Can I Save my Dying Lawn???

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by mss222, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. mss222

    mss222 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I live in South Florida and when I moved into a new home in February of 2012 the front yard was all weeds/dirt so I paid a gardening company to re-sod the whole front lawn. It looked great this whole time, and in the last month it is almost completely dead with brown patches all over the place. It is devastating.

    I checked my sprinklers and there is adequate coverage of water. I water every Wednesday and Saturday (First 90 days I watered 4-5 times a week for the new sod) and I water for 12 minutes at 6:00 A.M.

    Now in certain parts of the front lawn I have these weeds that have grown in all over (Do I pick them's hard without killing the actual grass) and there's dying patches all over the front lawn.

    How can I figure out what is killing everything, revive it, and protect the grass from this happening again?

    I am really tight with money right now, otherwise I'd hire a professional to diagnose and repair. Thank you so much guys!

  2. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,050

    Ok when you install new sod water is the most important thing
    You forgot to put a a keep it green program in place
    You have to feed it and treat it
    Ok you as home owner you probably have to work with home-depot products
    First thing you have to do at this stage would be to treat it for weeds and fungus or grub depending on your area
    2 to 3 weeks later you have to rake those brown bare spots put seed down and top dress with peat moss or top soil:weightlifter:
  3. mss222

    mss222 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Thanks, I watered the new sod back in February 2012 4-5 times a week for 90 days, it had plenty of water and was very healthy looking up until about a month ago!

    Yes what homedepot product would you recommend in my situation? What type of seed do I buy and where? The brown patches are definitely dead?
  4. Above Par Lawns

    Above Par Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    You need to take a soil test first to figure out the underlying problem. Turf cannot grow in poor soil conditions no matter how much you water. Maybe you watered too much? This link should help you with the soil test. It's inexpensive and you'll have your results within a couple weeks.
    Become a regular visitor on this site as well There is a ton of information out there for your specific conditions. Whoever put down the sod should have tested the soil and added whatever amendments necessary to balance the soil first.
  5. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    Consult your regional/county horticultural extension office as many issues can be quite local to your area. I'm not knocking advice given here, but you are in a sub-tropical environment with year round issues that most of us 'up North' don't have to contend with.
  6. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,376

    With all due respect. You asked what was killing your turf and unfortunately its you. The type of irrigation practices you described leads me to believe you set the stage for this poor performance. You probably had the classic rain help making it look as though you were doing a good job but when the real dry weather settled in...the errors of your ways were exposed.
    Someone needs a good lesson in herbicide applications also.
    Before you take in more responses. Make sure you get the better pictures for responders. Pulling up a couple of runners trying not to damage the roots. Lay them on the blacktop to ensure visibility so all can see the nematode activity before they give any product suggestions. I can not suggest any products at this time or tell you if these areas will survive. They can but unless you get proper cultural practices implemented most products will give false hope.

    Start with correcting your irrigation management as well as keep that blade sharp and HIGH.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,376

    By the way your root system has multiple issues. MUST START THERE.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. gunsnroses

    gunsnroses LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    Previous remark about too much water is correct. Unless you want to pay someone, that will be for you to figure out in terms of how much overwatering you are doing. Without knowing your soils,rainfall, and your irrigation system, it is hard to say for a guy behind a computer. I am gonna guess that you can cut it in half as of now. You have lots of dollar weed (loves water), and brown patch...(loves water). You can grow out of your brown patch, and you can kill dollar weed, so yer in luck. If you want to do it all yourself, contact your local extention service for help on whats and augustine can be a pain, even more so in the warmer months. More water, fertilizer, and a bunch of chemicals probably wont work how you like. Get the extention service program and follow it as close as you can. I would guess you could also use a rain sensor on your irrigation clock, and possibly drainage improvements. BTW, there is no seed for st augustine, so dont think that is an option....only sod.
  9. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Looks like your lawn is Brown patch crazy and I agree with turf md that you most likely are causing the rapid decline of the turf by overwatering and creating the environment perfect for this disease to thrive.
    The over watering is not only obvious by the dollar weed present in the lawn but also explains the huge outbreak of brown patch.
    I know you say things are tight right now and you can not afford professional service, but think about this, how tight are things going to be when you have to resod that lawn and the HOA is on your tail to replace? You need someone who can treat the brown patch as well as help you ensure your irrigation system is getting good coverage so you are not overwatering to compensate for poor design. As a general rule you should be watering 1 time a week now until daylight savings time change. Then you can figure on twice a week. As far as time nobody is going to give you a perfect answer over the internet without knowing the layout of heads, the output of the system and area to be covered. A general rule that we tell customers is to run pop ups for 25 to 30 minutes, rotars for 45 minutes to a hour once a week during the winter and twice a week at those times during the summer. This usually gets them in the area where they can fine tune the irrigation from there however this by no means is perfect as there is lots of things to consider such as is the pop up in a full shade area or full sun. Your lawn appears from the pictures that it can be saved vs resodding at this point but if conditions are allowed to stay the current courses you will be resodding very very soon.
  10. turfmd101

    turfmd101 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,376

    In my experience. There is only one way to properly irrigate..."as needed".I believe this to be successful for residential and commercial turfgrass under most all environmental conditions experienced. Should apply anywhere.
    1. Must have even coverage while hitting target areas.

    2. "Calibrate". Find out how long it takes for each zone to apply 1" of water evenly. Set that time and never change it unless to correct up/down for the 1" minimum.

    3. Irrigation should Finnish by 9am. Once calibration has been completed. Its math time. Total of complete system run time (all zones × minutes of run time).
    Ex: 7 zones × 45 min per zone = 315 min or 5.25 hrs to run complete. Deducting 5.25 hrs from 9 am would leave a 3:45 am start time.

    4. Once all calibration is complete. Turn off the system.

    5. When 50% to 60% of turfgrass areas start showing drought (wilt) it will be time to turn on the system, let it run its cycle then turn it off again until 50% to 60% of drought return.

    6. Number 5 will ALWAYS apply. Environmental factors cancel our ability to set a programed irrigation schedule.

    7. You can not rely on technology ( rain sensor or programs ) for proper irrigation management. This will fail at some point. You must manually use your BRAIN.

    8. There will always be, at times localized drought stress even after instituting proper irrigation management. Under extreme drought conditions soil can become hydrophobic ( localized hot spots ) they can vary in size 2' sq and up.
    Normal irrigation cycles for these areas might not become sufficient and require additional hand watering.

    9. Under heavy rains turf problem will occurs but if you are managing irrigation properly as described the impact will be minimized.


    I believe at this time if you make the irrigation changes then start applying 0-0-62 at rate twice per month until turfgrass starts to show improvement. Then back off the 0-0-62 and apply under any stressful conditions.

    After about 6 to 8 weeks you will be in better overall condition. Continue practicing what I described and as time goes by things will become easier.
    Wait till you see your water bill from this practice.:)
    With all due respect to Poet. I think no Brown patch, now known as (Large Patch). Too dry environmentally. JMO.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013

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