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Old 04-19-2013, 11:48 AM
 
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Here's three pictures of my bermudagrass lawn. I'm trying to figure out if the brown patches are just dormant pieces of bermuda, such as the runners, or if this is what is considered as thatch? I used a dethatching rake pulled up a bit from the grass, but decided to ask around before I potentially ruined my yard.

We have somewhat heavy clay soil, and I've noticed that water seems to sit on the grass, so I'll be aerating the soil as well.



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Old 04-19-2013, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Aiken, South Carolina, US of A
1,794 posts, read 4,441,499 times
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Jsh,
I use a rake and rake it all up every spring. That is dead grass, your grass is awake.
Just a thought, instead of using an aerator, google using baby shampoo on lawn and see
what comes up.
It is awesome! I had to use it last year on my front lawn and it worked!
A lot easier than aerator! I bought a hose end sprayer from Walmart for about
nine dollars, and some plain baby shampoo. Easy, and I had a lot of lawn to do.
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:33 PM
 
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Dethatch away. It's bermuda it'll come back no matter what.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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^^^ as he says, it's dormant dead bermuda grass (thatch) and you should de-thatch it for lively healthy grass. If not you could get a funfus problem.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:05 PM
 
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Well, when I take out all this dead grass, I'll be left mostly with a few green patches and lots of dirt. Should I be taking it down all the way to the dirt for the areas that aren't currently growing?
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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Yep, it'll grow back and cover the bare area quickly as soon as the nightime weather temps hit 65 degrees and climbing. Bermuda loves hot weather. The hotter the faster it gows. Sharpen your mower and get ready.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:27 AM
 
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Yeah, aerate and dethatch, and a little fertilizer maybe. My bermuda doesn't need any of that and still lives. Starts to take over the St Augustine before the St Augustine really gets going for the season.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:54 PM
 
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I have always wondered why people put so much time and energy into removing the dead grass or thatch. This is free fertilizer folks. Plus it adds to your humas layer, builds the soil and cuts down on watering. I have actually collected my neighbors grass and spread it on my lawn . They spend tons of money and my lawn looks just as good.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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Primary reason to dethatch bermuda grasses: Spring dead spot disease can show up each year on Bermuda grass home lawns. This disease becomes evident around green-up time in the spring during March or April in Arkansas (or other areas where Bermuda grasses grows). In this area of the United States, spring dead spot (SDS) is caused by the fungus Leptosphaeria korrae. This disease is considered by many researchers as the most significant disease of Bermuda grass. Several other fungi can cause this disease in other regions of the United States.
Symptoms
This disease primarily affects the root tissues, which causes plant death. The roots and stolons of diseased plants are dark brown to black and are severely rotted (FIG.1). This disease is more prevalent on intensively managed Bermuda grass and appears as well-defined, sunken, or depressed patches that can range in size from a few inches to more than three feet in diameter (FIG. 2). Leaves become bleached, gray, and straw-colored. The dead, sunken patches can often get larger year after year. Typically, symptoms do not appear on newly established grass (less than three years). Patches are slow to fill in. Diseased areas may not fill in until late summer. Weeds that colonize the weak areas will often slow recovery of the turf grass. SDS infection usually occurs in early fall during cool, moist weather, but it doesn’t becomes evident until the following spring. Grass varieties that are subject to winter damage tend to be more susceptible to this disease.
Courtesy University Arkansas Extension Service
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