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View Full Version : what the **** happend here??


trimmerman151
05-15-2010, 08:49 AM
I need help. I mowed six yards with a walker walk behind that we bought two weeks in a row I went back to mow thurs. and this is what it looked like. the tow times I mowed it was tin the afternoon, so no frost,it wasnt wet the grass looked pretty good. Chemlawn sprayed in late march early april fert. and broad leaf killer. A landscaper sprayed grass killer on a bank three weeks before I mowed. So what the **** happend here?

delphied
05-15-2010, 09:05 AM
I dont know the answer but I had the same thing happen to me once in th a dry, hot part of the summer. An application had been put down as well. The customer called their applicator company and naturally they said that I had mowed it too short which was total BS. Is it dry in your area? I think mine was chemical burn and I think yours is too.

eagleharborelite
05-15-2010, 09:09 AM
Not sure about your area, but in Florida when this happens, It's typically some type of fungus that has made its way onto the tires of the machine and transfered from one lawn to the next . But again, not too familiar with your area.

MOW ED
05-15-2010, 09:12 AM
Thats from heat and no moisture. It will be fine once you get some rain. Its not a chemical burn. Don't worry about it and explain it to the homeowners.
I am not getting critical but I don't mow when it gets real dry even if there are some places in the lawn that need it. You may be on a contract that calls for weekly mowing but this is what happens when it is real warm and dry. Turn the hose on. You will notice that it is not happening in the areas where the grass has had some moiisture. If it were chemical or a fungus you would see it everywhere.

cozymonkey
05-15-2010, 09:18 AM
looks like it needs to be watered more

EquityGreen
05-15-2010, 09:25 AM
That is Dollar Spot, a turf disease. You must have mowed a lawn with this fungus and spread it throughout your other lawns, shapen your blades, and apply a liquid fungicide ASAP and tell them to water, If you dont apply it will not grow back very fast and you wont need to mow anyways.

trimmerman151
05-15-2010, 09:39 AM
why is it certain parts of the yard and not others? I mowed the yards on 4 inches it wasnt dry or too hot maybe 75 or so.

underPSI
05-15-2010, 09:51 AM
That is Dollar Spot, a turf disease. You must have mowed a lawn with this fungus and spread it throughout your other lawns, shapen your blades, and apply a liquid fungicide ASAP and tell them to water, If you dont apply it will not grow back very fast and you wont need to mow anyways.

uhhh, What? Sorry, but the o.p. lives in Virginia which, if like NC, has not received a decent rain in a few months. The grass looks bad because of heat and lack of water as previously mentioned in this thread.

Think Green
05-15-2010, 10:15 AM
Track & Tire marks from mowing a possible too dry lawn.
I don't think it is chemical burn as stated unless you went across another lawn that had postemerge sprayed on it and immediately went to the next lawn without drive time.
However, it looks bad and should recover after some good natural rain water.

trimmerman151
05-15-2010, 10:28 AM
the grass is completly dead and breaks off at the ground with no signs of life after a heavy rain on tue. do you think that putting sprinklers out would help any?

Think Green
05-15-2010, 11:05 AM
If there has been no rainfall what so ever in a month, then yes watering will need to be done.............ASAP! or this customer or your lawn will be dead and erosion will be in you future.
This lawn looks hilly in the back, so watering will need to be done at least every other day to keep from running off into the neighbors lawns. A lawn needs at least an inch of soaking water per week to keep growing. No-water, no-roots!

Jason Rose
05-15-2010, 12:19 PM
Water! This is a COMMON problem with mowing lawns that are drought stressed. The tires "break" the already dessicated grass leaves and they turn brown. Sometimes if you have to mow a dry lawn like that you can hit it with water immediately after and lessen the effects. Any mower will cause the tracks, even a 21", certianly not as pronounced though.

Try to do your non-irrigated lawns in the morning when they are still moist from the dew overnight. WHen they are crispy in the afternoon is when you will have the problem.

Disease? Nope. Amazes me some of the GUESSES thrown out on here by some people. Selling the customer a fungicide app for mechanical damage caused by drought stress = unethical and uneducated.

trimmerman151
05-15-2010, 12:29 PM
thanks for everyones help im going to set up sprinklers now any more suggestions would be greatly appreciated . THANKS!!!!!!

Jason Rose
05-15-2010, 12:47 PM
be patient. The tracks won't just dissapear after you water. The grass will have to grow out and you will eventually mow off the brown. (think permanent hair color, has to grow out and be cut off). It may take 2 weeks to a month for the tracks to dissapear totally.

