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 Post subject: I give up !: Brown Patch
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2004 11:10 pm 
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I'm in San Antonio also. I have a 2-year old Raleigh Augustine lawn, about 4000 ft. I'm new to organics, but have gotten into the Gardenville way with enthusiasm:

Each Thanksgiving, I've put about 4 yards of GV compost down. Every Spring I spread the recommended GV 9-1-1. Each Fall, 7-2-2. Last week, I put the Greensand on heavy, 'cause the lawn was so yellow last Summer. I also put in Nematodes to help with Fire ants, etc.

I don't know why, but every Spring and Fall, I do battle with vigerous Brown Patch Fungus. This Spring, I've spread 3- 50# bags of corn meal over the last 5-6 weeks. Today I've got 8-10 foot ovals over 40% of the lawn. Also, I see a lot of yellow blades in the green areas.

I've just been told by a general gardner that I need to spray Fung-Away right away to salvage the yard. I did get this bottle, and with heavy heart, I will spray it out tomorrow on the diseased areas--unless I can get some solid fungus management advise befor then ! (Did see the post about not using baking soda-- may neutralize the effects of the CM).

Would appreciate any and all advice.

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 Post subject: fungus
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 7:31 am 
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Posts: 420
Location: Whitesboro,TX
I certainly don't have answer but would suggest several things.
No lawn problems are worth putting out chemicals. If you have pets they will get that stuff in their bodies.
If you walk into your house the "stuff" Will be on your floors and you and your kids will absorb it when you walk barefooted.
You need someone with knowledge that can help you. You live in GV back door - ask them for advice
Probably need soil test from South Tx -never A & M
That fungus stuff probably will not work and then you will still have that poision in your yard and in your house.
Why don't you call Howard Garrett this am on WBAP 820 AM. You can use www.wbap.com
Robert D Bard


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 Post subject: fungus
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 12:11 pm 
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Location: Weatherford,TX
If the corn meal isn't working on your fungus, you're not losing anything by applying bicarbonate would be my opinion. Howard prefers potassium instead of sodium bicarb. Both will work. By the way, making a corn meal juice and spraying on the affected area would also work and would resolve the concern about neutralizing the corn meal. If you revert to chemicals, you are neutralizing your organic benefits. Regarding corn meal, I would use horticultural corn meal. It has more punch per pound.

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The "soap" you use is normally chemicals, etc. Use real SOAP !!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 12:29 pm 
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Thanks to 2 replies. I did NOT apply the Fung-away, based on Robert's response. Here's what I've done today:

1. Went to GV and got another 50# bag of cornmeal-- spread it, and put the sprinklers on it for a thorough soaking. Will repeat watering later--(From what GV is saying, I made not have watered in well enough, in my past applications !)
3. They advised putting a "compost tea" or "molasses" in later, to help augment the effect of the CM. I did get a 2-gallon jug of Compost Tea.
4. Later this week, I'll get another bag and make a "juice" as KHWOZ advised, for spot treatment-- this concurs with what they told me at GV this morning.
5. This upcoming week, I'll start drenching the circles with juice.
6. Then I'll follow with Sea Tea on the circles to encourage the grass back.

Anything else I should do ?

I've seen in the GV literature that soil testing is a good thing. Is this a good idea ? How do I go about doing this ? Is there a web site ? What are the steps ? Maybe a test would analyze where the fungus susceptibility is coming from (other Augustine lawns in my area are not showing it like mine) ?
Thanks in advance

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2003 10:35 am
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Location: houston, tx
I had a similar experience and found that spraying with HGs suggested rate of Potassium Bicarbonate and then following up with Garrett Juice alternating sometimes with molasses really did help. What I have learned is the period of time for the grass to regain health seems forever because you are watching it so closely. Also, I was working with a lawn that I wasn't that familiar with--it took me a few seasons to see the areas of brown patch were where water puddles in heavy rains. The previous owner, I am sure used chemicals and it only makes sense that the recovery time might take awhile.

