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gle2011

More Confusion from Too Much-Too Little Water or Something Else Link

gle2011
6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago

I returned from vacation yesterday and mowed the lawn. I noticed that the lawn was much longer and greener in the shade areas with no signs of what we believe to be dollar spot.

Please see the photos below.


Left Side yard that is in the shade.


Left Side yard in the sun. Same side yard as above, 10 feet away.

Left side yard shade and sun long range.

Front yard; greener lawn gets morning shade from the house and afternoon sun. Closer to the road gets more afternoon sun

Getting back to the original post.

1. If it is dollar spot do I continue to water the lawn (approx. 1" water per week; adjusting for rainfall)?

2.) Based on these pictures; could it be a lack of water in the sunny areas? Including pictures of the backyard from the previous post?

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/discussions/4720131/too-much-water-too-little-water-or-something-else?n=35

Thanks

Comments (112)

  • Lisa
    6 years ago

    Are these brown spots dollar spot or brown patch? so much Rain this yr I hear a lot of KBG and Rye lawns are getting Diseases this summer more than the norm :/ Idk if I should apply something or not


  • Jack
    6 years ago

    Looks like dollar spot to me, but tough to tell. Some closer-up photos would help identify it. And yes, my lawn is perennial rye and KBG and due to the wet weather and some hot days the sunny areas are getting some rust and dollar-spot. We’re all panicking now but come fall it’ll all heal so fast it’ll make your head spin. I’m going to try Spectracide Fungicide and I’ll let you all know how it goes.

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  • danielj_2009
    6 years ago

    @Joe. Everybody says to aerate like a Pavlovian dog response. I take it with a grain of salt. If aerating fixed fungal problems from wet weather we'd know about it for now. It is a contentious issue. I mean, of you have crappy soil quality then aerating might be a necessary band aid, but if you have good minerals and good organic % with soil life (worms) then aerating probably isn't the problem.

    My soil tests out great and I've never aerated. Lots of people don't. On the other hand, I have a fungal outbreak so take it for what it is worth.

  • Lisa
    6 years ago

    @ Jack would you Treat it if you were me? it's super thick and Green I mow super High once a week @ 3 1/2 inches and never apply any Fertilizer past may EVER!

  • User
    6 years ago

    Yeah core aeration doesn't do anything to fix fungus.

  • gle2011
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    does anyone have a quick easy way to determine grass type recognition; kbg vs fine fescue?

  • User
    6 years ago

    KBG is easy to recognize, it's got a single vein down the middle and a boat shaped tip. It looks like it was folded in half.

    http://plantscience.psu.edu/research/centers/turf/extension/factsheets/cool-season-turfgrasses-id

  • Joe BigBlue
    6 years ago

    The mystery deepens:

    Remember when I said like daniel the are homes in my neighborhood with perfect lawns right now?

    Well, I just spoke to one of the homeowners and asked about his routine. He said:

    "I fertilize in the spring and fall, also do a pre emergent in the spring, and mow high."


    Right, I do all that. I asked him his watering schedule.

    "I water everyday 7am and 7pm for 30 minutes each".

    I said people have told me not to water that way, etc. etc. and now I have a fungus issue, especially with all the rain we've had.

    He said "water anyway".


    Thoughts?

  • Jack
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Definitely don’t water water at 7PM. A lawn going to bed wet just promotes fungus.

  • danielj_2009
    6 years ago

    My next door neighbor owned a landscape company. The irrigated about every other day in the morning. Their lawn was thinner than mine but did not have that brownish look to from dead blades mixed in with the good ones. I assume they used preventative fungicides but I don't know for sure. The new owners have been there about a year and I'm seeing some browning out, though I believe they are still watering frequently. I often see water at the curb in the morning.

  • Joe BigBlue
    6 years ago

    Went to my local nursery. Showed them pics of the lawn and said "what do you think?" Immediately they said "Red thread" which is fungus. I asked for Headway G and they were completely out of any fungus control; they said it's been crazy this year.

  • User
    6 years ago

    If you have red thread an RTS bottle of Bayer Fungus Control from Lowe's should do the job.

  • Ronnie M
    6 years ago

    @gle2011(Zone 5b) I sawy your post of the results for your soil test? I think that's what th at was. I don't bother with soild tests any more cause theuy were expensive and didnt realy help. For the past 5 years I've used Turf Max for my problem spots. It's worked wonders. You should check it out.

  • gle2011
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    thanks ronnie, but turf max is not sold in our area. am i reading the packaging correctly?

    it only covers 48 sq ft at $15 per bag?

  • gle2011
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    After I mowed the lawn last night at 3 1/2". I turned the irrigation system on too adjust some of the sprinkler heads and noticed the blades of grass which were being matted down by the water coming of the heads were probably 5" or longer.Does anyone have an issue with their mower actually riding on top of the canopy?

    Should I drop the mowing height to actually cut the grass at 3 1/2" from the soil line?