AzLawnMan
05-15-2010, 01:12 PM
Just a couple of questions, what was the weather like that day? hot, humid, cold? how many degrees? How long after those chemicals were applied did you cut? Does it have an automatic sprinkler system, or is it manual? Did you apply anything to the turf? Did you add any type of "flat repair" product to your tires? Fix-a-flat, green-slim, etc? What happened to the turf is human error. If you look at your 3rd picture, half the lawn is "burned" and the other half doesnt, but the other half that doesnt look burned, the tips of the turf look like they might be as well. Some chemicals, cannot be applied in temps above 75 degrees. I see this alot in AZ, the bug guy comes and sprays, and 2 days later if not a week later, the drift from his chemicals have burnt shrubs or the turf. I have a customer you uses a very large national company to come and spray fertilizer every year. And they spray around June, July. And every year her lawn gets "burned" from the chemicals. And the temp is around 110 when they spray. Im not saying that its "chemical drift" but it is burned from something. either the fertilizer that was applied was too hot, and not watered in properly so when you came to cut, your mower broke off all the dead leafs. Dont know if thats your situation, but it happens alot in hot weather areas where the spray guy and the turf guy are not the same page.

BINKY1902
05-15-2010, 01:26 PM
Fertilizer takes moisture away from the ground, which is why it needs to be watered in if it's real dry. If the fertilize was put down when it was already dry, and then not watered in, that could have started the problem. I don't think it just being dry would cause it to look like that. I think it looks like that because it didn't rain after the fertilizer was put down and they didn't water it.

mdlwn1
05-15-2010, 01:31 PM
That is Dollar Spot, a turf disease. You must have mowed a lawn with this fungus and spread it throughout your other lawns, shapen your blades, and apply a liquid fungicide ASAP and tell them to water, If you dont apply it will not grow back very fast and you wont need to mow anyways.

dont listen to the above post. It's droubt damage...herbicides may have stressed it a bit more, but no worries. As soon as you see a lawn dull yet shiny in the sun..and slightly grey........it's over.

mdlwn1
05-15-2010, 01:32 PM
Water! This is a COMMON problem with mowing lawns that are drought stressed. The tires "break" the already dessicated grass leaves and they turn brown. Sometimes if you have to mow a dry lawn like that you can hit it with water immediately after and lessen the effects. Any mower will cause the tracks, even a 21", certianly not as pronounced though.

Try to do your non-irrigated lawns in the morning when they are still moist from the dew overnight. WHen they are crispy in the afternoon is when you will have the problem.

Disease? Nope. Amazes me some of the GUESSES thrown out on here by some people. Selling the customer a fungicide app for mechanical damage caused by drought stress = unethical and uneducated.

Listen to this guy........

Cboy7
05-15-2010, 04:36 PM
you sure you dont have a gas leak over the tire?

it could be from the grass too dry and tire breaks the stems, but most likely a chemical or fertilizer, like weed and feed. way too hot for weed and feed.

CkLandscapingOrlando
05-15-2010, 05:00 PM
If it was chemical burn it would have been burnt before he mowed. Your mower dont pick up dried chemical and cause burn. You mow the same pattern every week so you have compaction issues in those tire ruts. That means more run off less water uptake. Combine that with 500lb mower running over already drought stressed lawns and this is just what you get. Then add on top of that chemical induced growth with shallow root and a lack of water to support such growth and you get this. The areas out side of the tracks is from the blades pushing the grass over resulting in a ragged cut. This helps to compound the problem due to moisture lose from the blade tip. The longer the wound takes to heal the more moisture you lose. Further more I have never seen a mower track fungus like that. The only way it would be possible would to have one lawn completly ate up with it in the middle of 2 nice lawns. Then you would have to mow straight across all 3 lawns back and forth. The friction of the blades to turf, sanding effect of the dust being sucked up, would clean the blades in any other case. Not to say you wont track some, but not enough to take out 6 yards in 7 days. Further more, without the moisture, fungus aint thriving so much.

I skipped 5 lawns this week due to drought stress for this same reason. Your breaking the blades just like if it were frozen

MJB
05-15-2010, 07:21 PM
This is almost hilarious. Anyone who is in the business should recognize a drought stressed lawn. Add water everyday and it will come back in 2 weeks.

All you have to do is look at the lawn is it shiny, walk on it...does it go crunch??? You can leave foot prints in a lawn too.

