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Old 09-07-2012, 05:08 AM
 
Location: Long Island
9,440 posts, read 14,160,738 times
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Over a year ago we put down Kentucky Bluegrass sod. Because we didn't get crabgrass that year, I didn't think to put down crabgrass control (pre-emergent) in the spring. This summer the crabgrass was out of control and so I pulled them - the OrthoMax weed killer didn't help much. The grass around it was still green but a few weeks after pulling them, the whole area, about a 15-foot span is now all burned/dead grass. Around that time I had also changed my watering schedule since I read 1" of watering (6" underground) is supposed to be enough for a lawn and deep roots help control weeds. Apparently my neighbors say that doesn't work around here especially with the heat we've been getting. All I'll get is dead grass. They also use landscapers and I guess they put down more chemicals than I do because their lawns are perfect and free of weeds despite watering every other day.

Anyway, considering early Sept. (now) is when I'm supposed to put down "turf builder", what process do I follow to fix this whole patch while maintaining the rest of the lawn? Is turf builder a fertilizer because I read fertilizers dry out the grass even more so I have to be careful. Do I rake out all the dead grass and expose and loosen the soil - I assume that's the very first step. I think I read Kentucky Bluegrass grows in the fall again. So is seeding even necessary or will just the turf builder everywhere do it?

Last edited by ovi8; 09-07-2012 at 05:17 AM..
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:45 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,118 posts, read 5,896,437 times
Reputation: 3535
Quote:
Originally Posted by rh71 View Post
Anyway, considering early Sept. (now) is when I'm supposed to put down "turf builder", what process do I follow to fix this whole patch while maintaining the rest of the lawn? Is turf builder a fertilizer because I read fertilizers dry out the grass even more so I have to be careful. Do I rake out all the dead grass and expose and loosen the soil - I assume that's the very first step. I think I read Kentucky Bluegrass grows in the fall again. So is seeding even necessary or will just the turf builder everywhere do it?
Impossible to say exactly what the problem is without seeing the lawn in person. The grass could be dead or it could be dormant or it could be diseased. Being a cool season grass it should begin to green up / grow back in the coming couple of weeks if it's still alive.

Turfbuilder® is a brand of fertilizer made by the Scotts - Miracle Gro® company. I wouldn't use it on heat/drought stressed turf but perhaps in a few weeks when you see how much lawn is still alive and only on the grass, not on the bare spots (because it won't bring grass back from the dead).

You asked about exposing and loosening the soil, it would help if you were going to reseed or resod areas that have died.

In summary, fertilizer is not an end all and be all solution. Without knowing for sure what the problem is, one can't give an exact solution. You have time to wait and see what happens prior to making plans in the fall to renovate/rehab the lawn. Don't forget about your winter pre-emergent either. You will want to get that down towards the end of this month to prevent annual bluegrass amonst others if you don't end up reseeding.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,794 posts, read 4,471,587 times
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rh71,
Your neighbors were watering every other day?
Your neighbors are giving you a clue.
I have no idea where you live, and I don't know what kind of soil you
have, but if you have sandy soil, you will have to water more frequently.
I would have the dead KBG resodded and set up a sprinkler to
water your new sod every day.
You could reseed it, but sod would be better.
DOn't put any more chemicals on your lawn.
Don't use weed killer on your lawn any more.
Next Spring, when you see the forsynthia blooming
apply your preemergent to your lawn.
Buy a spreader at a garden center and read what setting
on the bag of preemergent to use to spread it on your lawn.
THere are numbers on the spreader and it will tell you what
number on the bag.
Do you have a sprinkler system?
It seems you have a watering problem for your lawn.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Long Island
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I do have a spreader (which I did turf builder with in the spring) and a sprinkler system... I had just set it on manual and watered 1 or 2 times a week instead, based on what was told to me from various sources about the lawn only needing so much water to promote deeper roots (less weeds). I set it back to every other day when we went on vacation and it just got worse. Only the area where most of the crabgrass was has died though. If I had left all the crabgrass intact, perhaps my lawn would at least still be green.

Just attached a pic from my window. Bottom part of that pic is the bush in front of the house - don't confuse that with something on the lawn. The slightly higher patches are the remaining crabgrass. The dead grass there may as well be hay... that's the kind of texture it is at this point. Don't think it's coming back... so rake up and re-seed? I don't think I'm going to re-sod just before winter comes - maybe in the spring if this is still bad after fall finishes.
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how to get my lawn green again-2012-09-07-11.46.01-desktop-resolution  

Last edited by ovi8; 09-07-2012 at 10:01 AM..
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:34 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,118 posts, read 5,896,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rh71 View Post
I do have a spreader (which I did turf builder with in the spring) and a sprinkler system... I had just set it on manual and watered 1 or 2 times a week instead, based on what was told to me from various sources about the lawn only needing so much water to promote deeper roots (less weeds).
)))

Not just less weeds but less disease. Disease stressed turf cannot stand up to heat and drought nor can shallow rooted grass from too frequent brief waterings. It's kind of a vicious cycle. Once you start over watering, you're stuck overwatering.

