Help. Disease is so Frustrating!

DVLawn

LawnSite Member
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Been plagued with this for 3 years. Obviously disease. Not sure if Dollar Spot, Red Thread. Fungus sprays and treatments do nothing. Sometimes adding a little nitrogen helps.

It produces or might be caused by explosive undergrowth that needs power raking or aerating. I aerate twice a year though.

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I'm in Northern Indiana. Kentucky / Bluegrass / Ryegrass mix. I water 2 maybe 3 times a week deeply in the morning, never overnight. I keep my blades sharp and decks clean of clutter. I just started cleaning them to stop spreading any of this. I fertilize 3-4 times a year, not even full dose and it's slow release.

This is just destroying my yard. When I power rake some patches just pull up at the root. I've dug in a few spots to check for grubs. Nothing.

Thanks.
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Mysterious!
Disease does not usually appear in straight lines 4 inches wide. This must have something to do with the edge. In the garden--perhaps something was used on the rocks to stop weeds. Something like Roundup Extended Control--seeping out from the rocks. Don't know along the drive. De-icing salt? Gas?
The grass type looks slightly different near the edge. Are the edges sod? Was sod used to resod the edges in the past?

Is this due to power rake? Did you stop momentarily at the edge of the drive? This before turning around.
 
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DVLawn

LawnSite Member
Thanks all. No weed killer, no reflections, no sod, I use sand on my driveway in the winter. The condition is all the way around the house and in spots all over in the yard too. The lines around the house are the most pronounced. It's where I use a pushmower and weedwhacker. Another person is saying it is thatch because as you can see I can rake a ton out.

Maybe it's where the mower wheels mash down the grass and it stays tall, bent over and the thatch underneath it kills it?

Another thought. The pushmower is dying. I guess it's possible it could be leaking something when it mows, BUT in the garage were it sits there is no leak on the concrete. Maybe gas / oil mix pumping out the exhaust? The exhaust is on the side where the worst lines are.

Only other theory is weedwhacking would throw the grass out from the edge back into the yards few inches where the lines are. Perhaps it just compounded the thatch in those areas.

OK, one more. This condition started showing up before I fertilized, but I do use a Scott's Edgeguard. It also would be casting fertilizer up to that edge. But like I said, it started before fertilizing. My settings on the spreader were correct.
 

KerbDMK

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Minneapolis, MN
Do you use a spreader with an edge guard? It could be concentrating fertilizer on the edge. I've had problems with edge guards and don't use them anymore.
 
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DVLawn

LawnSite Member
Do you use a spreader with an edge guard? It could be concentrating fertilizer on the edge. I've had problems with edge guards and don't use them anymore.
Yes, I do use Edgeguard and have had problems with it coming out so I've had to force it. Wondering if when I forced it out it malfunctioned and dropped a ton of fertilizer. Perhaps when the guard is out the spreader is supposed to only drop half the fertilizer and it didn't sense the guard was out.
 
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DVLawn

LawnSite Member
Any chance of driveway base extending under the lawn with heat radiation cooking the roots?

We see a lot of this along curbs.
I don't think so because this line extends around the back as well where there is no concrete. I thought I had fertilized after this started but perhaps it is the Edgegaurd malfunctioning.
 

44DCNF

LawnSite Silver Member
Poke a tool in the ground at those edges, (if they are recurring spots) to see if there is buried debris too near to the surface. They look strikingly like concrete form lumber which will/can be, and often is buried next to hard surfaces and foundations by contractors who dont take better care. Similar construction debris can also be buried around your property where fill may have been added. Workers are often told to “go lose this somehwere”.
Your thatch seems no worse than what I see in a similar turf and similar zone. Your overall turf shown looks quite heathy to me, if not a little overwatered/over fertilized. Perhaps Reduce fertilization to reduce thatch though I highly doubt it is the problem. Realize
Our answers are based on limited pictures and information, which is nothing like being able to scout a property by oneself.

A grass plant’s blades have a limited life and I believe you are seeing the dead grass of the early flush and second flush. I rarely catch clippings. I hand (spring/leaf) rake my lawn, usually three times a season. Plus any time a wind storm dumps a large amount of tree debris. I rake prior to spring growth to stimulate growth. Once around June/July, and again in the fall after growth increases post summer stress, and get much like you show each time. But then, I also get heavy tree fall.
I am not convinced it is disease from the photos shown.
I think you can disregard the thatch, the string trimmer, the side guard (edges of damaged areas seem too defined and your watering should have dispersed/leached the nitrogen to a larger area) and the mower exhaust “theories”.
I would first dig under some of the dead spots looking for buried debris, while also searching for grubs or signs of pests in soil and crowns of plants. Then use a can and do a soapy water test for pests in and around Any damaged spots.
 

44DCNF

LawnSite Silver Member
If you rode those edges with weighty equipment, under saturated soil conditions, where roots were broken from the crowns of the plants, this could also be a cause. This same thing can happen in drought, on frosted grass, or on slightly frozen ground surfaces.
 
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