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Any turf experts here?

Joined
12 March 2001
Messages
12,066
I have a problem with my lawn. I have Trugreen spray the lawn and usually it looks great. I have hired a guy to mow this year using his equiptment, this of course after I bought a brand new John Deere mower.:rolleyes: I like to mow it myself as it gives me silence for the period of time I am mowing it but I do not have the time anymore.

Anyways I have these patches of brown grass everywhere which I have narrowed down to something called red thread. I have had trugreen out here a few times to takecare of it and they are coming back out today to meet with the guy who mows. It looks horrible and it's spreading!!! Does anyone know anything about this problem and how I can take care of it? Is this something that the landscaper could have brought here on his mower from another lawn?

On the grand scheme of life it's not that big of a deal but it looks horrible.
 
red-thread03.jpg


This disease is more common with cool nights and wet conditions.(Spring)
It is due to a lack of Nitrogen.
Nitrogen is the first number in a fertilizer annalysis. (10-10-10)

If it is red thread, Tru-green is probably using less Nitrogen, because of the rediculous increase in Urea(Nitrogen) in the past 3 months (Graph)

Not red thread?
PM me
 
Stop peeing on you lawn Steve.:biggrin:
 
red-thread03.jpg


This disease is more common with cool nights and wet conditions.(Spring)
It is due to a lack of Nitrogen.
Nitrogen is the first number in a fertilizer annalysis. (10-10-10)

If it is red thread, Tru-green is probably using less Nitrogen, because of the rediculous increase in Urea(Nitrogen) in the past 3 months (Graph)

Not red thread?
PM me

It,s not quite that dramatic but it does look similar. Pics to follow.
 
Looks like pythium blight.

It needs to be treated with a fungicide.

It probably is not brought from another lawn from your mowers.

Your soil is very wet.
Do you Irrigate?

When the soil stays moist, at night it creates a dark, moist, humid condition, this promotes the fungus and disease.
 
Looks like pythium blight.

It needs to be treated with a fungicide.

It probably is not brought from another lawn from your mowers.

Your soil is very wet.
Do you Irrigate?

When the soil stays moist, at night it creates a dark, moist, humid condition, this promotes the fungus and disease.

It has been raining here all day today, and yesterday and the day before and will rain as long as I live in NY every day. :frown:

Ok I will look up some info on this. Thanks. It look horrible and it is spreading. Looks like mini crop circles. keeping the doors locked at night so I don't have some alien chasing me down with a probe in hand.
 
Wow!! Heathbar0!!! Boy does my wife have a question for you! Love all the expertise on these forums....

I will try to take some pics in a bit, but...

when we moved here, our small, fenced in backyard was nothing but dirt. My wife tilled the dirt, took out all the rocks and planted Scott's grass seed of some sort (high traffic, shade/sun probably) and the grass did really well for a while. Some areas were fertilized accidentally (she thought she bought potting soil for her strawberry plants and ended up dumping out the pots and spreading it around the lawn).

Now there's just bare patches of dirt all over, it's like the lawn is balding. We think some of it is caused by the guy mowing. He waits until the grass is tall and the mower either pushes the grass over, or it pulls it up in clumps. We don't have much say in this other than to tell him not to mow as we rent and the property management company is responsible for lawn care and seems to always take the cheap way out. They use high school kids to mow and give them crappy home depot special gas mowers. My wife just wanted to get a push mower and do it herself.

She was also concerned the pH in the soil is off and was going to collect samples and have them sent out for testing.
 
This thread is as exciting as, well, watching grass grow. :biggrin: I never knew we had horticulture specialists in house.
 
robr:

Everything that is going on there is wrong.

Leaving the grass long in the summer is great for the lawn. It shades the soil, so it retains moisture better, and it shades weed seeds, so the have more trouble germinating. If it is left too long and too much is cut off at one time it is terrible for the plant, plus, if they arn't bagging the grass, the clippings left there will kill the grass.

