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Why does fescue do this? and what do you do to mitigate it?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by matthew horner, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. matthew horner

    matthew horner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 696

    Always, about this time of year, I have a couple of fescue lawns that act up! I manage them and I cannot tell what is going on.
    They get little brown streaks in them about a foot or so long here and there and those sometimes get larger. Also, the general color of the lawn looks less and less green. But the end of the summer with these, I am looking forward to cool weather when I can reseed and have a good looking lawn for my clients again. They are getting watered.
    Short of a soil sample, what is this likely to be?
    Thank you all,
  2. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 989

    Post pictures of the effected site, preferably before symptoms then after symptoms appear.
  3. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    Remember Matthew, just like Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, and other warm-season grasses turn brown in the winter, fescue and other cool-season grasses are trying to turn brown in the summer. These are their natural dormant times. We just keep trying to come up with new varieties and techniques to keep them from doing this.

    All my fescue lawns get no more than a 22% nitrogen fertilizer no later than February 28th and that's all until September. They do real well in our summer heat as long as they get that water you mention. Cut back on the nitrogen next year.

    Like SWD said, shoot us some pictures in case it's something else.:)
  4. matthew horner

    matthew horner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 696

    Ok, I will get some pictures, but it will not be until next monday. The thing is, I manage all of them (fescues) the same, and not all of them show these symptoms. But the ones that do, do so consistently.
  5. lilmarvin4064

    lilmarvin4064 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 757

    It's not the percentage of nitrogen that matters, it is the type of nitrogen, rate applied, and size of the pellet that matters. You can burn a lawn using a quick-release 5-0-0 if applied heavily, or feed it slowly using light dose of 39-0-0. A common misconception.
  6. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    We're going to have to "agree to disagree" on this one. Brown patch and other common fescue diseases are brought on primarily by too much nitrogen. We keep applying it to try to keep it green or just to charge the customer when in fact, the fescue is just trying to hang on during thirty plus days of 95 degrees/90% humidity. I never apply nitrogen after March 1st on my fescue lawns and have never had to deal with brown patch or any other similar diseases.

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