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Help with ID of Turf Problem

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by crossboneracing, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. crossboneracing

    crossboneracing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Hi Guys, I have an issue here and I am not sure of it, I have personally never really seen anything like this before, maybe someone here will have an idea. This was taken this afternoon in Central MA. So, the grass is watered in the morning (20 min each day unless it rains) it gets normal fert program and has had merit applied. In a partial shade area. No grubs or other pests present, but the grass pulls up just like grubs were there. Checked all around lawn and no grubs present. Maybe something I am missing?? Need to fix this asap, let me know guys thanks in advance!!!


  2. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,946

    Best guess is "summer patch" on Kentucky bluegrass. Anybody else?
  3. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 5,886

    Like American said, a lawn disease ,not insect, stop watering every day, deep infrequent watering, Corn real or cracked corn at 20 lbs K every 6-8 weeks ought to get it under control without wiping out beneficial's like a fungicide will.

    DLAWNS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    I agree with Larry. Looks like summer patch...definitely water less.
  5. crossboneracing

    crossboneracing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    Thanks guys, I have never had summer patch make the grass pull up like that before almost like the roots were rotted or something, again thanks for all the feedback, any more is also appreciated!
  6. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,148

    This is definitely "summer patch" it is caused by a group of fungi known collectively as the ectotrophic root-infecting or ERI fungi. This usually occurs in soil that has poor drainage capability, you need to keep the water totally off this area until you let it dry out completely. I mean until the point of showing drought stress, drying the soil out thoroughly will lessen the fungi activity. You must deep core aerate this fall and again in the spring, this soil must drain or the fungus will thrive.

    There are fungicides that do a reasonably good job, but not 100%, and it can be very expensive. The best killer of this type fungus is dry hot soil, you must get the soil (if possible) loosened to the point of draining correctly. The water needs to be kept off this grass until it show signs of needing to be irrigated, then it needs to be thoroughly soaked. The grass is being watered unnecessarily, especially in this poor draining soil. Any irrigated grass needs to dry out thoroughly before water is added again, this is where people end up with fungus problems, never letting the soil dry completely and get hot before water is added. People think water, water, water and my grass will stay healthy and green, this is wrong with turf irrigation, the grass must need water before being applied and then should be soaked. Once the soil has dried completely it should be soaked again.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    It could also be the chem application went down too hot, or not evenly enough.
  8. johnnyusa

    johnnyusa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 514

    looks like summer patch A fungus. All the rain this year kept washing the fert. away and caused alot of lawns having patches just like that. the lesco dealer near me ran completely out of the fungicide. Good luck
  9. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    Fungicides tend to mask the problem. Another thing that I have is product called Spectrum and Pepzyme M. About $30 to treat an acre. This stuff is different strains of soil microbes. I used to aerate and adjust water but found increasing these microbes well make the soil more alive and balanced where fungus can't survive. This takes the food source away so the fungus goes dormant or disapears. You will need to reseed those areas at the same time you apply the products above.

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