather patterns you have had as well as the exposer of the lawn tell the complete story. Ther could be more facotrs at play such as too much fert..or watering it in then letteing it fry...maybe even some cinch bugs

cgaengineer
07-03-2009, 10:36 PM
The problem with the well maybe the fact you have a lot size which is minimum allowed for septic tank. If this is the case you will likely have to physically drill the well yourself as not many well drillers want to drill an illegal well.

I suspect your regulations are similar to ours and you have to maintain 100 feet from well from septic system.
Posted via Mobile Device

garydale
07-04-2009, 11:08 AM
Patience, patience, patience!
You appear to want instant response and results from the steps you have taken. That ainít goin happen.

Fungus damage and drought damage take at least three weeks to grow out.

If you keep adding different actions ie: watering, fert, and fungicides
Without allowing enough time for the grass plants to grow out you will cause more problems.

Without patience you will need to be proactive in the future. Apply preventive fungicide, water before drought stress shows etc.

kirk1701
07-04-2009, 12:30 PM
Patience, patience, patience!
You appear to want instant response and results from the steps you have taken. That ainít goin happen.

Fungus damage and drought damage take at least three weeks to grow out.

If you keep adding different actions ie: watering, fert, and fungicides
Without allowing enough time for the grass plants to grow out you will cause more problems.

Without patience you will need to be proactive in the future. Apply preventive fungicide, water before drought stress shows etc.

Thats just it, think there are two separate problems going on, 1 the stress on the bank and 2. around the edges got a fungus then it got hot, I sprayed for weeds and maybe killed it that way.

I was just out in the yard a little while ago, defanitly dead, no doubt about it. I can pull the grass blades up with little effort just take a few blades through my finger and thumb and up it comes. Hell, might even be the same thing going on the bank and not stressed from drought because I checked the ground and still moist.

Now, like you say I need to be proactive in the future, apply a preventive fungicide? I started to do that this year and put it off thinking OK, what if last year was a fluke and nothing more then ChemLawns fault. So what would I put down, Eagle 20? Is it too late to do that now to save what I do have?

Kiril
07-04-2009, 12:42 PM
Kirk

1) Put in some real irrigation

2) Stop micro managing your turf. All that crap you are putting on your lawn is more likely than not making matters worse.

3) Find a good source of compost and start a yearly top dressing with an over seed in the fall.

topsites
07-04-2009, 12:45 PM
This is the reason why we shouldn't be gambling with fertilizers in June. :p
Who knows, probably some kind of a combination, my recommendation is stop playing with it,
just don't do anything more to it and let it get through summer.

It'll be all right, it's a bit of a ways from a disaster yet.

Keep your blades high, the irrigation set conservatively, and let it go.
Too much water isn't good for it either.

If anything don't cut it as often, space out the cuts, let it get a bit shaggy in between,
one of the reasons why we set mowers high is so it won't clump, and it doesn't, not near as bad.

Then you know you're treating it in the fall, so who cares, 2-3 more months and it's over.

kirk1701
07-04-2009, 12:53 PM
Kirk

1) Put in some real irrigation

2) Stop micro managing your turf. All that crap you are putting on your lawn is more likely than not making matters worse.

3) Find a good source of compost and start a yearly top dressing with an over seed in the fall.

Irrigation, out of the question I have no choice there. "All that crap"? Elaborate please, I put two fert apps in march & April then something for ants in May and as recomended by the soil test a lime and 10-10-10 app in June.

Compost? LOL yea I'm in that now and if you haven't seen my thread the closest one is 100 miles away other then getting it from the college that picks up the leaves for the city which also include coke bottles and glass along with weeds to add to my problem, LOL.

Kiril
07-04-2009, 12:55 PM
Irrigation, out of the question I have no choice there. "All that crap"? Elaborate please, I put two fert apps in march & April then something for ants in May and as recomended by the soil test a lime and 10-10-10 app in June.

Compost? LOL yea I'm in that now and if you haven't seen my thread the closest one is 100 miles away other then getting it from the college that picks up the leaves for the city which also include coke bottles and glass along with weeds to add to my problem, LOL.

Don't know what to tell you then, other than you will be doing this again next year.

A little reading for you.

http://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/1813/3739/2/Biological%20Control%20of%20Turfgrass%20Diseases.pdf

kirk1701
07-04-2009, 12:57 PM
This is the reason why we shouldn't be gambling with fertilizers in June. :p
Who knows, probably some kind of a combination, my recommendation is stop playing with it,
just don't do anything more to it and let it get through summer.

Keep your blades high, the irrigation set conservatively, and let it go.
Too much water isn't good for it either.

If anything don't cut it as often, space out the cuts, let it get a bit shaggy in between,
one of the reasons why we set mowers high is so it won't clump, and it doesn't, not near as bad.

Then you know you're treating it in the fall, so who cares, 2-3 more months and it's over.

Yep, do plan to reseed in the fall, if I have to buy bagged compost I will, did it last year for the side and dam it looks great even now.

Funny part, I've done bought all the local Lowes store had, they switched to another brand and first off it sucks, has rock in it, it's not 40 Lb bags more like 15 Lb and the same price as the 40 Lbers I bought them out of.

kirk1701
07-04-2009, 01:04 PM
Don't know what to tell you then, other than you will be doing this again next year.

