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View Full Version : Can someone tell me what might be causing this?


jweiner
06-03-2010, 08:19 PM
This lawn is in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. It is primarily a Bluegrass lawn. These dead patches showed up over a period of 3-5 days. There are no obvious signs of critters and the grass will not pull up. Any thought would be appreciated.

Zak's Pro. Lawn Care
06-03-2010, 11:12 PM
i would really like to know as well because i just saw that this week in a yard around and near a tree...same whitish yellowish color and it is not a burnt out look either. i dont know what this is but would really like to know

topsites
06-03-2010, 11:46 PM
I am not saying for sure this is what it is but you'll want to speak with your
customer immediately and for several reasons, to show your concern, to ask
them if they know anything about it (who knows, they might be aware of it and know why),
also to see if they even care or if they want you to do something about it.

Now from my perspective it could be a number of things but it looks like a chemical spill,
liquid fertilizer or weed treatment variety come to mind but again it could be something else as well.
It also doesn't place fault, just have to keep an open mind.

That neighborhood looks nice, they probably have an irrigation system, perhaps
despite the fact someone is treating the lawn it hasn't been turned on?

Again it could be anything...

So, talk with your customer.

The mayor
06-03-2010, 11:54 PM
we have been in a drought like period lately.

Cummins343
06-03-2010, 11:56 PM
looks almost like gasoline to me

lukemelo216
06-04-2010, 12:10 AM
we have been in a drought like period lately.

It isnt that serious of a drought. We are getting rain about 1 to 2 times a week right now and in the first 3 days of June we have recieved almost 1" of rain already. And look at the neighbors lawns nice and green. Along with the rest of the problem lawn. Who does the fert (if any on it) Looks like someone spilled something there. I would defenitally talk to them about it right away.

ACA L&L
06-04-2010, 12:10 AM
could be a broken sprinkler head? followed by a recent application, looks burnt, the pattern and color. I would check to see if its getting water, and start checking things off the list even if you are certian its not that.
water
fertilizer
fungus
bugs
spill
chemical applied by homeowner
vandals.............

Knight511
06-04-2010, 07:40 AM
Bugs/drought don't kill grass in straight lines. You can see the straight lines fading off into the distant yard that are also turning yellow. I agree with the idea of it being a chemical issue... gas... herbicide... something was on the yard and then the mowers tracked it off in the distance in straight lines.

mdlwn1
06-04-2010, 07:56 AM
drought damage....there could be other factors...but I doubt it. Remember...drought damage looks like this AFTER...not before or during.

jweiner
06-04-2010, 08:55 AM
Thanks for all the helpful opinions. What would be the best way to reseed these dead areas?

jweiner
06-04-2010, 10:38 AM
By the way, I don't believe this is drought damage. The rest of this lawn is perfect as are most of the lawns in the neighborhood. We have also received a fair amount of rain and yes there is also a sprinkler system.

44DCNF
06-04-2010, 12:05 PM
It could be drought stress, or from two wet a period, if other factors where involved. Answer me this. What lies directly to the left in the first two shots, and straight ahead in the last image? I would bet there is a t intersection or driveway to the left (as viewed from the first two pictures). If so, or if for some other reason you had more snow piled on that section of the parkway than the surrounding areas that are not suffering, that could be a contributing cause. Roots suffer from the weight and compaction of snow piles, oxygen deprivation, and the constant saturation of spring thaw. Then when heat/drought stress or further saturation from spring rains hits, the roots aren't sufficient to support the plants.

topsites
06-04-2010, 12:07 PM
Thanks for all the helpful opinions. What would be the best way to reseed these dead areas?

Again first we have to find out what caused it, have you spoken with the customer?
Don't have to know for sure but what's the general consensus?

jweiner
06-04-2010, 12:26 PM
Directly to the left in the first two shots is the street; same thing straight ahead in the last shot. This is a quiet street that ends in a cul-de-sac. The driveway is actually about 10 feet to the rear of the first two pictures. I don't believe that snow compaction/weight is to blame. After speaking to the customer, we believe this was caused by some nasty chemical splashed from a passinmg vehicle that then got spread more on the lawn by the mower wheels as suggested by a previous poster. Please note the straight lines going off from the main area. So what would be the best way to reseed these areas?

cujrh10
06-04-2010, 12:50 PM
Thanks for all the helpful opinions. What would be the best way to reseed these dead areas?