I am happy to report progress is being made and encourage you to stay the course. As the warmer weather sets in the grass will begin growing at a faster rate and just be careful about not overwatering. -Susan

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 Post subject: fungus
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:37 pm 
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Location: Whitesboro,TX
Brad:
Tx Plant & Soil Lab
5115 W Monte Cristo
Edinburg, Tx 78541
956 383 0739
www.txplant-soillab.com
These are good people
Robert D Bard


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 Post subject: Brown patch
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
In looking over what you have done the past few years, it occurred to me that St. Augustine can be loved a little too much. I discovered this long ago with my own lawn of it.

Heavy compost plus substantial fertilizer applications every year (note your chosen products are highest in nitrogen vs. P & K) can cause the grass to grow more thickly and cause density that leads slow evaporation, which brings on the brown patch problem. I'd say use a more balanced fertilizer and since you have put down so much cornmeal cut back on the application rate. Also watch the watering so you don't get too much soaking in areas that don't dry out as well. With all you've put on this year, your lawn should be well fertilized at least until late fall. The compost helps the fertilizer go farther. You've made the soil extremely rich, maybe too rich. I'd skip a summer application altogether.

You are on the right track now, I think. I strongly recommend you add molasses to the mix as it will fire up the activity from the cornmeal and compost tea. Lowe's down in your area has molasses for about $8 a gallon, so use it at about 2 oz. per gallon with your compost tea, applying them at the same time. That or a dry application, either will work.

After you have done all this, back off for a while and let the turf rebalance.
The soil test will be well worth the expense and useful in a variety of ways. It's money well spent. K Chandler at Texas Plant & Soil knows his stuff. Best wishes. :D
Kathe


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:31 pm 
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Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
I also recommend Texas Plant and Soil Lab. I saw K speak at an evening garden thing that Malcolm puts on here last year and he's the first person I've seen actually make perfect sense on soil testing.

Before I suggest you change your watering, how are you watering? I've never seen corn meal not stop a fungus.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:14 pm 
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Location: Dallas,TX
I had a bad issue w/ brown patch (or so I thought) last fall and did some heavy corn meal over two weeks. It kept spreading.

Then I did some research -- brown patch does not spread irregularly, like mine was. It was chinch bugs! Two good dustings of DE over a week got 'em cold.

Do you think you have a mistaken diagnosis there too?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:29 pm 
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Location: Dallas,TEXAS
Last year I was throwing cornmeal at what ended up being chinch bugs too. All summer.. :x until Michael Bosco came out and told me that it looked like it was actually chinch bug damage. I think it's supposed to be a bit early for them, but perhaps with the mild winter they're ramping up early.

To check for them you can first try just brushing your hand across an area where it looks like they've been eating. Might be best to check the area bordering healthy grass. As you brush your hand across, look for them moving around at the disturbance. As I understand it, it shouldn't take long to spot them if they're present in force. Move around and check if you don't find any right off.

Another method that I hear works well is to cut both ends off a coffee can, jam it into the turf and fill it with water. If there are any chinch bugs they'll come to the top.

Here's one site that'll give you some more info on them. There's lot's more out there.

Chinch Bugs in St. Augustine Lawns

~Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:09 pm 
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Location: houston, tx
Bill, could you please share your rate of application of the DE? It would be great to have for future needs. Thanks - Susan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:30 pm 
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Location: florida
cornmeal is the answer to ALL problems!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 9:39 am 
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Location: Dallas,TX
greenacres wrote:
Bill, could you please share your rate of application of the DE? It would be great to have for future needs. Thanks - Susan


It was not scientific at all. I just shaked it out of a can all over the brown area, and fringes, till there was a light white dusting everywhere.

I then took a kitchen broom and lightly dragged it across the areas to knock the remaining DE off the tops of the grass down into the base of the lawn.

Avoid windy days!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2003 10:35 am
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Location: houston, tx
Bill thank so much. After taking a look at that website, I am certain some of the areas that I thought were brown patch were chinch bugs. The freeze in the winter months probably helped rid them, but I will be prepared with DE as things get warmer. Did the coffee can thing, but didn't see any--but may have just not been in the right area.

Thanks again - Susan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:46 am
Posts: 22
Location: Rosenberg, Texas
I worked for a chemical lawn care company for several years and the confusion between brown patch and chinch bugs is a very common thing.

I have two questions for you.
1) since the area is spreading, what color is the outer edge? Irregular shape will happen with brown patch as the circles grow and merge.

2) when are you watering your lawn? A.M. or P.M.

Kelly


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