Lawn Fungus

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Scott S., Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Scott S.

    Scott S. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I've got a 3 year old seeded yard in central Indiana with an irrigation system and seem to lose the yard each year to a lawn fungus (July/August). I thought it was brown patch but it doesn't grow back from the inside of the circle out. So based on the growth pattern I'm thinking it might be dollar spot.

    Anyway, my questions are what is causing it, how do I get it under control, and what products are out there to help with lawn fugus?
  2. Dr Green

    Dr Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24


    I saw iggigation system. Can I take a stab and ask if you are watering daily for about 20 minutes a zone?

    Even in the AM?

    Rule of thumb for the lawn. Less frequent , deeper watering.

    20 minutes every day is better off as 45 minutes every other day. or 60 minutes twice a week.
  3. Scott S.

    Scott S. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    My system typically runs every three days for about 30 minutes per zone. It usually starts at 5:00 AM.

    Before we got the hot humid weather, my yard was one of the nicest in the neighborhood (deep, lush green). Then it quickly went brown in about a week. Even my increased watering didn't help.

    I just put down starter fertilizer and it is starting to come back fairly strong again.
  4. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 688

    your watering is causing the root system to "get lazy". what i mean is, you are watering too much and too often. kind of like DR. green was saying, deep and infrequent. Water on a as needed basis.
    Next year, i would have the irrigation to fall back on. I would hand water the hot spots in the early evenings and when you felt the lawn was barely hanging on, then pound it with the water.
    Also, pictures would help with your fungus problem. If you have ever seen brown patch and dollar spot next to each other, there is no way you could confuse the two. One is caused from excessive water,nitrogen and warm temps at night. the other is caused from lack of nitrogen, excessive water and cool nights.
  5. Scott S.

    Scott S. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    When the condition started to occur the humidity levels were around 72% and temperatues in the mid 90's during the day and low to mid 70's at night. I did put down fertilizer Shaw's 28-5-8 w/ micro-nutrients about 3-weeks before.

    I'm starting to think poor soil conditions are causing a lot of my problems as well becase it is all clay. I've aerrated (sp) my lawn every fall. Someone told me to put down lime to help solve my soil issue.

    I would provide pictures but my lawn seems to be coming back. I am however confused about Dr. Greens advice. He says deep and infrequent, but then says 20 minutes a day is better than 45 every two or 60 every 3...Am I missing something? I'm not sure 20 minutes a day qualifies as infrequent does it?
  6. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    What kind of grass are we dealing with? If it is coming back, maybe you're seeing summer dormancy, rather than a fungal problem. When it gets hot and stays hot, many cool season grasses will go dormant. That sounds like an awfully high nitrogen load for mid-summer, but I work mostly with warm season grass, so maybe it's alright.

    30 minutes per zone every three days sounds like not enough to deal with the heat. Maybe you should put out some pie pans and do a catch test -- see how much water you're putting out with each cycle. Then figure the number of cycles needed for 1 to 1-1/2 inches per week. I push that upper limit pretty hard when the weather heats up and stays hot.

    Don't put down lime without testing first. No reason to adjust ph unless it needs adjusting. Think about topdressing with compost when you aerate this fall. Compost will amend that clay better than all the chemicals in the world.
  7. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 688

    no, it doesn't. i really don't know what he meant by watering 20 min. a day but that is the exact opposite of what you want to do. Also, stop playing guessing games with this lawn and take a soil test and send it in to lab so you can get a detailed report of what it needs. I would start using a completely organic program with that lawn also, to go along with the irrigation
  8. Scott S.

    Scott S. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    My yard is mainly composed of Kentucky Bluegrass. It was hydroseeded with fescue and rye. Since then I've overseeded with KY Bluegrass, so I'm sure it is mostly in control of my yard.

    Who would you recommend for sending soil test to?
  9. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    I agree with not enough water for the heat, you don't want clay to dry out.
    I would add gypsum to help soften the soil and do the compost.
    what date did this start and at what point was it the worst? also, is the whole lawn this way or just areas? you may have a insect problem.
    and yes get the soil test, pull a sample about 6" deep and take it in to your county extension service. some are free to residents and some charge, around here its 10 bucks for a sample test.

    By the way Pictures are worth a thousand words. post some pics. even if its during recovery and we could help more, right now its a guessing game with no direction.

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