What is going on with my lawn?

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by les anderson, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    I am thinking fungus.I suggest looking up your county extension and cut a small section containing good and bad grass and bring it to them for proper diagnosis.
  2. les anderson

    les anderson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Okay, good suggestion.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,484

    I don't want to diagnose a problem from a 1200 miles away with just some pictures. But that sounds like too much water. But your in sandy soil and it is heavy clay around here. A soil test for this problem is in order.
  4. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    This is the proper way to get your best possible answer. We are all trying to diagnose your problem from a computer many miles away. Your County extension agent should be able to get you headed in the right direction.
  5. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Not that it is chinch bugs for sure....but if you are going to have a SA lawn...while you are at the county extension see if one of the agents would not mind showing you how to scout for them in a lawn. This way you can at at least eliminate them as the cause in the future if you experience issues. This will be valuable information for you to have as many homeowners think every spot in their lawn is caused by chinch bug and many will even apply a pesticide not knowing what the issue is. This constant exposure and misapplications of chemical agents is part of the reason why the l & O guys are fighting the resistant chinch bug battles of today.
  6. abrightday

    abrightday LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    Drought stressed areas followed by heavy rains, equal fungus on dead blades,,chinch would not leave grass blades,,
  7. Plantculture

    Plantculture LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    Possibly pythium root rot due to the overall chloritic appearance and non response to the Nitrogen application. Just a theory, without a microscope.
  8. Mjcurry3

    Mjcurry3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Hey bud,
    You need to get on this right away. I am almost willing to bet that you either have Grubs or Chinch bugs which is causing your issues. It is very hard to see from pictures, but I am going to try to help you the best I can. I truly don't believe you have any fungus. Brown patch is very scarce this time of year, and your turf is established. Also, you may have burnt the lawn with the fert depending on how much you put down, but I don't believe this is your problem either.

    1) Go out to the area of dieing turf, not the dead stuff but the turf on the edge of the dead spot that is still slightly green. Right on the edge of where the circles are starting to die, and grab the turf and lift up. Try this in several different areas. If the grass is loose like a carpet, you have grubs. Also, keep an eye out for yellowing, this one always one of the first signs of grub damage. Also, grub will cause the area to look like it is drought stressed because the turf cannot uptake water or other nutrients like it needs because the root system has been severely severed. Chances are if you do have grubs, you could even see then when looking closely in your turf, or even digging up an area of about 1 square foot about 4 inches down.

    If you do have grubs, go to your local John Deere store, and ask for either a 50lb bag of Dylox and spread accordingly. Dylox is not a product that will burn your lawn or stain your driveway, so put it down.... Be Careful not to water the Dylox for more than about 20m minutes each zone after it has been applied. I personally like to use Merit to treat for grubs, however this product is very expensive for a homeowner to buy. Merit is much better IMO because it gives you a very nice residual on the grubs.

    I would think Miami is a hot spot for grubs because it is located so close to the water. Unfortunatly I don't work in Miami which I believe is where you said you are located.

    2) I'm not going to go through the whole entire way to look for chinch bugs, but with the damage your lawn has, it should not be hard to see them because if it is chinch bugs you have a serious infestation. To check, go to the edge of the dieing turf, where the green and brown grass meet. Spread the grass apart till you can see the crown of the turf, and keep your eyes open for chinch bugs. They are about the size of a pen tip, sometimes a bit bigger or smaller. Most should be black with a white spot on their backs, you may also see very small orange chinch bugs as well.

    If you have chinch bugs you may want to call a company that uses Merit, Allectus, or even Arena. It is hard sometimes for homeowners to spray chemicals properly because they do not have the proper spray equipment to do the job correctly. Sure you can use a backpack sprayer, however its very hard to spray an area this size correctly with a BP sprayer. Be sure that whatever company you choose to spray the bugs also uses a contact insecticide to go with any of the chemicals listed above. Allectus is the only product listed that has a contact insecticide mixed with it already. If you do decide you want to spray it yourself, goodluck lol. I would use Merit and something like Bifen XTS at the highest rate.

    I really don't feel that you have serious irrigation concerns, because if it was your entire yard would look worse than it does. As opposed to right now you have areas that are dieing and not the whole entire lawn. However, I will tell you that more than likely if you have chinch bugs, you do have irrigation concerns which is what probably caused your issue to begin with. It is very important to make sure you lawn is getting proper coverage. With the size of the area you have on the photos, you are definitely running rotors. Right now in Florida, I recommend that my customers water their rotor zones for a minimum of 60 minutes per zone, twice per week. For the best results, I would run for 90 minutes twice a week. Something as simple as a rotor being adjusted improperly can cause drought issues. Many homeowners see the sprinkler heads spraying water and rotating and think they have perfect coverage. Make sure your rotors aren't over spraying the area, many people do not adjust the front adjustment of their rotors. This adjustment makes sure there is mist coming off the spray pattern which tremendously helps the lawn, especially the area closest to the head.

    Good Luck to you, Hope this helps you.
  9. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,638

    Where is Ric at? He usually corrects misinformation but has chosen to ignore this?
  10. maynardGkeynes

    maynardGkeynes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 411

    The way to check for grubs is to lift up the turf, and if you have them, you will see them. I'm dubious about the advice that doesn't mention this obvious knowledge of turf disease caused by grubs. Also, a few grubs are OK. It's like when you have a lot per square foot that it becomes an issue. I'm still with fungus or drought stress.

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