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ok, grass is comming up, roots and all. everything was fine, till last week, when the hottest weather hit. i have two lawns, browning bad, and grass comes right out, roots and all. grubs u say? no way. i put so much crap on this lawn, im surprised the people are still living. what could it be? one was what i belived to be a fungus, hit it with bayleton, it stopped spreading, but the damaged areas are commin out in my hand. the other, the customer had a fence put in, and the fence man hammered the sprinkler pipes, but they never realized it. i thought heat stressed lawns just turned brown? this one is comming up like a carpet. there are no grubs present at either property.
 

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With all the rain we have had, root stress was big, in fact the roots suffocated died back and the grass was only kept alive from all the rain.

Also the compaction of the soil did not allow the roots to grow, and kept roots closer to the surface.

That will also happen with to much fertilizing. Pushing all that nice top growth and greening of the plant that the root system suffered.

that will also happen where it is kinda shady, and the border is cut in one direction all the time, The grass grows kinda bent over, especialy when cut tall.


Just a couple explanations off the top of my head.
 

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poa-trivealis{spelling}
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rough blue grass
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does sound like grubs but grubs in our area have been few and far between this season. Maybe root rot since this year has been anything but normal...sounds like a major aeration/seeding is called for...especially if the cause is compaction from all the rain the past 5 months
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
sounds like grubs? ok. lawn looks great when im there to cut on wednesday. monday morning(5 days later) customer calls, brown spots. looks fungile to me, apply fungicide, no more spreading. one week later, grass now comming up easily. digging here and there to examine, finding no grubs. the thing about having a grub problem, they are there for u to see. worth mentioning: customer waters regularly, yet, when i tried to stick the flag in the ground after the fung app, the ground was so hard, it wouldnt go in.
 

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Originally posted by GLAN
With all the rain we have had, root stress was big, in fact the roots suffocated died back and the grass was only kept alive from all the rain.

Also the compaction of the soil did not allow the roots to grow, and kept roots closer to the surface.

That will also happen with to much fertilizing. Pushing all that nice top growth and greening of the plant that the root system suffered.

that will also happen where it is kinda shady, and the border is cut in one direction all the time, The grass grows kinda bent over, especialy when cut tall.

Just a couple explanations off the top of my head.
 

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Have you always had this lawn , or is it a new customer ?
Knowing a year to year history of trouble spots , could indicate an under lying soil problem
 

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rough blue grass
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i have had this customer 3 yrs. the first year, informed them the ground was hard as a rock, needed some work. they didnt want to spend the dough. the lawn looked sweet till august, then they lost the whole lawn. they never watered. they swore it was grubs, i told them it was not grubs, they didnt want to hear it. i did not find even one grub in the soil when we tore everything up and reseeded. they acted like i didnt know what i was talkin about. thatched, reseeded. next year, raised price, lawn looked great, again advised them they needed to break up the soil a bit, aerate+gypsum. they didnt want to spend the money. lawn looked great till august, then they lost the whole lawn, again. again, they said it was my fault, i let the grubs destroy thier lawn. on the 2 k front lawn i found about 10 immature grubs on the whole thing, they didnt want to hear it, it was my fault.reseeded, it came in nice. year #3 is this year.i advised them they needed aeration, ive raised their fees by $70 a month over the 3 yrs. i informed them that, if i saw that they werent watering, they would either have to pay me to come by and water, or hire someone else. they watered. the lawn looked great till 2 weeks ago. looks like a fast spreading fungus got it. i treated with bayleton, the spreading stopped, but the damage is irreversable. they again tell me its grubs, and its my fault. there is not one grub on this property. i treated with merit @ 3.5 lbs per k, in mid june, then treated with talstar in july, then treated with dilox aug 15th. the same time thiers started looking bad, others in the area had the fungus also. but others seemed to have recovered with minimal damage. i am telling them that the soil needs work. with all the rain we had, and all the watering they are doing, the ground is still rock hard. the roots are unable to become strong enough to withstand heat stress and disease, so instead of a quick recovery, or minor damage, they get hammered.
 

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"with all the rain we had, and all the watering they are doing, the ground is still rock hard."

How are they watering and what kind of rain? Short, infrequent watering and summer thunderstorms both have the same effect, promoting shallow rooting. Maybe they are watering deeply once or twice a week (correctly, not in the P.M.) and the rains have been soakers. Either way, I think you are correct in attributing much of the problem to the soil structure. Soils high in clay can compact to the point that grass roots are forced to stay shallow in order to get air. Remember, roots don't grow in the soil, they grow in spaces between the soil particles and if soil becomes extremly compacted they wont survive. In moderate clay soils, core aerating annually will usually be enough to reduce compaction and promote deep rooting. In heavy clay or poor dranage situations, this is often not the case. I have had alot of success in these situations by heavy topdressing and incorperation of improved soils such as compro, leafgrow, or nutri-green. When grass gets stressed as a result of poor soil, it is much more likley to be damaged by disease, which of loves hot, humid, moist conditions, especially at night ( i.e. August).
 

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New seed dying with sufficent moisture and heat sounds like damping-off (pythium) to me. Send a sample to your county extension to confirm. You will need to use a fungicide that kills soil borne fungi like subdue to remedy the problem.
Pete
 
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