fungus or dry

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by agm, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. agm

    agm LawnSite Member
    from NM
    Posts: 167

    How can I tell if a lawn has a fungus or if it is just dry and how do I treat it if it is a fungus ?
     
  2. GardnerLandscaping

    GardnerLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    don't know the answer. i would water it. if the water doesn't help, could be a fungus. take a trip to the home depot. can't hurt to put down anti-fungal.
     
  3. JFizzle

    JFizzle LawnSite Member
    Posts: 95

    I've been dealing with that same sort of thing recently. One thing that has helped figure it out is pulling on some of the unhealthy grass. It seems that the dry stuff breaks off mid-stock.
    However other times you may pull on the grass and the roots come up. I've found this to be a grub or cut worm or something. Hope that helps.
     
  4. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 688

    that's not the best advice. it can't be one or the other. Disease needs three things to become active and moving. the host, pathogen and the enviornment. take out any one and you don't have a disease. Take a soil sample to see how deep your roots are and check thier moisture content. If everything is really dry, then give some water, but don't be going out and buying product to treat your lawn when you don't know the real problem.
     
  5. GardnerLandscaping

    GardnerLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    cool, real answers.
     
  6. GardnerLandscaping

    GardnerLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    Myself and the neighbors were fighting this problem.

    Soil analysis revealed that only about 2-4 inches of top soil were put down before the sod. Below this top soil, there were no nutrients in the soil. Myself and the neighbor on the lake had run-off problems from hurricane rains. The centipede grass would develop shallow root systems. Where topsoil was being washed, the centipede grass would just die from lack of nutrients and wash away. In the front yard, the grass was creating thatch, developing a fungus, and dying.

    I dug up the thatch in the front yard, added humus and sand, and put down anti-fungal. The neighbor just put down anti-fungal. We also both watered and fertilized. I put down the lesco time-released weed-and-feed with micronutrients. The neighbor put down a lot of nitrogen. I ended up with less weeds and healthy centipede grass but he ended up with greener weeds and grass.

    In the back yard, we took drastically different approaches. He ran pipe from the drain spots to the lake, used landscaping timbers that I gave him to build a retaining wall, added a dump truck load of dirt, and installed new sod.

    I installed curved landscape beds and added humus and mulch to control run-off. I used the sod dug up from the landscape beds to place on top of existing grass that wasn't doing well. I also added sand and humus to this as well to help fill it in. I had a fence with a retaining wall already built at the fence so I wasn't losing dirt as bad. I didn't have drain spots but diverters on my house.

    I probably spent more time and more money in landscaping plants, but I'd personally rather have plants than pipe. Both solutions worked well in the backyard though I still had some problem areas which needed more watering to keep the grass healthy in the dry heat.
     
  7. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 688

    what is your point? i am not trying to be a smart ass i just don't understand the point of the story.
     
  8. GardnerLandscaping

    GardnerLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    I forgot to add the guy who owned the house before me added earth worms to the yard in attempt to improve soil condition. After the fertilizer and eventual anti-fungal, I did spend a lot of time blowing dead earth worms off the concrete.
     
  9. GardnerLandscaping

    GardnerLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    I'm just trying to confirm your excellent advice that the problems are usually deeper than just a fungus or lack of water, could be something else, and the solutions vary.

    The other advice was also helpful in determining the problem. Pull on the grass. If it comes out easily by the roots, you have dead grass and a severe problem. If the grass still holds and breaks off at the stalk, you just have a stressed lawn caused by something like lack of water, etc.
     
  10. GardnerLandscaping

    GardnerLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    Shallow roots are a big problem. Improper watering in addition to shallow soil can also lead to shallow roots, eventual thatch, and fungus problems. When you water your lawn, make sure you water it deep enough. If you are in a drought and you get a light rain, water the grass to get the water deep enough.

    Of course find out the maximum mowing height for you grass and cut it at that maximum height when your grass is stressed.

    Yellowing is caused by lack of iron and the necessary acidity to utilize the iron in the soil.

    Proper core aeration can also help deepen the reach of nutrients and water. Using the kind that pulls out plugs so you're not compacting your soil.
     

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