We use sprinkler systems to bring it back quickly. Water water water.

Listen to Jason and the guys who have been in business for years , ignore the others on this problem.

trimmerman151
05-15-2010, 09:15 PM
thanks for everything guys i set up a sprinkler system today and just now a big storm came through Ill be good till mon. thanks for everything, any other advice would be helpful.

CkLandscapingOrlando
05-15-2010, 10:06 PM
Whats brown wont come back. New blades will but dead is dead. It will look good as new in 2 weeks to a month if you keep on the water

trimmerman151
05-15-2010, 10:31 PM
the kicker is half the yards have irragation systems but dont use them. I found this out today after knocking on some doors while watering there lawns.

Robert Pruitt
05-16-2010, 01:56 AM
looks like a case of brown patch that has totaly out of hand.

topsites
05-16-2010, 03:55 AM
why is it certain parts of the yard and not others? I mowed the yards on 4 inches it wasnt dry or too hot maybe 75 or so.

Where have you been, we've had more than a few days in the 90's and no real
rain to speak of, I'm on the south side of Richmond...

Now I'll stop the criticism, for one 4 inches is not too short.
Lets get to the bottom of this, first things first you shouldn't be cutting it if it looks like that.

The question I have is did this just show up like overnight or hasn't there been some clue?

Also, is it the only yard of yours doing it?

thanks for everything guys i set up a sprinkler system today and just now a big storm came through Ill be good till mon. thanks for everything, any other advice would be helpful.

The rain we're getting isn't that great, it drops a TON of water in very short order, does little or nothing for penetration.
A foot of water in 30 minutes does less for plant life than 1 inch over 24 hours.
And maybe not quite but it's not in the quantity, it's not in the frequency, it's in the duration.

Another thing I learned is to start talking irrigation in March, tell your customers to have it turned on so that IF it needs to be used...
Come April those irrigation guys are busy and it can take weeks before they can de-winterize a system (it's actually not hard to diy but).

Either way, a lot of customers don't think like we do, some won't turn it on until June or July :p
No, I'm serious, so we have to be mindful of this as well.

topsites
05-16-2010, 04:04 AM
One more thing...

Just because an irrigation system is on doesn't mean it's working right.
A broken or faulty nozzle or more than one defective riser or sprinkler head
will do as much, worse still is resting in confidence that all is well.

Further, irrigation systems need to have the zones balanced so that ALL areas
of the yard get a distribution of water that results in an even lawn... That usually
means considerably less water in shaded areas and more in the sun, and so on.

Last but not least, some customers don't care (thou they say they do).

Robert Pruitt
05-16-2010, 06:28 AM
topsites is right, not hard to de-winterize sprinkers. if it starts to looking dry i will run the system thur manually at 25%, just to make sure the water is going were it is suppose to. then call the sprinkler guy to tell him what i have done or if there is a problem. seen a lot of red thread last month,(Nature Select Lawns)now brown patch is showing up a little early. about 50% of the lawns in one of my neighbor hoods have a fungi or is burning from the heat, no water,or the wind. if you don't get the fungi quick it spreads like wildfire.

Robert Pruitt
05-16-2010, 06:33 AM
also i put in a little marker dye to get some color back.

Richard Martin
05-16-2010, 07:19 AM
the grass is completly dead and breaks off at the ground with no signs of life after a heavy rain on tue. do you think that putting sprinklers out would help any?

If tall fescue is breaking off then it's dead. No amount of water is going to bring it back.

You simply haven't gotten nearly enough water on those lawns. While it may have rained heavily at your house that doesn't mean it rained heavily at those houses. The Cocorahs reported rain accumulation for Floyd County is less than 1.5" for the period from April 16 to May 15. You need about 4" a month.

Robert Pruitt
05-16-2010, 09:22 AM
looks like the neighbor has the same problem?

topsites
05-16-2010, 09:40 AM
I did want to mention as well, it's not that I've never ruined a lawn so not to make
you feel better or worse but my first year at least half my yards looked like that, too heheh

And it's not funny at the time but these lessons took me many years to learn,
the second year went better but I'm in my ninth year and EVERY year I've
improved so here goes:

Right away I would go ahead and speak to your customers, tell them it's your first year,
tell them you're not sure what is wrong and ask them what it is they think you should do.

That might save you some to most of your accounts yet, saying nothing is probably the worst you could do,
yes I am assuming there exist other lawns of yours looking like this, yes I'm also assuming this is your first year
and yes maybe I'm assuming a lot.