I knew a guy (meaning myself) that underestimated the size of his yard and over did it with a weed n feed treatment. This is pretty much what it looked like........ whos treating this yard? the owner? you? some other outfit? I think someone over did it on a fert treatment and burnt the carp out of it.

Good news is that mine came out of its funk and turned out ok. Those spots do look awefully burnt though.

jweiner
06-04-2010, 02:04 PM
Someone else is doing the fertilizing. I plan on waiting a bit to see what might come back, but how would you recommend reseeding these areas?

GrassIsGreenerLawnCare
06-04-2010, 03:30 PM
Could this be the disease "RUST"?? i could be very wrong, but i know rust usually appears in Bluegrass and ryegrass and usually spreads throughout the whole lawn though. The only way to get rid of rust is to mow more frequently and fertilize. It also can be caused from the lawn being wet/dewy for long periods of time. Just a guess and im probably wrong, but just a thought

cujrh10
06-04-2010, 04:45 PM
Could this be the disease "RUST"?? i could be very wrong, but i know rust usually appears in Bluegrass and ryegrass and usually spreads throughout the whole lawn though. The only way to get rid of rust is to mow more frequently and fertilize. It also can be caused from the lawn being wet/dewy for long periods of time. Just a guess and im probably wrong, but just a thought

i'm not 100% sure but i think rust is caused by fungil spores. its actually a dusting or spores that cause the discoloration. I think. This grass just looks to be dead. At least the blades do, hard telling about the root system though. could still bounce back.

i'm not sure on reseeding. you would probably want to speak to the homeowner as he may want sod rolled in with it being such a nice neighborhood. i'm not real sure though.

jweiner
06-04-2010, 05:04 PM
The lawn was originally seeded with a 50% bluegrass mix. The homeowner wants to be sure that the new grass would match the existing grass, so prefers that the same seed be used.

GrassIsGreenerLawnCare
06-04-2010, 11:59 PM
see thats the tough part....getting a really close match in color when more than one grass is mixed together.(def possible tho) I would also go the sod route with it, but thats just me. if it was a "not so shabby" neighborhood i wouldnt worry too much and do the best i could matching it lol ...but im sure they are looking for an exact match! like curjh said tho, i would give it a lil bit to see if it bounces back before attempting to pull it and resod/or seed. less headache on ur part. good luck man and take another pic in a week or two to see how its come along

Zak's Pro. Lawn Care
06-10-2010, 12:01 AM
jweiner

i had a similar area on one of my yards last week and i just mowed today and the spot is gone. it was around a tree and we had a big storm over the weekend so i think it cleared away whatever made the grass turn that way. is your sports still on the yard?

FYS777
06-10-2010, 01:49 AM
looks like lack of water, get a shovel sink it in the ground at lest 6 or 7 inches and see if it is dry or wet under the grass. that would be the first thing i would check.

FYS777
06-10-2010, 01:52 AM
Directly to the left in the first two shots is the street; same thing straight ahead in the last shot. This is a quiet street that ends in a cul-de-sac. The driveway is actually about 10 feet to the rear of the first two pictures. I don't believe that snow compaction/weight is to blame. After speaking to the customer, we believe this was caused by some nasty chemical splashed from a passinmg vehicle that then got spread more on the lawn by the mower wheels as suggested by a previous poster. Please note the straight lines going off from the main area. So what would be the best way to reseed these areas?

the staight lines could also be from the mower, if in a dry lawn.

topsites
06-10-2010, 01:53 AM
If the spotting was caused by a chemical such as fertilizer,
you'll want to wait 30 days from the time of the original application,
guessing is fine but I'd be for erring on the side of caution.

After 30 days have passed just seed heavy, about double the usual rate,
I'd throw it down by hand so it doesn't go over into the good areas.

Then just water it, if they have an irrigation system that will do it,
now it will look patched for a bit but eventually it will all fill in.

cdjones
06-10-2010, 01:59 AM
looks a little like drout but almost reminds me of chemical type spill...whatever it is its been tracked by the z walk behind whatever.

Aleman
06-10-2010, 06:58 PM
Its drought stress. We see it all the time on fescue here in NC. It shows up a lot near the road or driveways. I bet with water you will se some recovery.

