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Old 08-13-2010, 10:26 AM
jscozz jscozz is offline
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Lawn problems... help diagnose?

Up until two months ago, my lawn had no noticeable issues. Very green... very thick... no brown spots except from neighbors cat occasionally. I follow my local Lesco's schedule for application of fert, dimension, momentum, etc. This lawn was sodded two years ago. Fescue. I cut at 3-1/2" every 6-7 days. Two months ago, I started to see spots of brown grass as in Lawn3 picture. I thought it was from the Lesco spreader sputtering and dumping patches of dimension in places... it seemed to get worse then stay steady for the last month. Since then I have had a section just go completely brown (Lawn1) and if I run my hand over it the grass just comes up in my hand. In Lawn1 you can also see tons of weeds along the street edge. Very few in the rest of the lawn at all. And in the last week I have seen 2 sections along the road (lawn2) that have turned brown... again, this whole section gets watered every day. We have had a LOT of heat in NJ.

So here are my questions:
1) Any idea what might have caused the brown spots in Lawn3?
2) What could cause the drastic brown area in Lawn 1? It gets watered every day... could too much water cause this? It was getting dry burnt when I only watered every other day since it get full direct sun.
3) Lawn2 ideas?
4) Can I spot apply Momentum along the where the weed outbreak has occurred? I think it is from neighbor's weed bed that when cut, spews seeds on my lawn.

Does anyone know of any good source for clear details and pictures to help diagnose basic issues like too much/little water... too much/little fert... and common diseases?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:21 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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All plants require, water, air, food. Soil texture and structure are what manages and supplies those elements to the plant. Watering every day destroys that structure.
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:24 PM
jscozz jscozz is offline
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I'm sorry... I was wrong... I checked my schedule... the lawn zones are Mon, Weds, Fri for 45 minutes in the morning. Not every day.
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:05 PM
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Capemay Eagle Capemay Eagle is offline
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It could be a number of things, could be grubs, but most likely it is the heat. I to am in NJ and I had a nice lawn until the heat kicked in. I personally think you may have cut the lawn to short during the hot weather. I cut my lawn at the highest setting during a heat wave and as a matter of fact, I don't even cut it at all. I leave the lawn long during the hot months, just to keep it from burning. There has been no real rain at all in NJ in months, so most likely that has a lot to do with it to. I mean the sprinklers can help, but the drought we have had with zero rain, the sprinklers just are not enough, we need a good soaking fast!!! I looked at the weather today and there is no rain in sight.
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Old 08-13-2010, 06:53 PM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is offline
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Yes, the heat can make a lawn bad overnite, depending on the soil, grass variety, and general vitality of the turf.

If it is not a disease, it may very well just be dormant. Look at the soil profile, and see what it is and whether there are a lot of healthy roots.
The best time to do it, is right after irrigation is done. See how deep your water ACTUALLY went. That is a measure that tells you almost everything about your turf.
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Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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Old 08-17-2010, 02:15 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is online now
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That's a tough one to diagnose over the internet. May really want to get a local pro involved. And a company with a lot of years of experience and who is really good at diagnosing lawn disease problems.

Here are my thoughts - just from the photos you have posted;

1) Could be localized dry spot. Do a web search on that. There is a treatment for that.

2) Could very well be a sprinkler coverage issue. It's hard to tell from the couple of photos you posted. But it could be an issue of where the sprinkler coverage isn't so good in those areas that are browning out. Typically you don't see inefficiencies in sprinkler systems until the lawn gets really stressed by heat. Then the coverage issues show up real quickly. A properly installed sprinkler system should get what we call head-to-head coverage. That means every sprinkler head sprays all the way over to the next sprinkler head, all across the lawn. Head-to-head coverage is ideal but if you got at least 80% head-to-head that's usually acceptable as well. Anything less is bad.

In most of the sprinkler systems we install, my goal is to be able to stand in any given part of the landscape and be getting hit by at least 2 heads. If there are any parts of that lawn where just one head is hitting you and not two, that could mean a coverage problem. Sometimes coverage issues are simple to fix - just means changing out the nozzle or adjusting the head. Other times it means you have to add or move heads, which starts to add up.

Anyway, those are my quick thoughts. We don't have grubs here in our part of the country. So I don't know what they do. We have European Crane Fly. But they never attack in the summer heat. So it's unlikely that it would be that. Best wishes!
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:53 PM
jscozz jscozz is offline
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Jim,

I think you are right on the mark! I started thinking that the other day... the two brown spots by teh street are directly between two heads... so I am currently adjusting the arc and radius on my 5000 heads... also, the big dead area in one of the pictures is covered by 5 1800 heads... and I think they are not doing a great job of covering the space from 3-9 feet out... I am trying some new Rainbird U heads that are supposed to do a better job of coverage... and I am providing some extra water in the inetrim to see if it greens back up.

Does the grass in the pics look like it will come back or at what point is it so far gone that teh only course is reseed or replace with new sod?
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:50 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is online now
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Yah, the U-Series nozzles from Rain Bird are provide a much more uniform distribution than their regular nozzles to. That's all we use. Those should help.

As for the lawn, how far gone it is, it's hard to say for sure. But I would guess that it's not too far gone, no. I would think with increased irrigation, better irrigation uniformity, and some fertilizer (watered in immediately after being applied) should revive that lawn. Don't expect immediate results. Should take 2-3 weeks after fertilization and changing the irrigation to see results. But my guess is it would all come back well.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:10 PM
mdlwn1 mdlwn1 is offline
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That was drought damage initially...the last pic is hard to say..could be fungus. Keep in mind that a drought damaged area can be screwed for a while in this kind of a season..often time fungus and cinch bugs roll right in and prevent the area from recovering untill cooler temps.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:50 PM
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Capemay Eagle Capemay Eagle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscozz View Post
Jim,

I think you are right on the mark! I started thinking that the other day... the two brown spots by teh street are directly between two heads... so I am currently adjusting the arc and radius on my 5000 heads... also, the big dead area in one of the pictures is covered by 5 1800 heads... and I think they are not doing a great job of covering the space from 3-9 feet out... I am trying some new Rainbird U heads that are supposed to do a better job of coverage... and I am providing some extra water in the inetrim to see if it greens back up.

Does the grass in the pics look like it will come back or at what point is it so far gone that teh only course is reseed or replace with new sod?
Sprinkler coverage will defiantly show where they are not hitting in the extreme heat. Me and my irrigation guy rearranged several of my heads the other day. Trees and shubs etc.. have all gotten bigger and blocked some of the sprinklers coverage, we also put in a pool so I had to change heads and such. You can also try some different nozzles for lower or higher coverage.

nossels
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