It is currently Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:35 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:17 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:02 pm
Posts: 3
Not sure what happened to my grass. I cut it at the length we normally use. It was looking good and green all summer. It started raining the last time I cut it, so it was wet, that is the only thing that I did out of the ordinary. Any ideas?


Attachments:
tn2.jpg
tn2.jpg [ 22.47 KiB | Viewed 1304 times ]
tn.jpg
tn.jpg [ 21.31 KiB | Viewed 1297 times ]
photo2.JPG
photo2.JPG [ 212.48 KiB | Viewed 1308 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 39
Location: San Antonio, Texas
See if it pulls right up (and has no roots attached going dowmwards into the soil). If so, it is possibly grub worms eating the roots. You can dig ~ 6-12 inches down and usually find the little boogers if that is what is killing it. Controlling / killing them is down with beneficial nematodes.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:27 am
Posts: 16
It is highly likely that this is St. Augustine 'Take-all' fungus. It can rapidly kill and entire lawn ...I had to replace mine with six pallets of new sod.

Look up this fungus on internet for solutions. 'Fine' chopped (verses regelar longer stemed) Peat Moss is often recommended, as is Hu-More, garden corn meal, or sulfur.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:30 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:02 pm
Posts: 3
Roots are still in ground and hard to pull up. Weird how spots under tree are fine? Heat?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:27 am
Posts: 16
Then, suggest you take your pictures, sampe of diaseased grass, description of how hard it is to pull up, along with your results information below - take this to a professional grade gardening center that has Certified garden people - not just wal-mart or home depot.

Do two things before: first, 'pull' up some grass from Another area of the grass that shows no sign of problem, pull up some sample pieces of grass from problem area, then 'compare' the difficulty of pulling healthy grass to that in the area of the unhealthy. There may be a difference in what we are desribing as being 'difficult verses less difficult', and your assessment of difficulty.

Next, wet an area within the damaged area - then dig a one foot square piece of grass - carefully, so that you can replace the 'plug of grass' back where it was. Dig it about four inches deep.

If you find six or more grubs within that area, you probably have a grub problem, if so dig one more in the area just make sure. If you find only one or two in each spot, then it probably is not. Give this info to your garden person.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:37 pm 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Where do you live?
How often and how long do you water it?
What fertilizers have you used this year?
Have you applied anything else to it this year?
Have you applied compost recently and if so, where did the compost come from?

_________________
David Hall
Moderator
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:27 am
Posts: 16
I live in the Fort Worth area, North Richland Hills.

I replaced all the grass in the back yard, because it All dead after this last winter. I put down 4 pallets new St. Augustine. The prior fall I had put down winterizer fertilizer, maybe heavier than I should have.

I watered deep, at least 30 minutes, twice a week for about a six weeks after I put it down. Now I maybe water once a week deeply, less lately since we had a good amount of rain.

I read this site and will now start using more organic fertilizer.

However, I now have several two foot spot in the back yard that have it again. So now I only water when it really needs it. I am trying to find the right thing to put on it that will stop it. I also have it starting in the front yard. I am considering getting a bunch of coffee grounds from Starbucks and thinly spread that on some test spots to see if the acid in that will stop its spread - yet I do not know if that is the right thing to do. Would appreciate advice on that approach if you have experience/opinion on do that.

Hope that answers some of your questions. Thanks for your response and suggestions.

...Mike


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:53 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:39 pm
Posts: 71
Location: Dallas, TX
D, It looks like heat stress to me. It's pretty common in late August, early Sept. in areas of direct sun.

Unless you've been watering daily, it's not the time of year for fungus problems, but if it is Take-all, the roots will be black instead of white or light brown.

Take-All usually gets gets a leg up when the lawn is stressed and damp, like when somebody uses too much winterizer before a very wet winter! :lol: Don't feel bad, McGee, I've been there too. And if I may suggest don't, "start using more organic fertilizer" but stick to a strict organic program only. Doing a little organic and a little synthetic will often negate the organic benefits.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:02 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:27 am
Posts: 16
EAnton, Thanks for your reply. After reading this site and the advice here in, I am going to stop using commerical fertilizers and find things that are organic which I can maybe better control diseases and improve its thickness and health.