FYS777
06-10-2010, 08:05 PM
Its drought stress. We see it all the time on fescue here in NC. It shows up a lot near the road or driveways. I bet with water you will se some recovery.

what is amassing is i have seen this a lot to. i have had big time outfits say o its just fertilizer, WRONG. i stick a shovel in the ground and its like powder under the the turf, water water water. and the streaks. if the turf is lacking water the mowers will leave that kind of striplines....

i so agree with you Aleman........

jweiner
06-11-2010, 11:55 AM
It's not drought stress. Drought stress would not cause localized browning, but rather would affect the whole lawn. I found out what this is. It is called Ascochyta. It is a lawn fungus and it's already improving. Look at the pictures on this website:

http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=IPM1029-4

I'm surprised that nobody here could identify it. Oh well, thanks for trying.

mwh350
06-11-2010, 12:31 PM
The pics weren't close enough to go thorugh specific diseases, and to be sure you would have needed to take it to your local extension agent

jweiner
06-11-2010, 02:57 PM
I know, but almost no one thought of a fungus. Most people were saying chemical damage or drought.

rflawnman
06-11-2010, 05:46 PM
is the ground dried out or does it have moisture in it, could just be lack of water..

Golfpro21
06-11-2010, 06:50 PM
any chance you guys get "GRUBS" down there........looks like the damage they do up here.....but if it is grubs the grass usually pulls out really easy

Lawn by Deere
06-11-2010, 07:53 PM
See if they have had their carpets cleaned lately. Some carpet cleaning companies have a discharge hose that will dump onto the lawn along with any chemicals. That being close to the street looks plausible.

TMlawncare
06-11-2010, 11:08 PM
I am almost positive that is is a fungus, most likely, summer patch. You can treat it with a fungicide but its pricey. Usually the lawn will recover on its own once the weather stabilizes. Less humidity and less water will clear up the fungus and the lawn. The fact that you see it spreading is from the mower running through it the infecting the nearby grass. The fungus comes off the tires quickly so it usually stays right near the infected patch. Some grass varieties are more prone to turf disease then others. We deal with this problem a lot in our area. Its usually stays wet and humid until July, then just plain hot, humid and dry.

rflawnman
06-11-2010, 11:36 PM
Hydro line busted and sprayed the grass then the mower ran through it making the lines..

Lawn by Deere
06-29-2010, 11:00 PM
What did you find out?

jweiner
06-30-2010, 01:17 AM
This was merely a fungus called Ascochyta. It's all gone now.

MJB
06-30-2010, 01:34 AM
Pour water to it and watch it come back in 10 days.

mdlwn1
06-30-2010, 07:16 AM
This was merely a fungus called Ascochyta. It's all gone now.

Sorry guy....you're wrong. A dry area will have almost every leaf fungus in the book when it comes back. Not tryin one up you...just sayin that fungus DOES NOT even come close to looking like that...ever. This is a beginner diagnosis..something you learn in your 1st year..not even close to being difficult.

Mr. Rain
06-30-2010, 05:15 PM
If you see a problem like that, you need to use a little bit of reasoning to figure it out. A spill wouldn't look like that and would be more localized with defined borders. To me it appears to be drought stress and as previously posted, the tire tracks are a good indicator that it was driven on while under severe stress breaking the crowns of the plants. Having an irrigation system doesn't mean it's getting properly watered. There are thousands of lawns that look like crap as soon as you get a dry spell because of poorly laid out systems. Also note the problem area is near the street where typically the subsoil is garbage and the topsoil is thin or a mix of gravel and soil from the construction process. If you think you have a turf disease/fungal issue, you need to post some close ups of leaf blades as well as a wide view of the affected area to get any kind of help there that's credible.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
06-13-2011, 02:24 PM
I pulled up this old thread as I have a lawn that looks exactly like the OP's. It is what the OP ID'd it as. The problem literally sprung up overnight. It is not drought stress as that comes on gradually (although I realize it plays into enhancing the outbreak).

Good call on this OP.

jweiner
06-13-2011, 03:14 PM
Posted via Mobile Device

jweiner
06-13-2011, 03:15 PM
Glad I could be of help. Nothing need be done as it goes away on its own. :-)
Posted via Mobile Device

LandscaperPro
06-13-2011, 04:13 PM
Something to consider is I noticed a fire hydrant in the back ground. When the water main was put in, sub soil could have been back filled on top. Rust was my other guess.