1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum .

    Dismiss Notice

thin, burnt(?) looking bermuda

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    OK, I know about 90% of you guys have cooler type grasses such as KGB and fescue but this is Bermuda I need some advice on. My maintenance company brought me out to one of their customers that the old company they reffered their customers to has been screwing with. In their lawn in an area is a section that is thinner and has a "burnt" looking section to it. She asked me to take a look at it, she said the other guys said that she needed to start catching her clippings and other than that there was nothing else they could do. These guys aren't organic, and the customer is willing to pay what is needed to have a good looking lawn. I am thinking, and hoping, but really am convinced that it is just stress from not being watered and the heat pounding it. It has been getting close to 100 degrees here lately with little rain. And we can't run our sprinklers, well my county can, but this guy can't. I told her for now to hold off before I go pouring chems on it and costing the customer money. It doesn't look like anything, and I did my research, that can be transferred by her not catching her grass. Anyways, if it was just running her mower threw it would transfer the disease.

    What do you think? I have a feeling Bill's NPP would be handy if it turns out to be brown patch or something similar. I gave an estimate, and got it, to another customer that I was able to give to my maintenance company as well and two of her neighbors had the same type of symptoms. If anything it may be brown patch or something similar, but I have seen brown patch and this isn't anything similar. They MAY have some dollar spot but I have a feeling they had a tank of Round up they set down and picked back up again where they shouldn't have. The next day I saw Browngreen with a handheld sprayer that was a PERFECT match to the spots I was seeing.

    OH, by the way, this company charged them to kill their weeds. They didn't spray the grassy weeds. Said that was an additional charge. This is going to be about a $160/treatment customer who from what I have been told is going to be a GREAT customer with no problems and they are just going to let them go because they are penny pinching them to death. Plus, from what I have been described about their response and from what I have seen I wander if they really know what they are doing, or care, in the first place.

    I love these companies that treat their customers like crap. They are my biggest supplier of new customers.
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Could be a host of things, I would dig in it a little to see if its something obvious. Someone could have spilled, it could be bad soil, all sand, etc. You almost have to get down and dig around to see what your working with

    If you think it fungal dig out a piece and take it to your local extention office for help, I'm big on knowing what i'm dealing with before any action is taken

    The pond industry is the same way, someone goes for an afternoon introduction and then go out and build ponds until they realize they are losing money. The real deal guys are soon behind them fixing the mistakes, often for more money than it cost to put it in
  3. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,372

    That is why I asked to give it another week or so. She had her crew leader point it out to her and she said she was there the week before and didn't notice anything. Then the chem guy came out and told her she needed to start catching her clippings from now on to keep it from spreading. Other than that there was nothing they could do about it. I was dumbfounded when she was telling me what they told her.

    Anyways, back on topic, like I said, it has gotten hot FAST and the rain has been hit and miss, mainly miss in this part of town, so I told her to give it some time, I would be out again to keep an eye on it, if it didn't fix itself I would start doing more intense research.

    I think too many people try and jump straight to this disease or that, stop and think for a second what the weather and cultural practices are like and that answers a lot of your questions. I say give it a little time and watch it. Don't jump to conclusions. It seems to me that the lawn fixes itself pretty well for the most part. If not, I will help it along. I am in no hurry to pour chems on it especially if I am not sure what the problem is.

    If nothing else it seems to be a MUCH better aproach than, "yeah, there's nothing we can do. Make sure you start catching your clippings from now on." Oh and by the way, if he new the people he was working with, he might know that she has no means of catching her clippings in the first place, which is fine with me.
  4. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Messages: 1,956

    Spray first with some Armada 50. This stuff is great for the money. I have seen brown patch, summer blight, and anthracnose already this year. After you spray, wait a week to mow so you don't spread it, then afterwards, mow as usual.
  5. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I have never seen fungus on Bermuda, but hey I live in Az. My diagnosis would go like this. Drop to knees and look very closely at the turf, rub brown spot vigorously with fingertips and look for anything crawling (cinch bugs) then tug on dead brown grass to see if it is still attached. If it pulls up easily I would look to see if their are pearl scales,grubs or sod web worms eating at the roots. You may have to go to the edge of the live and dead grass to see anything.

    If you have fungus the root sheath will pull off easily. I know this from my flowers and trees with fungus. I would also look for any signs of new growth.

    After all that I would soak one of the brown spots and come back in a week to see if any new growth is showing. Just weedeating or raking out the dead and applying a light dusting of compost will look much better and show the customer you are being proactive, sure couldn't hurt.

    I am with you, I bet it is just a lack of water.
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Don't guess at soil status. Take a sample, check soil moisture, compaction, rooting depth, and irrigation effectiveness if applicable.
  7. Go-Green Lawn Care

    Go-Green Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    I have bermuda in my own back yard that I planted from seed. It will get "burnt" when you go too long between cutting and leave too many clippings in one spot. Especially now when temps are in the upper 80's and 90's in the south. It has happened to me a couple of times when I went out of town and couldn't maintain the vigorous mowing schedule. I makes me mad. So now I just hit it with the blower if I think I'm leaving too much grass behind.

Share This Page