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 Post subject: Brown patches in lawn
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:45 am
Posts: 92
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
I am at my wits end. I realize that the drought last year has a lot to do with the greening of a lawn, but this is ridiculous. I live in Ft. Worth, TX, and have been organic since first moving here in 2003. My yard has no weeds to speak of, but lots of brown grass keeps showing up. On the east & west sides of the house, there's a lot of brown amongst the green. Any ideas? I don't believe there are critters (insects) that are making a meal of my grass; there are no septic lines or any other "lines" that would make the browing of the grass. I fertilize as per the Dirt Doctor. Any suggestions would certainly be helpful. I'm even thinking of perhaps bringing in more Bermuda (that's what the builder put down when i first moved there). Help!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 7:35 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 7:33 am
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Location: Plano & land at Dodd City,TEXAS
You could blame it on the 'strange' spring. I wouldn't worry unless it's like this in a month.

You didn't say what type of grass. I'm assuming St Augustine? Previously was bermuda? St Aug frequently has brown runners early spring til it all greens up.

Ours died completely LAST spring. There's a small am't in the front that may be alive. Not 1 runner survived in the back. However, there's a lush carpet of SOMETHING that came up after all St Aug was gone. ??? I'd love to have it but I'm thinking it's rye that will die in the heat.

Patty

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:37 am 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Bermuda won't grow between houses. It needs direct sun for 8 hours to look good. It only does very well with a full southern exposure.

If you have St Augustine, or want to have St Augustine, I suggest you read the FAQ at the start of this forum for more info on organic lawn care. I don't follow hardly any of Howard's advice for my lawn, so there are alternatives that still keep you in the organic mode.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:45 am
Posts: 92
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
The grass is Bermuda in the front & on the sides. I planted St. Augustine in the back (southern exposure ) and that stuff died like it was meant to! However, having said that, some did survive the summer of 2005 and is now growing like gang busters between the houses on the west side. My back yard faces the south (no trees yet), and of course the front faces the north. Still, there's brown between the houses & where there are no houses, adjacent to front yards. Can't figure it out. There's now just enough grass in the back for the dog to do his business, but the rest is now all plants/shrubs and walkways made of decomposed granite.

I'll wait another month, per your suggestion. Maybe I'm expecting too much too soon. But my yard is NOT the poster child for organics! Really upsets me!!!

Thanks to you both for your advice.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:41 pm 
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Okay here are a couple rules of thumb for the grasses you have.

1. St Augustine will grow extremely well in sun or up to half shade AS LONG AS IT GETS WATER EVERY WEEK. If it goes for two or three weeks without water in the summer heat, it will die.

2. Bermuda will grow extremely well in full sun (8 hours per day).

3. If bermuda is left to dry out, it will go dormant but rebound nicely within a week of a good drenching.

4. If bermuda is asked to grow in the shade of any buildings or trees closer than, say, a mile away :shock: , it will suffer. So any bermuda growing on the north, east, or west side of a fence, building, mailbox, or tree will suffer to the point of dieing.

5. Any bermuda mixed in with well-watered St Augustine will die. It may take a year, but it will be choked out by the well-watered St Augustine. I proved this year after year in my stone driveway.

So what is the practical impact of all this? Here it is. If you water the lawn, you can grow St Augustine successfully in your back, front or on the sides. If you do not water, you will have no grass between the buildings or near the house on the north side. You could grow bermuda on the south side with good results.

You might look into the new turfgrass from Turffalo called Shadow Turf. It is a zoysia hybrid that supposedly will grow in pretty deep shade. It is expensive to buy (like all zoysia), but it maybe the perfect grass for you. It will go dormant with no water and it will grow so densely that other grasses and weeds will be forced out. You could start using it by plugging it into your St Augustine where it is thinning and into your bermuda where it is thinning. Then let it spread and see what happens.

If you go with Shadow Turf, please take pictures for us. That grass is very new and not very popular...yet.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:45 am
Posts: 92
Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
Interesting. Thanks for the suggestions. I intent be much better at watering this year. Plus I got that EnviroRaindrops that I'm supposed to use at least once a month. Danged homeowners association won't let you do much with the front yard anyway. But I may have to try that new grass if this other doesn't do what I'd like. Perhaps I'm mowing the Bermuda too high. I'd like to turn the entire yard into plants/shrubs like I'm doing with the back if I could, but that's a no-no.

Thanks again for your help & suggestions. If I do go with that grass, I will definitely take pictures and share.


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