Fusarium Blight?, 20,000sq ft

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by 60miles2tahoe, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. 60miles2tahoe

    60miles2tahoe LawnSite Member
    from austin
    Messages: 36

    I have a property that is about 20000 sq ft of turf. It was hydroseeded last year with minimal soil prep (red clay) and part of the area was already installed prior to last year. I didn't do the install, just started maintenance last year when it was complete.

    Last year there were "dry spots". There are some areas of mild thatch in the area that was already installed prior to hydroseeding.

    A few months ago, there where areas of brown, so I pumped up the water. it was getting warmer and it made sense at the time, I realize i probably made whatever fungus worse. Last fert was 2 months ago. I delayed fert once we figured out it may be a fungus.

    The owner called a licened pest op, and they came out and spread 3336g, i believe. She saw what it was and went and bought more and applied three weeks later. It made no difference.

    She is ready for me to rip up everything and start over. Sounds nice, but i don't want to do that until we can identify the fungus and identify the source. If there is another product that should have been used, that would even be better.

    Northern grass mix, blugrass20% and fesuces 80%. There is probably 10% of rye in the mix i would bet.

    The grass starts to turn brown in a 2-3 foot section, then rapidly accelerates its growth. The tops of the grass look dead and matted. There seems to be new growth, but if you pull back the top dead areas, the soil and into the base of the grass looks black. Tips of the grass are brown, while the middle of each blade is green. The soil is completely dry where this occurs and if I go to a shady area (worse in sun areas) the soil is moist and looks healthy.

    I have another property that has a 20ft section of thatch that every year the owner tells me to plow it and re-seed, but she always gets busy and I have never addressed the thatch. She has the exact same issue this year as described above.....

  2. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    Where's the pics? Kind of like calling your doc on the phone and saying "I have this pain in my side. Is it an ulser?" Doesn't sound like FB though. You didn't say anything about the "frog eye" patern.

    How much water is it getting? How often? How tall is it being cut? How much N? How often? Liquid or granular? Is it in new seeded or old part?
  3. 60miles2tahoe

    60miles2tahoe LawnSite Member
    from austin
    Messages: 36

    Yeah, no frog pattern. That threw me when reading the description. I dunno what good a pic would do. It is brown, large areas no patterns... I couldn't get a close up of the dirt/roots anyways. I gave as many details that I had, i know this isn't an easy question over inet....
    Nitrongen is a 18%, 2 lbs per k, granuals, slow release, every two months. Water on the gear drives is once a day, 30-40 min depending on sun/shade areas. 5-10 mins on pop ups. There are 27 zones and they start at 4am, probably 6-7 hour total cycle. Bottom area is cut 4.5 inches every other week, top area is cut 3.5 inch every week.
  4. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    Is that 2lbs of N or 2lbs of 18% N? First is heavy, second is light. Should get .75-1lb of N each time, no more than 4lbs/year

    Mowing sounds good.

    Sounds like you don't know how much water it's getting. Should be .5 -1"/week. 2-3 day intervals, not every day. Actually measure each zone with a rain gage or tin can to be sure.

    Aerate and seed with a "good" seed this fall. 80% fescue in a sunny area will burn out for sure depending on type.
  5. 60miles2tahoe

    60miles2tahoe LawnSite Member
    from austin
    Messages: 36

    2lbs of 18mix. it is setting 12 on lesco seeder, yes it is calibrated. Same setting on all other props does great job of keeping green and healthy.

    This prop is large and very hilly. Water schedule was set by contractor that did install and it worked. It gets hot here for a few days and then cools off, lots of wind and no rain for months in the summer. I have water on all props in this area 6-7 days a week and it requires it. It can be 80 for two days and then 100 for two days.

    I have used 80% fesuce blends and they work very well here. many over seeds and new install with seed and they all took and stay healthy.

    I planned on aerating and overseeding, just wanted to see if there was something to stop curent fungus and prevent in the future.

    Thanks for you rreplies.

  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,436

    Could be brown patch. We don't have it around here but maybe the transition zone people will be able to help you. Brown patch (from what I have heard on this forum) is stimulated by nitrogen in hot weather. Common on tall fescue. Maybe you could reduce the average humidity by watering more deeply and only three times per week. More if hot. less if cool. Perhaps switch to daytime watering in hot weather--high humidity and high temps at night are bad.

    Did you mean tall fescue seed or fine fescue like we have in Michigan and Minnesota? What variety or cultivar of tall fescue--so the rest of us can avoid that variety.
  7. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    Good point Riggle. I was referring to fine fescue is not very drought tolerant. Only experience I have with tttf is when I had trouble getting it out of a KB lawn.
  8. cpa4t9r

    cpa4t9r LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    We have serious brown patch/leaf spot in these parts. I fight a constant battle in my back yard with it every year. I use a strob e.g. Armada, Heritage, Insignia on a preventative basis with success.

    Ag schools say to start treating when nighttime temps are ~65 degrees for 7-10 consecutive days.

    If its newly planted/re-seeded areas, could be "damping off", which is the same fungus as pythium blight - check for white cotton-like mycelium in the mornings. Some of the strobs (QoI) fungicides have short-term action on pythium.
  9. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    i agree witht he last post. fighting brawn patch here. i have to spray my yard again along with a few customers. i hate fungus worse than insects!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,694

    In 1990 through 1995 I remember fighting bermuda decline on my lawn at home. For 2000 sq ft of lawn, that was over $400 per year of Benlate, Daconil, Fore. Bayleton and 3336 when Benlate got pulled from the market. I hate lawn diseases. I won this one, but at what cost?

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