what's wrong with my lawn? burned?? pics posted

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by turboawd, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. turboawd

    turboawd LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 236

    i sodded my yard around the 4th of july, with kentucky bluegrass. i'm in northern IL.
    the lawn looked great for the first month and a half. but then i started to get these darker green, dry areas. randomly in my lawn. i took pics of one area in the front yard. when you look at these dry areas from certain angles, it looks darker green.

    i have a sprinkler system, and i watered real good at the begining, then i cut back the water afterwards.
    i used a strarter fertilizer when i placed the sod, then afterwards i put down milorganite fetilizer, towards the end of july and mid-august. the milorganite is an organic fertilizer with 5% nitrogen and 4% iron.

    did i burn my lawn?
    watering the lawn doesnt seem to help the dry areas. the ground is moist below these dry-looking areas. the soil is a claylike, not really black. there is sand further down, when we excavated.





  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    looking at it on pics 1 and 2 I go out on a limb and say that your sprinkler heads are not giving good coverage...almost like you got a low pressure with a gap in center....

    Have you watched the system run from zone to zone. Ie set up a test schedule for like 5 minutes a zone. Maybe when it run on its own a valve is hanging open resultant in low pressure/poor coverage...

    if it was burn from fert i think it would be more widespread. now if you spread of a bunch of fert in a diagonal path over that one spot a bunch of times. then could be fert...

    I'm going stick with irrigation, based on my glance from 800 miles away...

    even the stressed grass is holding tire track and footprints longer than the unstressed grass. Thats usually a good indicator of drought stress
  3. turboawd

    turboawd LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 236

    i dont believe this is an irrigation issue. there are many heads placed around...and the dry patterns dont match to any potential weak irrigation areas.

    i checked some of these dry looking areas, and the soil was moist below.

    like you said, when you step on the dry looking areas, the grass stays down.
  4. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    again from 800 miles and a photo, it really looks like a couple of rotors whose arc's had decreased in size. I'm not doubting you...Fert burn is usually pretty quick and very very noticeable.

    take a shovel and dig out a core sample 6" deep or so in the affected area. and then do the same in a non affected area and compare the two together. see if there are any noticeable differences...
  5. turboawd

    turboawd LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 236

    well i marked out where some of my sprinkler heads are, and the dryness area doesnt relate to the sprinklers' pattern.

    what other possibilities?

  6. turboawd

    turboawd LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 236

    you know, when i first noticed traces of this happening, thats when i applied my second application of milorganite, and watered good. the lawn looked great for a week or two, then started looking like it does now.

    could the lawn just need more nitrogen? the milorganite that i applied has 5% nitrogen.
  7. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    the fert doesn't explain the pattern though... that's a fairly defined pattern.
  8. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,257

    That pattern suggests that there was fill and when smoothed out on a slight incline was spread further at the road than above. The soil could have been contaminated or of a different soil altogether. Run you a soil test from the darker soil and the lighter soil. I don't think it is an irrigation problem either. The track marks bothers me in that it almost looks like a wrong herbicide was introduced in a drifting manner almost as if there were a spray towards the road. Did someone perhaps kill off a large amount of brush, weeds, or something before the house and subdivision was being built. There are so many things that could go wrong. I'd almost be afraid to resod before removing the soil area and replacing it. A lot of trouble but let the soil test guide. It could be simple as a much stronger pH or being more alkaline there.
    Are you on sewer or septic lines? I can see a leak in a tank line or a possible break in a sewer line. Is that area overly moist or soggy? A long probe would help here.
    Whatever the problem turns out to be, please post and cure.
  9. teejet

    teejet LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 232

    I am guessing soil difference, that is if it does that every year in the same spot. If not I don't know.
  10. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Guys...this is easy....
    1.its fkin dry...or was the day before it got watered. Of course its gonna lay over when walking on it.
    2. new sod comes heavily ferted. NO sod farm would ever tell you to do what you did. The increased fert has increased your water requirements. It will come back if it gets more water.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009

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