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Large dead spots on my lawn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by heron88, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. heron88

    heron88 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Hello, I'm new here.

    I used to run a lawn mowing business with a friend of mine in Massachusetts. We were two high school students just trying to pull in some extra cash and were pretty successful, with about 15 customers.

    Anyways, I recently moved here to Bakersfield, CA, and the business dissolved. But now is where I'm facing real lawn care problems. I was very used to lawn care in the cold and humid climate of New England. Now, I'm having real difficulties keeping my own lawn healthy in the hot and dry climate of the central valley.

    We had our backyard sodded about 4 months ago. The backyard was previously dirt. The landscaping company rototilled the soil and softened about 2-4 inches of soil before rolling out the sod. I believe the type of grass is Kentucky Bluegrass, though I could be wrong.

    A couple weeks after the grass was laid down, some small, discolored circular patches appeared in 2 areas of the lawn. These dead looking patches were surrounded by darker grass. Soon one of these developed into a huge dead spot. Here are some pictures so you guys can see what I'm talking about.


    The rake for size reference


    The dead patch has crossed over into other patches of sod, so it seems to be a problem in the soil

    This patch started out looking just like the first one, but never developed into a huge dead spot, but rather a large dark green patch.

    As you can see, the dark green has extended across a large strip of the lawn

    I've done alot of research on this, but I cant figure out whats wrong. I've read some stuff about fungal lawn diseases and stuff but the information is so scattered and unorganized across the internet that I really dont have a clear understanding of what it is.

    So could you guys please help me figure out what this is and what should I do to get rid of it/make my lawn look healthy again.

  2. kirk1701

    kirk1701 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Does this property have city sewage or septic?

    I'm thinking one of two things, stripped from fert came to mind first and was dumped at the end which burned up the grass. I think that because of how its real green all the way around the dead area.

    Second, the long strip thats real green I have seen that before with drain fields from the septic. However it don't explain the dead area at the end unless the septic was overflowing and thats where the lid is that had to be dug up to get to in order to empty.
  3. heron88

    heron88 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    The property is on city sewage, and we have yet to fertilize it (I know, should've done that) If theres another thing I might add is that a couple weeks after it had been laid down hundreds of small mushrooms started popping up. As it got hotter they disappeared though. Also we water 3 times a day, 6 minutes each time.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Ya, the greener, taller grass is throwing me off, otherwise I would say you have soil contamination of some sort, like where a pick-up truck sat when the home was built, painter or someone of the sort washing their tools there, or when the law was re-graded.

    Is it a newer home ???
  5. 99monguse

    99monguse LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I have a couple spots like that and I dug into the soil and turns out I have grubs in the area.
  6. heron88

    heron88 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    The house is 3 years old. Well turns out we have a 1 year warranty on the sod, so the company will be coming in and solving the problem.

    I'll let you guys know what the problem was if I find out.

    Thanks for all the help!
  7. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    Not saying this is it, but it almost looks like animal urine or fairy ring with the darker green on the periphery. Usually though with fairy ring the outer ring dies not the whole middle. It could also have something to do with maybe high in salts that was dumped their.
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,727

    It has all the signs of a fertilizer burn. Check the area carefully--looking for signs of little yellow granules. It is possible the landscaping company put down a fertilizer before the sod was laid, a starter formula. But perhaps there guy was rather clumsy and applied an excess in the affected area. And they laid the sod on top.

    Slightly resembles a teardrop pattern that might be seen if someone applied a liquid fert(or weed and feed) with a hose-end sprayer. They must have turned the hose on. Then stood at the right end near the bush and sprayed out wide in front of them. Then they turned and walked toward the camera position--this time going fast enough so the grass was not overdosed.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I couldn't agree with this more. that is about exactly what I was going to say,...but not only did you beat me to it, but probably spoke on the matter more elegantly.:drinkup:
  10. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    do you have a rather large dog?

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