Brown wheel tracks in lawn!

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by indyturf, May 16, 2007.

  1. indyturf

    indyturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Messages: 1,901

    Have any of you had this happen in the last couple weeks of drought stress?

    I had a couple lawns this week that had brown tracks from the spreader especially where I made turns. if you are using a riding spreader it more likely to cause the tracks because of the extra weight.

    I got my turf-tips news letter from Purdue and there are some photos of the brown tracks.
  2. indyturf

    indyturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Messages: 1,901

    Here's some pictures


  3. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    I used to get tracks like that on a lawn I mowed in TX.
    It was on only one particular lawn.

    I used a velky and a 48" midsize mower.

    except my tracks were much straighter...LOL
  4. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Cool season turf (especially Kentucky bluegrass) is most susceptable to this during drought stress >> mower tires, spreader tires, and even footprints.

    The turf doesn't snap back -- instead, the grass blades break. It is a cosmetic problem only (does not harm the roots), and is temporary. This is one reason I do not like growth regulators regarding turf, cuz turf needs to regrow and heal itself.

    Apologize to the customer and assure him it is temporary and probably will not happen very often. Your good customers will understand. They usually just want to know "why" -- I can usually point out other lawns in the neighborhood where the "tic tac toe" stripes ocurr from a lawn mower.

    By the way, we try our best to avoid using our larger units on lawns during drought stress, but I know this is sometimes difficult.
  5. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    Great response, and info AL.

    I was assuming other things were going on.

    It must have been a bermuda hybrid lawn.
    It was thicker than most other bermuda I mowed.

    They did ask me to not use the big mower.
    I refused not to, and lost the account.

    Only because I had just bought that mower for their lawn...LOL
  6. magland

    magland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I've seen tracks from mower tires during the summer. Usually the grass was wet in the morning and the mower tires flattened down the grass. Then it got really hot and the grass stressed out. Increase the water to the lawn and it will recover.
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    That is chemical stress brought on in conjunction with the drought stress. I did that once on a lawn in a small area, and I freaked out. It came back in time, but it took a few weeks of watering. In drought stressing turf, even mowers will do this to lawns. I've just never seen it this extreme with that extreme of contrast.
  8. indyturf

    indyturf LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Messages: 1,901

    I think the drastic weather changes played a big part. one week its spring with plenty of rain then its freezing again, 2 weeks later the temps are 85 having drought stress conditions at the time of year the grass is usually lush and green.

    by the way the pictures are not my lawns, they were sent from Purdue's Zac Reicher. My lawns were not as bad but it still was scary! my first thought was weed killer was leaking onto the tires!
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    unit28 (cool code name) - I hear yuh....3 years ago we bought a 21 foot boom sprayer for a new account. They took one application, then cancelled cuz the did it in-house from then on.

    indyturf -- We saw the same thing here. Temps in late March/early April were above 80 degress.......then 7 degree wind chills - ouch! Our PG ride-ons left tracks even in the late afternoons. Only 2 customers complained though (one guy said he didn't understand why we would use such a "huge unit" on his lawn if we knew it was going to damage his lawn). I wanted to tell him that my "crystal ball" was broken, but I smoothed him over explaining that this spring was an extremely rare one Turf quickly recovered.
  10. theturfboss

    theturfboss LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 47

    Indyturf...we are also in Indy (and surrounding areas) and are seeing the same thing. The worst lawns seem to be the new home neighborhoods that are sodded. You can follow the mower tracks, PG tracks, etc., all over the yards. We could use a little more rain!

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