If they are using cheap mowers, they probably dont do much to maintain them, this probably means dull mower blades. When you have dull mower blades, they scrape the grass, rather than cut the grass. When the grass is scraped, it opens up the plant for insects, and diseases.

The spots that were "accidentally" fertilized...If there are more than 10 pellets in the size of a coffe cup, the fertilizer sterilized the soil, much like a dog does when it urinates, and leaves a spot in the lawn.

Lime is "the workhorse of the soil". Your lawn most likely could use lime. A good visual signal is clover, a low growing weed with little white "pom-pom" flowers...clover likes acidic soil. Fertilizer gets "locked up" in the soil when it is acidic. You can go to most home improvment stors and get a Ph test for $10.

The biggest problem you have is probably the grass seed you are using, it is a common problem. Most seed sold at Home Depot, Lowes and othe home improvment stores are no good, including Scotts brand. When you buy grass seed, 50 pounds should cost you well over $100.00. Most cheap grass seed will contain annual grasses that will die within months. Annual graases are cheap and used to germinate quickly and retain soil.

I could go on, and on.

If you have more detailed questions, PM me I'll give you my # and we can talk on the phone, this typing stuff is for the birds.

DocL: Enough with the comments...it's like pulling teeth.:biggrin:
 
robr:

Everything that is going on there is wrong.

Leaving the grass long in the summer is great for the lawn. It shades the soil, so it retains moisture better, and it shades weed seeds, so the have more trouble germinating. If it is left too long and too much is cut off at one time it is terrible for the plant, plus, if they arn't bagging the grass, the clippings left there will kill the grass.

If they are using cheap mowers, they probably dont do much to maintain them, this probably means dull mower blades. When you have dull mower blades, they scrape the grass, rather than cut the grass. When the grass is scraped, it opens up the plant for insects, and diseases.

The spots that were "accidentally" fertilized...If there are more than 10 pellets in the size of a coffe cup, the fertilizer sterilized the soil, much like a dog does when it urinates, and leaves a spot in the lawn.

Lime is "the workhorse of the soil". Your lawn most likely could use lime. A good visual signal is clover, a low growing weed with little white "pom-pom" flowers...clover likes acidic soil. Fertilizer gets "locked up" in the soil when it is acidic. You can go to most home improvment stors and get a Ph test for $10.

The biggest problem you have is probably the grass seed you are using, it is a common problem. Most seed sold at Home Depot, Lowes and othe home improvment stores are no good, including Scotts brand. When you buy grass seed, 50 pounds should cost you well over $100.00. Most cheap grass seed will contain annual grasses that will die within months. Annual graases are cheap and used to germinate quickly and retain soil.

I could go on, and on.

If you have more detailed questions, PM me I'll give you my # and we can talk on the phone, this typing stuff is for the birds.

DocL: Enough with the comments...it's like pulling teeth.:biggrin:

You know....since my one dog passed away I don't have pee spots in the lawn although I still have a dog that pees on the lawn. The dog that died was male and the dog that is left is female. Does that make a difference?

I hear ya on that cheap grass seed. It comes in fast and is dead soon after. Great for new construction though.
 
My latest is that I have Necrotic Ring Spot:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/p324necrotic-ring-turf.html

Turf place says I need to aerate now because my thatch is too thick and then spray a fungacide.


Aeration and overseeding is the best thing you can do for your lawn, but, not right now. Wait till late September, more rain cooler temps, allow new seed to germinate and grow better. Instead of a fungicide, let the disease kill the poorer types of grass, then in Sept. seed your lawn with a more durable seed, the same day as you core aerate.

Best type of seed to use is Turf Type Tall Fescue. TTTF is a little bit thicker than most grasses, but much more durable. If you look at Steveny's picture you can see two thicknesses of grass, the thinner is Perenial Rye grass, a good grass, soft and nice looking, but not durable in the summer. The thicker grass is the TTTF, **notice the dead grass is all thin Rye grass.