In the past couple of days, I have spread coffee grounds on a few of the spots where I think I have Take-all. In addition, on few Different spots, I am going to try spraying some diluted milk products, including milk on some spots, and yogart on other spots.

I will post later if I find any success using any of these.

..Mike


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:00 am 
Offline
Moderator
Moderator

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm
Posts: 2884
Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
I asked questions that would lead to some more obvious issues. It seems like your watering is fine. It does look like heat stress but with that watering, probably not. Unless this is an area of very shallow soil on a mound facing south or west, it is probably not water/heat stress. You did not mention anything you might have applied that would affect your background microbes. Assuming you did not use any fungicides, sulfur, heavy sulfates (like ammonium sulfate fertilizer), or baking soda, then the only remaining culprits are critters or fungus. In any case what is done is done and you're not going to be using herbicide or chemical fungicides, so lets move into an organic program.

It also sounds like you have been doing your reading here on the site. That is GREAT! Basically you cannot over apply until you get up to 40+ pounds per 1,000 in one single application. Many people I know go above 40 pounds but they are willing to suffer through a period where the air around the garden is "whiffy." It has a fragrance of decomposing wet grain. However, after weeks/months of applying a lot of grain, the microbes in the soil will populate enough so that the whiffy smell does not happen. These guys are approaching 1,000 pounds per 1,000 square feet per season. That is a LOT of soy bean meal. In fact it is about a pallet of soy bean meal per 1,000 square feet. Call them crazy (I do!!) but it works for them. You should see their lawns.

Coffee grounds have about the same affinity for the antifungal microbes as corn meal does. As you know, used coffee grounds are free but they are a little more difficult to deal with because they are wet. If you come up with an easy way to dry them or to apply them, we'd like to hear about it.

_________________
David Hall
Moderator
Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:27 am
Posts: 16
The pictures of my St. Augustine are not those that you see in the beginning of this thread, or anywhere in this thread. However I have spread some coffee grounds, but it does not seem to have helped (maybe even finished killing what little was left in those 2' x 2' areas).

I mixed them with an equal part of playbox sand, to try to create a way to evenly spread them and not to put too much on a small area. The areas are slowly spreading into different spots.

I am hoping that maybe the coffee grounds will have a positive effect over the winter and come spring the grass will come back in those spots, or the ground become healthy enough that the remaining grass will grow Into those areas to fill them in. Guess time will tell, otherwise I will have to re-sod these areas, again.

I have not yet tried the milk or yogart mix on any of the areas, which I want to try maybe this next week.

Another thing I am going to try is to simply make a coffee 'tea' and spray it onto the problem areas instead of putting the grounds directly on them.

As far as 'drying' the coffee grounds, the only way I can think of doing that is to put them onto plastic and air dry them - but then I have the problem of not having enough space to spread out a large area.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:52 am
Posts: 56
Hi,

You are obviously doing much research on TAP. I had this problem a few years ago. Before discovering this forum, I found this article on the Neil Sperry Website. I did use Peat Moss as a top dressing on my SA. Unfortunately, my SA was in such a stressed state from synthetic products and some mistakes I made that it could not be salvaged. I am not sorry that I used the PM. It did help my soil. This was my first step to then becoming organic. You have been given some excellent suggestions in the previous replies. Going organic and improving your soil is so important...healthy soil means healthy turf. It might take awhile, but the results are amazing! Hang in there!

Char Harris
Flower Mound, TX

(The article below)



Take-All Patch


Big sections of my St. Augustine lawn started thinning and dying over a 3-year period. It was gradual, and it seemed to be most prominent in the heaviest shade. I just assumed the grass wasn't getting enough light.

Late in a fall, however, the problem began to invade areas that received direct sunlight. I knew there must be something else involved. Knowing he had done pioneering research on take-all patch in St. Augustine, I contacted Dr. Phil Colbaugh of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station. He is a skilled plant pathologist whom I have known for more than 30 years. His work is impeccable, and I knew I needed to revisit his findings on take-all patch. Sure enough, Phil's descriptions matched up with my turf right down the line. Further, he confirmed the presence of the fungus under a microscope (see his photos of my grass runners).

