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Help with spoted lawn!!!!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by jonspolaris, Jun 27, 2003.

  1. jonspolaris

    jonspolaris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    In my moms development the lawn has these small brown spots on it. The spots are about 3-4" in diameter. It looks as thought the grass is dead there, but i dont think thats it. The spots are only visible when your standing on the lawn looking down. The lawn is watered 20min every day with irrigation system, and fertilized by truegreen. Any ideas what this could be?? is it "dollar spots"

  2. teeca

    teeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    hard to say witout seeing it, but i had a simuler problem on one of my accounts and it was a fungas. try to stop watering for a week, should kill it's self off. (if this is what it is)
    also you mentiond that it was in a development, is it a new housing deal? if so the builders tend not to clean up there mess, and just seed/sod over everything e.g. wood,rocks,nails,etc. grass wont grow very well over this stuff.
  3. teeca

    teeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    are you in the grass/landscape business? if so get rid of trugree/chemlawn! i don't know about them in michigan, but here in indy they run mowing service, i would go with scotts, or a local company.
  4. jonspolaris

    jonspolaris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    Thanks, THe grass is not new, been there about 6 years. I agree about trugreen, there a joke. I am not a board member so i have no controll over who they hire. The board knows nothing about fertlizer or herbasides, they just look at lowest price.

    The spots very well may be a fungus. They sometimes have a red thread like appearance to them.

    What should we tell truegreen we want done about it??

    The truegreen rep around here has a converted Dixie Chopper that he doesn the whole development in just over a hour(its several acres). But unfortunally he misses some of the tight areas that the chopper cant get into.
  5. kickin sum grass

    kickin sum grass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 628

    sounds like you have red thread if you are seeing a redness to it. hard to say for sure without some pics. If possible get some close up pics in the morning when the dew is still on. and for gods sake STOP watering everyday. water heavy for longer periods of time and less often. 2 times a week maybe 3 times max. Truegreen will want to sell a fungicide most likely. It may help some but if you cut back on the watering it should help also. They may also want to do another fert app to bump up nitrogen to get it to grow out. Fungicide/ disease treatments are probably not in the contract and will cost you extra. Another thing to try is to pull a garden hose across the turf in the early morning to knock off the dew. This will let the grass dry out faster and limit disease activity.
  6. CMerLand

    CMerLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    Red thread will have a pinkish tinge mycelium hanging at the top of the grass blade. This is most noticable in the early morning hours while the dew is still on the grass, and can be spread from mowing equipment.

    With dollar spot, each grass blade will have a band of yellowed turf, with brown margins on the center of the blade. These spots can and will grow and collesce with one another if not treated to correct the problem.

    The treatment for both of these diseases is simple. Fertilize as both attack lawns under low fertility. Fungicides are too expensive the the cure tooo easy to warrent the expense.

    Now as far as watering 20 mins everyday, that is the WORST thing you can do to a lawn because it encourages shallow root systems. It would be far better to water for an hour twice a week to thoroughly wet the soil profile and encourage deeper rooting.

  7. jonspolaris

    jonspolaris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    Thanks for your help. The people in charge of the development think the lawn spots are caused by not watering enough. The lawns prabally get too much water, but they think if its not deep green then it must be dry. Its not worth it to try to explain that its the nitrogen that makes it green. The person in charge thinks he is an "authority" because he is a senior citizen.

    I thought that 20min was long enough to get the water deep enough to soak the roots. Even at 20min a zone, it still takes 6hrs to water the whole development.

    another thing, The soil has about 3" of topsoil and the rest is pretty sandy. It drains very well.
  8. teeca

    teeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,202

    i suguest that you tell trugreen to handle the problem or you will get somebody else. as for the converted dixie chopper, i plan on rigging mine to do the same. however, the speed of the mower needs to be moniterd to get the proper application rate, and 13mph is to fast for it! (atleast for something light enough to fit on a lawn mower) the 'lawngodfather' has a sprayer set up on his exmark lazer, looks good.

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