If you live near a "Lesco/John Deere Landscapes" this would be the place to get grass seed.
 
Heathbar0, THANK you very much for your insights, you're spot on on everything. I did make a mistake though when I said fertilizer, I meant manure.
My wife confused manure for potting soil (somehow).

I'll check for the clover presence tonight. We had been considering lime, but wanted to get a soil test done first. Obviously the clover test would be an easy indicator.

So I guess we'll look for a push mower (it's a small yard, probably 500 sq ft), and next year think about getting some quality seed. Is that typically available from a landscaping specialty store or something? Any particular brand you'd recommend? The lawn is heavily trafficked (2 toddlers running all over it) and gets a mix of direct sun a couple hours a day and complete shade the rest.

We were concerned that raking after mowing would also damage the grass, but it doesn't make sense to get a quality mower for a 500 sq ft yard we don't even own, nor do we have any storage space other than about 2' clearance under the back deck.
 
John Deere Landscapes Branch Locator

Go there and ask them for "Team Mates" or equivilent.

Shade most of the day could be a problem, it keeps the soil moist longer than normal, giving you a scene much like Steveny's picture. Dark, wet, humid conditions promote fungus and disease.

How bout a reel mower?

Environmentally freindly, better cut than a gas mower, but dont miss a week.
I used one years ago when I lived in a townhouse with about 1500 square feet, the lawn looked like a golf course after it was cut...reel mowers are what golf courses use to cut their greens, fairways and tees.
 
Man, you are an encyclopedia on this topic!

"reel mower" is what I meant by rotary mower. Not much I can do about the shade unfortunately. It's kind of nice too in that we don't have to deck the kids out in sunscreen and hats when they want to play during the day.

There's a John Deere place listed about 11 miles from us. Do you think it's too late in the year at this point to bother planting more grass this year? (New England).

If we do plant more grass, any thoughts on how long to keep the kids off of it before it's rooted and safe to go on? Can we just plant it over the grass that's already there?

What about raking? Is it damaging to the grass to rake it after mowing (with a reel mower)?
 
John Deere Landscapes Branch Locator

Go there and ask them for "Team Mates" or equivilent.

Shade most of the day could be a problem, it keeps the soil moist longer than normal, giving you a scene much like Steveny's picture. Dark, wet, humid conditions promote fungus and disease.

How bout a reel mower?

Environmentally freindly, better cut than a gas mower, but dont miss a week.
I used one years ago when I lived in a townhouse with about 1500 square feet, the lawn looked like a golf course after it was cut...reel mowers are what golf courses use to cut their greens, fairways and tees.

That is what it throwing me off here. the only bad spots in my lawn are high sun areas. Well usually high sun areas when it isn't raining and over cast for weeks in a row.
 
Man, you are an encyclopedia on this topic!

"reel mower" is what I meant by rotary mower. Not much I can do about the shade unfortunately. It's kind of nice too in that we don't have to deck the kids out in sunscreen and hats when they want to play during the day.

There's a John Deere place listed about 11 miles from us. Do you think it's too late in the year at this point to bother planting more grass this year? (New England).

If we do plant more grass, any thoughts on how long to keep the kids off of it before it's rooted and safe to go on? Can we just plant it over the grass that's already there?

What about raking? Is it damaging to the grass to rake it after mowing (with a reel mower)?


rent a uhaul and find a golf course near you. roll up the lawn there and roll it out back at home. :biggrin:
 
That is what it throwing me off here. the only bad spots in my lawn are high sun areas. Well usually high sun areas when it isn't raining and over cast for weeks in a row.

Its the fact that you are having overcast days and constant sitting water.

One of the biggest rules of watering, is not to water in the evening or at night, you end up getting that dark, wet, humid condition.

Then on top of it you have had many days of rain, with high humidity, this is why you are seeing what you are seeing.
 
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