What is going on here??? Help!!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Briley1975, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. Briley1975

    Briley1975 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Any ideas on what is going on here? I am racking my brains out :hammerhead: trying to get something to grow here. It is bermuda, it is shaded in late afternoon but you can see in the background that there are patches all over the yard like this and they get much more sun. The neighbors have the same trees and same shade with thick grass. Suggestions? Thinking about aerating/ topsoil and seeding this week while on vacation.

  2. LawnNeedz

    LawnNeedz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    I would check for grubs.
  3. ktc

    ktc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Yeah, grubs are a possibility, or some kind of fungus. Grubs should be fairly easy to rule in, or out, but you may have to take tissue/soil samples to send to a diagnostician to definitely pin down a specific fungus. In lieu of samples, you might try a broad spectrum fungicide.

    Good luck (if luck has anything to do with it)
  4. Briley1975

    Briley1975 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    I know we have some fungus on the shrubs out front. This house was a foreclosure we bought last fall. It was empty for almost a year before we got it. Nobody really took care of the yard. The neighbors tried to keep it cut but that was about it.

    I know that we have some fungus in the bushes out front. We just had to trim them back/ thin them out to try and salvage them as they were looking pretty rough. Just did the 2 little retaining rings around the trees a couple weeks ago and didnt really see any grubs while digging those in but then again I wasnt really looking for them.

    Any suggestions on a good fungicide? Im not sure what all has been sprayed on it this year. We have had TruGreen come out to spray and they put down lime but I havent seen a change. The houses on either side of me look better and they dont do anything!
  5. ktc

    ktc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Just by looking at the photo, I'd say if it is fungus it's one of three,Spring dead spot, large patch, or dollar spot.

    My first guess is spring dead spot (Ophiospharella spp.) there are several fungicides labeled for spring dead spot, but none of them have shown much suppression in trials. Spring dead spot colonizes roots, stolons and crowns during late summer, or fall; then the symptoms show up in the spring. So the timming of fungicide applications would be critical. (keep in mind my experience is restricted to the transition zone of the SW MO Ozarks). The best bet against Spring dead spot, around here, is to try and outgrow it with healthy cultural practices such as yearly dethatching/core-aerate, not too much nitrogen at once, and don't over-water.

    All of these diseases are labeled for control by the DMI's (Demethylation inhibitors), azoxystrobin (Heritage), or pyraclostrobin (insignia) for dollar spot.
  6. Briley1975

    Briley1975 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    i was kind of thinking fungus too. I have all but ruled out grubs, unless they run and hide when they here we walking around because i havent seen any. Dug up a few spots around the outer perimeter of the patch and see nothing. Now I did find something a couple of weeks ago while digging out some weeds to get the roots...

    alas, it is fake. But freaked me out when I saw it until I got it cleaned up!

    Well, off to the Depot to see about maybe renting an aerator

  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    My money is on pearl scale. Look for tiny little pinkish or cream colored pearls about the size of a pin head. Look for them in the top 2" at the edge of the dead/alive grass.

    Take a knife and cut a core sample about the size of a cup this way you can see the soil ,thatch, roots and turf. If you have a fungus the outer sheath of the root will slide right off, like a shirt sleeve coming off your arm.
  8. Briley1975

    Briley1975 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Well crap... 3 weeks after aerating, top dressing and seeding all was looking good. Seeds were growing well, almost up to an inch, patches were starting to fill in with new growth. Looked this morning and 99% of the new growth has gone brown. and looks to have given up...son of a..... so what should I try next?? What is causing this and whyyyyyyyyy?? *trucewhiteflag*
  9. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,245

    I can't even begin to comment on grubs as I've never had to deal with them on the coast. Could be the sand base. I would think that you could dig down in a few places and get a sample and sift the dirt. If there were grubs you'd find them? I'd like to know the test anyway. However, that Bermuda does not look fungal because of the sudden stop of grass and dead or no grass. Most of the light fungus problems has been a sorta quick browning of the grass like it has been scaled and the grass rots away. I treat my lawns from June to September with monthly treatments of Cleary's alternating to Eagle alternating to Heritage and then repeat the cycle on the forth month. Expensive but less than replacing the sod. Is that yard irrigated? Grass will burn up quickly without the proper irrigation every week, especially in this sandy soil.
    If you find a test for grubs or if anyone else knows of a test let us know.
  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I'd like to chime in.

    One thing I'm wondering is if you've got a soil contamination going on, that or the PH level is way off.

    As for all the bushes, keep them trimmed like you should, and don't be afraid to thin them out if you can to help promote air flow.

    Is there any other dead or dieing plants in the area too. Are you seeing sooty mold, shotgun fungus etc....

    One property I worked on had major root rot issues. I applied Consan and it solved the problem with one application.


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