(((
Quote:
Originally Posted by rh71 View Post
I set it back to every other day when we went on vacation and it just got worse.
)))

Well that's why that happened.

(((
Quote:
Originally Posted by rh71 View Post
Only the area where most of the crabgrass was has died though. If I had left all the crabgrass intact, perhaps my lawn would at least still be green.
)))
I still see a lot of grassy weeds in the picture. You could have less than you think when that stuff dies.

(((
Quote:
Originally Posted by rh71 View Post
Just attached a pic from my window.
)))

Hey how about that! That brown spot is the perfect spot to plant a tree.
It's like mother nature left a Post It note right there on your lawn that says "Hey plant a tree right here".

(((
Quote:
Originally Posted by rh71 View Post
The dead grass there may as well be hay... that's the kind of texture it is at this point. Don't think it's coming back...
)))
Teh dead grass blades won't be coming back but if you've had established turf there it has energy stored in the roots and can send out new leaves (blades) when soil temps tell it it's safe to come out. (Maybe!)

(((
Quote:
Originally Posted by rh71 View Post
so rake up and re-seed?
)))
Again, I'd wait and see what happens with it. You still have plenty of time to put down some seed. KBG is rhizatomous by the way, it creeps and will fill in some bare spots on it's own.

(((
Quote:
Originally Posted by rh71 View Post
I don't think I'm going to re-sod just before winter comes - maybe in the spring if this is still bad after fall finishes.
)))
Don't make that mistake again. Spring planting on the east coast is just setting yourself up for headaches and the requirement for extra diligent watering.

In summary, wait and see what happens. Plant a couple of trees in your front yard, you can use the shade and privacy, I can tell from the photos. Areas that don't come back can be overseeded if necessary. Lets also be honest with ourselves here. In terms of adaptability, KBG is going to be marginal on Long Island. It's going to require a lot of upkeep for a relatively short period of glory in the fall and spring. Get that wallet out and prepare to throw lots and lots of money at it.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Long Island
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^ you know what's funny? We did plant something right there in the middle of the dead spot... you can sort of see it in the pic. My wife bought it and said it will only be about a 15ft span and not terribly tall - planted it last weekend. I wasn't for it, but shade doesn't hurt either - but I think we're many years away for that.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:30 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,118 posts, read 5,896,437 times
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Well when it does, mature trees will add more value to your property than the greenest of green lawns ever will.
Remember that.

Where I live the homes that kept their value the most during the housing crisis are in neighborhoods or lots with mature trees. So much so that many of them (I'm talking super expensive homes) don't even have a lawn because it's too shaded.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:09 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 7,219,264 times
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Bluegrass is susceptible to several summer time diseases. Your watering schedule, the weather on LI this year and underlying soil conditions probably all contributed to the process. It looks a lot like Summer Patch Disease or the similar Fusarium Blight. Here's a start on understanding what it is and possible treatment strategies: http://ccesuffolk.org/assets/Horticu...-Turfgrass.pdf
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Old 09-09-2012, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Long Island
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thx for the info on summer patch - looks like it describes what's happened.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Long Island
9,440 posts, read 14,160,738 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cittic10 View Post
Again, I'd wait and see what happens with it. You still have plenty of time to put down some seed. KBG is rhizatomous by the way, it creeps and will fill in some bare spots on it's own.
I understand now that bluegrass is a hassle but it's a bit late for me to go back on that.

Getting some additional advice from Home Depot people. First they said the reason for the browning is because I disturbed the roots by pulling up the crabgrass. Another said to use a fungicide that controls Brown Patch etc. and it will also help with Summer Patch. Not sure if it will be of any help at this point but I'll try it and wait a week for anything else as it instructs. The fungus is not a one-time thing and will likely happen again next year so this regimen can't hurt.

The other thing said was that once sod is dead like this, it's done. I'm supposed to rip up the browned sod and get into the soil underneath where I should flatten out and put starter fertilizer and then some Pennington seed (Scotts EZ Seed is hardly pure seed). Then I can throw some of the ripped up sod on top of it to prevent birds from getting at the seed, plus it helps keep water in.

See the thing with waiting a few weeks to see if this sod will regrow is I'm thinking I'm missing the time to throw turf builder on top if I wait any longer.

- fungicide to whole lawn (random brown spots on the rest of the lawn in addition to the large patch in pic)
- wait a week, then do starter fertilizer / seed to brown areas & turf builder to rest of lawn

Seems I shouldn't fungicide the sod that I'm going to rip up anyway...? Oh such problems. Should I rip it up before fungicide then?
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