A little reading for you.

http://ecommons.cornell.edu/bitstream/1813/3739/2/Biological%20Control%20of%20Turfgrass%20Diseases.pdf

Thanks Kiril, breifly looked over both (scanned) and saved them to read later. At first glance from what I seen, compost compost compost :)

Again, thats the plan

Kiril
07-04-2009, 01:10 PM
BTW, have you tested for compaction and turf rooting depth? I'd be willing to bet those areas by the road and driveway are compacted.

Also, why is irrigation out of the question? You are never going to achieve what you want by hand watering.

Chilehead
07-04-2009, 01:16 PM
Much of the lawns here have undergone the same visual symptoms. Some lawns are just toast. Drought/heat stress is most probable, and if you fertilized just prior to the lack of rain: that equals fuel to the fire.

kirk1701
07-04-2009, 01:32 PM
BTW, have you tested for compaction and turf rooting depth? I'd be willing to bet those areas by the road and driveway are compacted.

Also, why is irrigation out of the question? You are never going to achieve what you want by hand watering.
Yea, was thinking about doing that also (whole yard) doing a good airate it then powerseed and topdress with compost. Let the winter do its thing.

As for the irrigation, couple a reasons why, first being the expence and we've done soaked more money into the house them what we can get out but thats besides the point. We are out in the country and none of the neighbors even have lawns with exception to myself and two others and those two also do the watering by hand however, they have shade so. Hey, once my dogwoods get big enough I'll have shade also :cool2:

Take into concideration Kiril I'm here all the time (home) and I have the time to water and time each zone, have the areas marked where to put the water sprinklers so its not like I'm gone or away and it can't get water, that make sence?

Much of the lawns here have undergone the same visual symptoms. Some lawns are just toast. Drought/heat stress is most probable, and if you fertilized just prior to the lack of rain: that equals fuel to the fire.

Yep, thats what happened, I put the 10-10-10 down and then it turned hot and humid. :cry:

Bunch of you told me not too also after I posted the results of the soil tests.

kirk1701
07-04-2009, 02:14 PM
Let me throw this one at you guys, what you think?

Herbicide damage? Yes, I had been spot spraying during the hot heat :confused:

From my journal, last sentence added after I found out what MSMA would do if used above 90 degree temps :cry:
TEST AREA!!! June 13, 2009
The 2,D-4 does not seem to be taking care of the nutsedge, so spot sprayed the front with MSMA Crabgrass killer purchased last year at Southern States. Erring on the side of caution after a mistake last year, mixed weaker then the label at 1 oz to 2 Gallon of water and spot sprayed front. Used 3 quarts.
ē Update June 20. Mixed too weak, did not see any results but probably better we didnít. With hot weather approaching and highs above 90 now and use of MSMA mixed stronger would had have cooked not only the weed but fescue as well. DO NOT USE MSMA with temps above 90 on cool season grasses. Tested this theory to be sure in backyard, mixed at 1 oz per gallon will have better effect on the nutsedge within three days will see browning. However with temps above 90 degrees will also see browning in the grass within days to follow, 4 to 5 days and will kill grass along with the weed.

mngrassguy
07-06-2009, 03:34 AM
Fungus weaked the grass and the dry weather took it out. Watering in the evening will make it worse. Make sure the grass can dry before it gets dark or the fungus will thrive.

kirk1701
07-06-2009, 11:07 AM
Fungus weaked the grass and the dry weather took it out. Watering in the evening will make it worse. Make sure the grass can dry before it gets dark or the fungus will thrive.

Didn't do any watering before this started.

kirk1701
07-06-2009, 12:27 PM
Hey guys, now that I know what caused this I need to know what to do in order to prevent it again next year.

Part being my doing with the herbicide, but at the same time this area is 1. FULL SUN all day and 2. On a bank that I can't say it dries out quick but still.

I need some idea's on what Tall Fescue Grass seed to use. Looks like the Rebel 5 I used will do the trick on the side but the front and the bank at the street will need something else (maybe crabgrass would be best):laugh:

Links please if possible.

Plus, suggestions on a preventative disease control application for next spring, what's you guys recomend there.

As for the here and now; skip summer app of "Scott's sumer rizer," (Nitrogen) put down a Grub Control only in the next few weeks unless someone suggests otherwise :waving:

kirk1701
07-07-2009, 07:05 PM
Bump

What brand Grub control you guys recomend? I'm thinking about putting down an app of Premium Crabgrass Control with Dimension also which requires a trip to southern states so thought I'd get the grub control there at the same time.

Or am I better off getting a Lowes brand name for grub control?

platinum
07-07-2009, 09:27 PM
Kirk, I have about the same problem as you. Im skipping the summer app as well and hoping for recovery in the fall. If you are having trouble finding compost and have not been core aerating, try aeration twice a year to loosen that soil up.

For grub control I have had good luck with both Scotts Grub-Ex and Lesco Merit.

Good luck and keep us posted.

kirk1701
07-08-2009, 12:03 AM
Kirk, I have about the same problem as you. Im skipping the summer app as well and hoping for recovery in the fall. If you are having trouble finding compost and have not been core aerating, try aeration twice a year to loosen that soil up.

For grub control I have had good luck with both Scotts Grub-Ex and Lesco Merit.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Hmmm. Lasco HU? I might look into that as I just created an account and can have it shipped to me.

Actually, going forward with buying the compost in 40 Lb bags at Lowes since they got more in of the same brand they were carrying last fall. Every time I go into town, swing by lowes and pick up 9 bags and store it in the garage till fall :cool2:

Was aslo going to aerate the lawn this Sept ahead of the power seeder then cover it with the compost I'm storing up on now.

Attached a new pic, gotta say last weeks rains helped.