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Green Lawn Has Brown Spots?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by HazyDavy, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. HazyDavy

    HazyDavy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    does my lush, green lawn start to turn brown in spots/patches whenever we string 2 or 3 eighty degree days in a row??? Same thing happened last year. I over seeded heavily in the fall, and fertilized in september, october, and november with Espoma Organic Lawn fertilizer. All winter long my grass stayed very green. Early this spring, ditto, very green and full. Maybe the nicest lawn in the neighborhood. Now the brown patches are showing up. I did go heavy on the pre-emergent(CGM) a little over 2 weeks ago, but that shouldn't affect anything. WTF? What am I doing wrong?

    PS - I did put down Milky Spore last summer, so I don't think it's a grub problem. I also think it's too early for grubs and/or brown patch fungis.
  2. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    I looked at a milky spore bag today and it says to do 3 apps one year and 3 apps the following year to completely get rid of grubs (spring, summer, and fall).
  3. HazyDavy

    HazyDavy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    Geez, I bought a can at Lowes and that's not what it said. That's a lot of applications. Might have to reluctantly resort to chemicals. :realmad:
  4. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    Post some pics....if it were grubs you would be able to peel the grass back like a welcome mat. Post some pics and we will get to the bottom of it for you. Sounds more like a fungus.
  5. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    I figured it out.

    taken from http://www.milkyspore.com/milkyspore.htm FAQ section

    Milky Spore Powder in cans is a one time application put down in spots in measuring teaspoon amounts every four feet apart creating a checkerboard pattern of spots throughout your yard. Each spot contains 100 million spores.

    Milky Spore Spreader Mix in bags is applied with a drop spreader over every square foot of grass and requires six applications usually Spring and Fall for three years to build the number of spores in any one area to millions of spores.

    I was looking at a bag made for the spreader, not the can.
  6. HazyDavy

    HazyDavy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    I've seen the stuff in bags. I actually walked around my lawn with a teaspoon last year to apply it. I put it down right after the Japanese Beetles disappeared in July.

    I'll see what I can do to post a pic. I don't have a digital camera at the moment. I did try tugging at some of the dead grass, but it appears to have a pretty good hold, so maybe it is a fungus. Maybe I should nix the CGM from now on. I think I tend to overapply it.

    1 more thing to support the fungis theory, on my side lawn the browning is elongated as if it spread with my lawnmower wheel.
  7. GrassR1

    GrassR1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Hot weather....High fertility..., haven't you guys ever heard of diseases? You've got prime disease environments going on, and you're describing textbook disease symptoms. Why are you wondering if you applied a useless product correctly?

    Milky Spore really has no scientific backing to it's claims of efficacy. The stuff just doesn't work. Any lawn will have occasional years without grubs, just by a natural chance. That doesn't mean the milky spore finally kicked in, it just means your lawn had a lucky year.

    Being as though this is an organic forum, I wouldn't recommend fungicides, but it's important to at least understand what you're dealing with. Just have the diseases properly diagnosed, then find more resistant species of grass. Also, try to lower the fertility levels somewhat. You'll lose a bit of the green color, but the lawn will be healthier in the long run.
  8. GrassMasterNC

    GrassMasterNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    grubs shouldn't be a problem right now, at least not here...sounds like you have a fungus problem...and from the description, brown patch is the first thing that comes to mind, especially with you being in Raleigh - prime time and temps for it...but post some pics....brown patch is easy to cure with a little TLC.

  9. HazyDavy

    HazyDavy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    The brown patches haven't spread anymore. Actually my lawn is looking a bit better. What is your recommendation for dealing with brown patch other than with cornmeal?
  10. Well I'm assuming you are growing a cool season turf, proably tall fescue.

    How many lbs per thousand of cgm did you apply?

    Which espoma fertilizer did you use for each application, and how many lbs per thousand did you apply?.

    Would be leaning towards brown patch, but that is only an educated guess. Brown patch loves excessive nitrogen, daily moisture, and temps above 80 degrees!

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