Yellow Turf - Why?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Crist Clapper, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    Just FYI, my blade comment came from looking at those final pics..those blade tips are really ripped. If you havent sharpened your blades since then, your blades are not sharp enough or blade speed is way to low. JMO
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Have you considered that dumping all that synthetic crap on your lawn is causing the problem? One would think if this is a nutrient issue you would see more uniform discoloring. Have you tested the soil? Plant tissue analysis is only one part of the picture.
  3. Skipster

    Skipster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,086

    I'm going to ask a different question. Has there been any seeding done recently?

    When seeding too heavily, plants compete with each other for resources and don't mature very well. This could also introduce different cultivars of the same species, which may have color variations.
  4. Crist Clapper

    Crist Clapper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    My apologies... I didn't mean to dismiss your suggestion. My blades were just sharpened. Because of the rain lately... I have had to mow when wet. I thought mowing wet can also cause ripping? Blade-speed too slow... I'll have to check! Thanks, Crist

  5. Crist Clapper

    Crist Clapper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Yes I have! None of the local big lawn service-providers (in this area) offer an organic program. And the smaller folks don't understand organic.

    The Penn State turf folks have been on-site and did soil testing. Nothing too out of kilter.

    FYI: The consensus from Penn State was my pH was too high. With the addtion of the injector and me testing weekly... Didn't seem to correct the problem.

  6. Crist Clapper

    Crist Clapper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    Hadn't considered this before...

    I did re-seed last Spring after core-aeration. By far... What is most confusing to me is that both the light and dark blades are Kentucky blue.

    Does your theory fit?

  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Do you have the results? Trying to fight your soils natural pH is a non-stop battle. You would be better off finding/using a turf that is suited for your soils rather than trying to make your soil suitable for a particular turf.

    There are many different varieties of KBG. If the Penn State ID didn't differentiate between different varieties, then that is your most likely explanation for this color difference even if this has been going on for many years. Easiest way to fix it IMO is to vertimow and overseed with the same variety until you get better uniformity.
  8. At first I thought it was the light color of juvenile grass in a growth spurt. But your close up shows the plants are mature. So you've already established that it's not the nutrients, weeds or species of grass. What's left is the thatch layer. Do a core test on the green area and compare it to the yellow area. Is it the same thickness? It's got to relate to the uptake of nutrients & water. Try to count the number of grass plants in each of the areas.
    I'd have thought the core aeration would have evened out the areas. Maybe you need to drag coarse sand into the core holes to help out the penetration of nutrients & water.

    I've seen over managed turf that was so dependent on surface feeding that it had no roots at all. You could lift it up like a carpet. My big mowers sucked it up and shot it out the discharge chute! The customer was livid! I said "HEY! It's not my fault! I didn't over feed it!"
  9. Crist Clapper

    Crist Clapper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    All: I gathered up your observations/suggestions and forwarded them to my Penn State guy. It seems you were all right. I just was not getting it. My thanks for the help! Here is the response(s) from Penn State:

    Crist: It may be cultivar related and not fertility related. Consider an application of Milorganite the next time you fertilize. It has iron and other micronutrients that may enhance greening………..

    From: PennStateTurf
    Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 8:37 AM
    To: Crist D. Clapper
    Subject: RE: Turf Question(s)
    Importance: High

    Crist: The photos show a couple of things:

    1) The dark turf appears to be Kentucky bluegrass
    2) The light turf which appears shiny in the photograph appears to be perennial ryegrass
    3) If you look at the tip of the cut leaf blades in both photos you will notice that the edges are more ragged in the light turf than the dark turf. Perennial ryegrass is tougher texturally and requires that the mower blades be sharpened very frequently. Leaf blades that are tattered are more susceptible to disease.
    4) Both photographs contain some grass plants which are displaying disease symptoms. Fungicides may help alleviate the symptoms.


    Tom F.
    Blair County Extension Director &
    Area Commercial Horticulture Educator
    Penn State Cooperative Extension

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