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Monday, August 29, 2011

My Lawn Is Watered Enough It Has To Be Bugs!

Q. Do I have a bug problem? Spots in various areas of the lawn. I water enough.

Lawn suffering from a lack of water. Brown areas are
undefined and kind of run into each other. Pattern
of damage is related to the irrigation pattern.

A. So if you believe you water enough let’s go ahead and eliminate the possibility that you underwatering, overwatering, and getting even water coverage over the entire lawn through a properly designed and installed irrigation system.

That system should have what is called head-to-head coverage (water from one sprinkler should be throwing water all the way to the neighboring sprinkler) and a pressure regulator should be on the system so that water pressure at the sprinklers is not excessive. This helps prevent misting due to excessive water pressure.
This is the lawn disease called "summer patch". It has a
definite pattern to it. Kind of horseshoe-shaped
or the brown damage has a green patch in the center.
 Can you see the pattern?
Brown spots from watering problems usually occur in the same spots year after years and do not “move around” in the lawn. These spots are usually either next to the irrigation heads, halfway between heads or along the edges of an irregularly shaped lawn.


 So now that we have eliminated those problems since you water enough let’s move on to “bugs”. “Bugs” will usually include either insects or diseases. In tall fescue, the most commonly planted lawn grass for homeowners here in our valley, this is the time of year for disease problems. The most common lawn disease right now is summer patch and often accompanies our “summer monsoon” season.
Here is "summer patch" when you look
at a bunch of the running together.
We say the pattern has
"coalesced" resulting in tufts of green
grass growing in among the damage.
The spots start out as brown patches about 8 to 12 inches in diameter and frequently shaped like a partial circle or horseshoe. As this disease advances these brown spots blend together, if there are enough of them, into a wiggly or “snake” pattern of brown, dead grass. If you look at the green grass in amongst the dead grass, the green grass will be in circles about six to eight inches in diameter.

Make sure you are watering a few hours before sunrise, giving the lawn a chance to dry out as the sun comes up. Mow at 2 to 2 ½ inches in height. You can apply a fungicide that includes summer patch disease on the label and follow label directions.




5 comments:

  1. NO TUFFS GROWING IN BETWEEN DEAN GRASS JUST A SNAKEY LONG PATTERN THAT STARTS AT THE FLAT PART OF MY LAWN AND WINDS ITS WAY ACROSS AND DOWN A SLOPE. WOULD THAT STILL BE CONSIDERED SUMMER PATCH, SINCE THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO GREEN GROWN ANYWHERE IN THE MIDDLE. REST OF THE LAWN IS FINE AND THE DEAD GRASS RECEIVES SUN BUT SHADE ALSO.
    THIS IS MAY 6, AND WE HAVE HAD A VERY WET SPRING SO FAR.

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    1. Where is this lawn, what part of the country? I have readership on this blog from all over the world. Summer Patch is common in southern Nevada, US, on tall fescue during summer heat and particularly when humidity rises due to "summer monsoons". Send a picture to Extremehort@aol.com. If you have an active Extension office in your vicinity, contact the office and see what problems are likely in your part of the world.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. I am stumped. I have a great lawn for the most part but every year I get this patch of lawn that near dies out during the heat of the summer. Its getting water. The patch started out the size of 9" dinner plate and slowly got bigger. Now its seems to be effecting an area about 30 feet away now. its like its growing and starting earlier. Those areas will slowly die out then come back. I could deal with the smaller spot because it would always come back and stay good for most of the season but like I said its getting bigger and starting earlier.

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    Replies
    1. I am responding to this like you are living in southern Nevada. There are several possibilities here.This includes insects, diseases or a soil Problem. It sounds like it is in the same spot every year. That pretty much eliminates Insects.This leaves disease, irrigation or soil problems. It is possible to be a disease problem, particularly if it happens the same time each year. In advance of when you think it's going to happen, apply a fungicide to the lawn. Fungicides are chemicals which help prevent diseases, they usually don't cure diseases.
      Your post says the area gets water and I'm sure it does. But the next question, Does it get enough water?The area can receive water but it might not be enough water because the irrigation system never applies water evenly. If these spots are between irrigation heads, it could very well be the area is not getting enough water. Some areas will get enough while others do not. This is because the irrigation system does not apply water evenly. You can check this by putting some coffee mugs in some green areas and a couple in some of the problem areas. Turn on the sprinkler system for 10 minutes. Check to see if the same amount of water is in all the cups.If cops in the green area have more water than cups in the Brown areas, this really points to an irrigation problem.. The next thing you can do is punch some holes in the lawn with an aerator. You can buy hand aerators Online or in nurseries.They take a little longer and give you a little workout but they work good. These hand aerators should pull cores out of the soil, not punch some holes in the lawn. You should aerate your lawn once every couple years anyway at least. If it's water, you need to change out the nozzles on your sprinkler heads.

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