But that would be the one thing I absolutely would do, all the below is FIY but TELL your customers!
Do it.

So then...
ANYTIME the lawn is showing the mildest, tiniest signs of stress of any kind, two things need to happen:
One, BACK OFF on the mowing, seriously, you'll lose more money than if you don't, as you can unfortunately see now...
Two, it would probably be a wise idea to mention the concern to the customer at first sign!

It helps to learn to recognize the signs of heat stress at first sign!
Usually, lawns that are stressing at first turn a darker, dull green, which next
starts to turn a light wheat sort of yellow, past that comes brown, roughly speaking.
When it's dark green, it takes about twice the water as normal to recover.
When it's yellow, it takes 5-10 times the water, maybe not quite but a LOT more.
When it's brown it's dead, not coming back regardless of watering.

Roughly...

Hope that helps, I really was trying not to be too critical, I'm really not trying to go out of my way to make people feel bad
or put them down but some is just the way I am, anyhow good luck.

trimmerman151
05-16-2010, 10:19 AM
thanks topsites. Idid talk to the pres. of the HOA yesterday when I set up the sprinklers the houses are on a golf course and he said it was built on shell rock. I mowed them last year with ztr but never left tire tracks like this I gess I got really nervous when I seen the tire tracks from my walk behind I assumed the absolute worst since they sprayed the bank right beside the houses with grass killer but thanks to yall I think a good watering schedule will do good.

MJB
05-16-2010, 10:22 AM
My customer call me at the first sign of stress. They don't want to see any dry spots. So I crank up the irrigation systems on every customer. I've made those tracks off and on for 20 yrs. The grass has to be watered for 2 weeks almost everyday in Wa state and the grass will grow back, sometimes it takes 3 weeks. Fungus does not happen in a drought stressed lawn, it's usually due to to much moisture or decaying matter left on the lawn. This is not a fungus or brown patch it's lack of water period. The tracks are where the tires broke the grass blade because it was to dry and crunchy. Find some dry crunchy grass and run over it, then check back the next week you will see the tracks.

Scott's Lawn Maintenance
05-16-2010, 11:30 AM
Mid may and lawns are already drought stressed , I had to remind several of my customers to have their sprinkler systems turned on . Lots of good advice on this thread with dealing with the stressed lawns , thanks guys .

MOW ED
05-16-2010, 12:33 PM
Here is a little more from Purdue.

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/2007/05_16browntracks.htm

topsites
05-16-2010, 02:47 PM
thanks topsites. Idid talk to the pres. of the HOA yesterday when I set up the sprinklers the houses are on a golf course and he said it was built on shell rock. I mowed them last year with ztr but never left tire tracks like this I gess I got really nervous when I seen the tire tracks from my walk behind I assumed the absolute worst since they sprayed the bank right beside the houses with grass killer but thanks to yall I think a good watering schedule will do good.

There's no telling, it COULD be Chemlawn's fault and I'm not saying it's not
but don't be like the BP guys down in the gulf pointing the finger at each other,
that is very unprofessional in my opinion even if it is their fault, fact is we DON'T
know what the problem is so I would let the customer help figure that out.

Also, yes watering good will definitely help.
No, it ain't the end of the world. :p

Believe me I know the feeling.

delphied
05-16-2010, 05:03 PM
It wont kill the grass.
rain will bring it back just fine.

LwnmwrMan22
05-16-2010, 05:54 PM
We had this issue last spring here in MN, one of the driest springs in YEARS.

Alot of people were late with getting their irrigation going and they yards dried out.

We basically flooded the lawns to get them back quickly, running the irrigation systems 10 minutes longer per zone and running the cycle 2 times / day, back to back.

Here they have irrigation bans to every other day, so we just did 2 cycles on the days we could irrigate.

It was so dry that normal cycles would barely keep the grass green, let alone enough water for it to even grow.

lawnworker
05-16-2010, 07:04 PM
A lot of times customers do not have irrigation systems in place and they could care less about their lawns appearance. The ones that care are usually better customers cause they can keep you making some $$ in the dry times, but another factor to consider is the sustainability of water use in dry periods. It is more important to keep adequate supplies for people and a lot of customers do not like to be seen flooding there lawns when reservoirs that supply drinking water are running low

johnnybravo8802
05-16-2010, 09:45 PM
No brainer-Turf too dry!!!!! Happens all the time in Ga. in dry weather. It doesn't take but about a week of dry weather to see the tire marks either.