Phil's recommendation for take-all patch for the past several years has been to put down a 1/2-inch layer of acidic organic matter, preferably brown Canadian peat moss. Break the peat into small pieces and distribute it evenly over the grass. It is best if you mow the yard first, and you will need to water thoroughly after the peat is spread to settle it to the soil surface. That acidic layer, in contact with the runners, retards development of the fungus and allows the grass to regrow strongly. Take a look at the "before" and "after" photos and you'll see the incredible difference that happened in just a few weeks of spring growth.

Two questions Dr. Colbaugh gets frequently (including from me):

"How often will I need to repeat this process?" He says one treatment of peat will probably remain effective for up to three years.

"Why can't I use agricultural sulfur, since it develops into sulfuric acid when it becomes wet?" Phil says sulfur is too soluble and is too easily moved by heavy rains. Peat, on the other hand, stays put.

I am a real believer in this treatment. I must admit it sounded too odd to be useful when I first heard it. As much respect as I have for Phil Colbaugh and his research, this one seemed to be over the top. Well, I was wrong, and the results are absolutely astounding. No small coincidence in this guy's name: Thanks, Dr. Phil, for saving my lawn's life.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:09 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:27 am
Posts: 16
Thank you for the article from Dr. Phil; wonder if he has an answer for handling a wife, and two daughters :)

I have not yet tried the spagnum moss, although that is my next attempt. I am trying different things on different spots, although this late in the season, I may not see the final results until spring. Just don't want replace All my St. Ausgustine in my back yard again next spring - put down 4 pallets this spring. I laid the first two pallets myself (I am 64), and hurt my back - spent over $100 on doctor bills, so I hired the next two pallets to be laid down by someone else, for a $100 - it was a wash on money, but without the sore back.

I am going to try mixing up a batch of water and milk, and so old yogart from the frig. that has passed its 'use by' date. One of these Has to work - I hope. Eventually, I will report back here as to what did work, or which ones did not work.

Also, I have it starting in the front yard now, in a location that Is in the sun.

...Mike


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:52 am
Posts: 56
Hi Mike,

I totally understand what you are going through with your yard. We have been in our home about 15 years. We started off with Bermuda grass. It started failing as our trees grew larger (too much shade). Plus, each home in our subdivision has a drainage problem.

We eventually fixed the drainage problem by installing french drains. We started laying SA under our tress and it did great. Evenutally we replaced all our grass with SA. I did make mistakes. Too much watering late in the day, mowing too short and of course, I was not organic. Our SA decline started about 4 years ago when we had a very wet Spring and Summer. I felt like I was the Typhoid Mary of 'The Fungus.' I all them all! I became organic the begining of this year. It was too late to help the back yard. We did research on a new form of Bermuda called Celebration. It is more shade and cold tolerant then the Bermuda we previously had. The back yard florished! We replaced all the damaged SA in the front yard at the same time. I then started spreading CM once a month. This definately helped. I still had blades of grass that would eventually turn yellow and die. Not much, but enough to bug me. We are also in our early 60's. I love working in my yard BUT I am slowing down. The backyard was doing so good and looked so pretty. So we had the SA in the front replaced with Celebration in April. I now spending my time and money putting down organic soil ammendants that I read about here. Our ground use to be so hard. To dig a hole was impossible. I had to use a pick to first break up the soil. Saturday, I took my husband outside and had him stick a long screw driver into our grass. It went in easily up to the handle. No resistance. We went to our neighbor's yard and we could not penetrate the soil. That is progress! Our next project is to spread a compost top dressing on the yard. And then I think we are ready for winter!

We are so thankful that we did make the decision to change grass. Many of our neighbor's SA yards are now running rampant with brown patch. It arrived when our nights became cooler. Of course, they are not organic!

Best regards and good luck!
Char Harris
Flower Mound, TX


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:27 am
Posts: 16
Char,

Happy to hear about your success and improvement of your grass. Also, it is good to know that there is a more shade tolerant bermuda - Celebration.

My back yard is now 100% St. Augustine, so I will 'try' to keep it that way - I like SA so much better, but not if it is going to continue dying.

My front yard is about 25% SA, so if it contines to die, I will replace it with your Celebration.

What is 'CM', can't seem to figure that one out - so many abbreviation now-a-days. :)

Beside CM, what other organic material have you been putting on to make your soil much less hard. I have that problem on much of my front yard.

Thanks for the suggestions and information.

...Mike


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by eWeblife