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Wheels Causing Dead Grass?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by RoyaleRcr, Jul 12, 2002.

  1. RoyaleRcr

    RoyaleRcr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    Last night I did a bid for a lady that just bought a new house. About half of the back yard had dead grass in stripes that looked like they where exactly the width of mower wheels. Her husband mowed it last week with a reel pusher mower (No Gasoline). The stripes are criscrossed and she said he cut it in two directions.
    I looked in the driveway for evidence of gasoline, oil, or other substance that could have gotten on the wheels but saw none.

    Any Ideas?
    Jeff
     
  2. OBRYANMAINT

    OBRYANMAINT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 555

    the same thing has happened to me before , the tires on a rider must heat up in the sun and bake the grass......of course in my situation it was only a week before the whole yard was burnt out from the heat and lack of rain
     
  3. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    I am with OB.

    Just past one of my better homes yesterday, and there were my brown lines all over the front yard!:(

    My thought was: When I mowed it last, the grass was begining to brown, and was dry, yet had some decent growth mixed in, maybe a different type of grass intermixed that handled the heat better? I figured that I must have crushed the dry grass resulting in damaged blades where every my wheels were, while the other type of grass handled it fine. Looks real bad. That is just my theory anyway.

    Jay
     
  4. HarryD

    HarryD LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,069

    not sure why it does it but i have a few lawns that look the same
    with some cool weather and some rain it will snap out of it
     
  5. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    yeah, that will happen when its hot and dry. you're wheels are actually stressing the grass as it drives on it. you break the blades as they are in a weakened state. i dont know if there is a better, more technical explanation

    it will be there in my experience for weeks, but the grass will eventually come back.

    once its done, i don't know if there is anything you can do.
     
  6. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,261

    You guys are very close!

    1. It will come back. This means that it is not dead. (dormant)
    2. Driving over grass that is heat stressed bends it over and it stays bent over. Then the sun has exposure to the full length of the blade to finish the baking process. I mowed an irrigated yard and the neighbor was not, my front wheels went in his yard for a few turns and we had scortched arcs in his yard. He was not happy! Fall came and they were gone. My $0.02.

    Mark
     
  7. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    there is a fungus ive seen affect st aug that will stick to tires and spread across yard as tire rolls
     
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    It is stress from dormancy. In the right conditions, footprints will do the same thing. The best thing to do with it at this point, is to stay of of it, and apply water. It will be alright.
     
  9. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    Rhizoctonia solani survives from year to year in the form of mycelium or bulbils (resting bodies of the fungus) in plant debris and thatch. As such, it also is capable of existing away from the host as a saprophyte. As average daily temperatures rise , the bulbil germinates and forms fungal hyphae, which spread through the soil surface and thatch. During humid, hot weather, the hyphae grow onto moist grass blades and enter the plant through wounds and stomates (natural leaf pores). Local spread is by mycelium bridging from plant to plant. Longer distance spread is by mycelium clinging to wet mower wheels during early morning mowing. This sometimes causes symptoms to appear in a wheel track pattern, rather than in the characteristic circular pattern.
     
  10. Guardian

    Guardian LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 269

    We consulted a GOlf Course Sup and were told that the lawn simply lacks IRON. We experimented with iron....and the red/brown tire lines went away. Some call it "bleeding of the grass". Either way, IRON solved our problem.
     

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