black mold on top of soil

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    I have had two customers so far with this problem and it seems to be more and more an issue. There is a black mold that grows on the soil surface under the grass, not on the grass, in areas that seem a little more damp and thinner maybe due to shade. Bermuda lawns. It seems to be a side problem to the thinning grass as the grass is thin so it then allows the mold to grow.

    Two questions, what is it? and How do I get rid of it and not have it come back. I believe one cause is the areas being more damp. I believe I stopped it in one area but not sure what stopped it as I threw some organics and synthetics at it trying to get it to stop.

    SO, any help would be appreciated. I believe I took pics of it in a earlier thread.
     
  2. Grohorganic

    Grohorganic LawnSite Member
    Posts: 157

    ok so the first step is NOT getting rid of it.... the next step is out competing it.

    dude look up popular war advantage...........
     
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,116

    You guys went through a heavy drought for 2 years and then had a wet spring and early summer

    The fungi that have been in spore form now have a wonderful environment to grow, wet, humid and warm. It could be anyone of a 1000 different fungi

    The issue is trying to change the environment on the turf so that it is not such a pleasant place to live, turf likes a 1:1 fungi:bacteria environment mostly

    Let me do a little research and get back
     
  4. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,459

    I can't find your pic in a thread, unless it is the one by the side of the house were it is real bare. I thought you meant a close up. Could it be algae?
     
  5. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,531

    Just an idea I'll throw out here. I have a couple of zoysia lawns that have it (the black mold)in full sun. both are areas where a swimming pool was installed. The soil was dug out then the red clay was spread around the perimeter and a poor grade of sod was installed. Of course they have an irrigation system and we've had a wet year as well so there has been ample moisture. Enough that the soil doesn't dry out and the extremely poor clay soil won't drain at all. I'm going to recommend aeration and topdressing to my customers. I'm thinking if we can get the very top layer to dry after rain and irrigation the mold will be a thing of the past.
     
  6. roccon31

    roccon31 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    i agree, i think its a moisture/compaction issue. aerate and topdress with compost would be a good move. i see this very frequently around here, with our clay soil. compaction is probably more the culprit than anything, since the more compacted the soil is, the less it tends to drain.
     
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,779

    44DCNF is right, I think. Algae. But I am not sure how to get rid of it. It will probably dry up if you let the area get dry. But I suspect it would return if wet conditions occur again. Improve drainage and light penetration. Reduce excess sprinkling. Recuce clock time or use smaller nozzles. Change from 3 gal per minute to 2 gal per minute sprinkler heads. Also algae are sensitive to various forms of copper.
     

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