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Old 07-29-2011, 05:21 AM
 
22 posts, read 34,362 times
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I heard brown spot was bad this year. I spend a lot of time and money taking care of the lawn and it usually looks like wrigley field, but in the last two weeks a large part of the lawn has been infected. It's terrible and I don't know if it will come back. I made the mistake of having a company fertilize since we also had red thread disease in spots. I heard that adding nitrogen would allow the grass to outgrow, thereby getting rid of the red thread. Of course we had the two week dry spell with hot weather and little rain. When it did finally rain the other night, by the next day, the lawn looked even worse. I thought some of the damage was caused by too much fertilizer. The whole lawn is irrigated as well and stupidly some of the zones are turned on at night. I've since turned them off, but there is so much lawn it takes 20hrs to water the whole property. In any case, what are my options? We had a little of this last year and it grew back, but this is much worse and dreadful looking.

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Old 07-29-2011, 06:22 AM
 
Location: 3.5 sq mile island ant nest next to Canada
3,015 posts, read 4,875,569 times
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I'm no expert and probably wrong here, but (you knew there was a "but" coming) it looks like it is cut it too short and with all the heat, fertilizer, it burned from the sun. Mine used to do that when I was stationed in NJ. Military wanted the grass cut too close and the lawns on the whole base burned. Do you bag your clippings or let them go back to the lawn? The clippings are the best fertilizer, I think. Just my opinion; yours may vary. Very nice looking yard though other than that.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:44 AM
 
22 posts, read 34,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredtinbender View Post
I'm no expert and probably wrong here, but (you knew there was a "but" coming) it looks like it is cut it too short and with all the heat, fertilizer, it burned from the sun. Mine used to do that when I was stationed in NJ. Military wanted the grass cut too close and the lawns on the whole base burned. Do you bag your clippings or let them go back to the lawn? The clippings are the best fertilizer, I think. Just my opinion; yours may vary. Very nice looking yard though other than that.

yes, I forgot to mention that I was scolded for cutting too short. I'm sure that didn't help.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:22 AM
 
468 posts, read 612,064 times
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I don't mean to be a jerk, but it was also my first reaction that the cutting height was too low. I always mow mine on the highest or second to highest setting.

I'd be patient and simply over-seed the lawn with a decent grass seed mixture, perhaps waiting a few weeks until the bulk of the hot weather season is behind us.

In the mean time, raise up that mower!
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Teton Valley Idaho
7,395 posts, read 11,516,978 times
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jzinckgra, it might a good idea to repost this over in the gardening forum too, if you haven't all ready. It's a beautiful back yard, and I hope you can easily get it back to looking it's best! Wish I had some helpful advice!
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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I'm not sure if you'll till the soil to eliminate the burned areas and plant new seeds this late in the season, but try adding more potassium the next time you fertilize. The nitrogen helps with soil quality (breaking down nitrates in soil-too much could limit some of the soil's natural production) while potassium will help with rate of growth and drought resistance. The potassium with longer cut blades of grass (and even 1 day of moderate watering per week during a heat wave) should prevent that from happening again.

This has happened to my parents' lawn each summer for years even though they water every other day during a heat wave. Their problems all went back to not using fertilizers (at all!) and not buying seed with any degree of drought resistance. We may live in a mostly cold area but Julys are always killer.
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:45 PM
 
17,175 posts, read 22,205,059 times
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i have a brown spot, but i know its because i cut the lawn too low, and with a few days of hot sun,,,,the grass dried up

if you had watered your lawn and not cut it so low, i think it would look differently

if you threw seed down, with hay on top,,,keep it watered, it may come back

also depends on your topsoil- if you have alot of clay it seems to dry out quickly
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Old 07-29-2011, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Kronenwetter, Wis
444 posts, read 973,607 times
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Just today an expert on Wis Public Radio was talking grass. He said a good healthy cutting height is 3".
Can't tell what happened to yours but some areas of my lawn didn't come back after winter so just recently I dragged the areas, to loosen up the soil, with a tooth drag behind garden tractor. Reseeded with starter fertilizer and grass seed and scattered some straw on top. With adequate water, lookin' good again.
If you suspect soil problems, maybe have a soil test done at a university extension office. That's what they always preach here, but I've never taken them up on it.
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Out West
20,682 posts, read 15,463,455 times
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Certainly am no lawn expert as this is my first time ever even attempting to work on a lawn. The previous tenants left the small yard a mess so I ground the soil up, (using some kind of claw thing), got some starter, I think it was called, overseeded it all and since I didn't have any equipment to flatten, did it with my shoes.

The areas in the shade did wonderfully. The areas in the sun did not. Back to the store. Got told where I failed, (not enough water on the grass that got the sun majority of the day), got starter and seed again and redid it...and kept the dogs OFF of it.

It's now growing in, very nicely, I water every day, (unless it rains). It doesn't take a lot of water to keep it up but it absolutely required water every day.

Now I have to figure out how to cure up the yellow spots on the old patches of grass that continue to expand...been fighting that all summer.

By the way, despite the brown spots, your yard is beautiful. I love your landscaping. Giving me some ideas....course, I'm not paying for it, it's not my house but if the landlord wants me to maintain, since no one else will, I think I'm going to run some things by her based on your photos. It looks so neat, clean and orderly.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:39 PM
 
4,285 posts, read 14,149,776 times
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I'll join the crowd and vote in favour of too short a cutting height.

The general rule of thumb says your turf's root system tends to develop in proportion to the grass height; in other words, a higher cutting height results in a a better root system which is able to better withstand drought and disease.

Your turf that's still green looks quite thing from the pictures.

If you're one of those misguided folks who insist on removing all the clippings from your lawn, then stop. Removing clipping from lawn after cutting is simply removing nutrients which came from your soil.

One of the best thing you can do for lawn is to mulch the clippings back into the turf with a good mulching mower.

If your planning on reseeding, wait until cooler, wetter weather arrives in September. Your new grass seedlings will establish much easier if they are not subject to the higher heat values of mid summer.
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