  • owlnsr
    6 years ago

    Aeration does help w/ lawn diseases.... if the lawn has drainage issues. A saturated, anaerobic soil is a breeding ground for lawn problems, such as root rot and fungus. It also makes it difficult for the beneficial soil microbes and bacteria to thrive. A thick turf canopy traps moisture, which is normally desirable trait unless there is too much moisture. Thick canopy + poor drainage + summer heat and humidity = problem. It's like opening the door for a burglar... fungus can waltz on in there (along with a myriad of other problems). Aeration will help promote air circulation as well as drainage. Just my two cents.


    Aeration is not a cure. It will not cure a fungus. However, it will assist in alleviating certain conditions that invite problems, including fungus.

  • Lisa
    6 years ago

    I personally would NOT Aerate in this Heat I would wait till Fall and Do it then!

  • dchall_san_antonio
    6 years ago

    It's been a week. What have you done and how does it look?

    Daniel said, "My next door neighbor owned a landscape company. The irrigated about
    every other day in the morning. Their lawn was thinner than mine but
    did not have that brownish look to from dead blades mixed in with the
    good ones."

    It's always interesting to me to see people in the industry who don't get great results. In this case, the frequent watering likely contributes to the poor look.

  • danielj_2009
    6 years ago

    @dchall: I was kind of saying that my neighbor did not have any brown grass. It was nice and green compared to my brown streaked grass. At the same time, though, my lawn was much more dense and thick, I'm sure partly because I mow at 4" and he mows at maybe 2.5 or 3 at the most. I get your point, though. I still think mine looks better even with the brown blades mixed in.

    On another note, I dropped 5 lbs of Headway G on a 1000 sf test plot and watered it in with about 1/2 irrigation yesterday. I'll take pics and will report progress here.

  • danielj_2009
    6 years ago

    @gle re mower height:

    I think we have the same mower and mow at 4 inches. If there is a depression in the ground near your sprinkler maybe that accounts for the extra height?

    This spring I took a tape measure and stuck it in the turf firmly so that it wouldn't settle down any lower. I was amazed at how close to 4 inches the grass was. I was thinking about what you are as well, like the fact that the mower wheels ride on top of the turf while cutting. It is hard to tell the exact height of the lowest part of the blade on pavement, but I wonder if they take that into account already.

  • Ronnie M
    6 years ago

    @danielj_2009(6b) What is Headway G?
    @gle2011(Zone 5b) yeah,
    I thought the same thing too but it’s worth its weight in gold. I’m really
    sorry they don’t sell it near you.

  • Lisa
    6 years ago

    So I just watered my Lawn I know Night watering is not good but the sun is still Out half way on my Lawn so it should dry by late night for the most part...I see brown spots Idk if its from all the rain we had..the PH is off or something idk...I can't wait to cut it on Thur....;)

  • danielj_2009
    6 years ago

    @Ronnie: Headway G is a granular fungicide that treats a pretty broad spectrum of infections. j4 recommended it. It is a little pricey but the active ingredients can be purchased separately and combined for much less if you end up using it long term.

  • danielj_2009
    6 years ago

    @lisa-marie: It isn't only a question of whether the grass will be dry by sundown. The idea is to keep the grass as dry as possible. If the grass gets dew on it overnight then that is one period of say maybe 4 hours where the grass is wet. Now you water in the evening and add another maybe 2 hours of wetness. If you water the lawn while it is already wet with dew you save that 2 hours.

  • gle2011
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    I agree based on everything I have read; that you should not water at night. But here is another example of "what works for you".

    I asked my neighbor across the street in our development (same soil, same type grass blend) who has one of the nicest lawns what his watering schedule was. He told me he waters every other day for 40 minutes per zone on the rotary heads and 20 minutes for his one zone that uses a spray head at 4 am and again at 7 pm.

    Is it luck or just soil and growing conditions????

  • Joe BigBlue
    6 years ago

    Did you read my post about 12 back about one of my neighbor's? Same type of situation.


    I don't know the answer, but I'm getting my soil tested for the first time and hopefully that will get me closer.

  • Lisa
    6 years ago

    It went from rainy days to super Hot and Humid and sun baking my lawn so that is why I watered tonight at 6 pm ;) I am wondering if I should put a fungicide down or not?! I heard Propiconazole works wonders for any kind of Lawn Fungus, as I don't know if I have one and if its dollar spot or brown patch, some of the areas its browning its lower than the healthy grass which is why when I mow it it looks much better... but I like to mow on a high setting always 3 1/2

  • danielj_2009
    6 years ago

    @gle and @Joe: If you recall I posted a pic of a guy with an amazing lawn above. That house is in an area with what I would call dappled sunlight. I think that allows it to thrive in the NJ summer. I think all of us have a situation where our shadier areas of lawn are much greener than the sunny areas. I bring this up to ask the question -- do your neighbors both have full sunlight similar to your lawn, or are they somewhat "heat protected" with a little shade for a couple hours per day?

    Also, @gle, if your neighbor is directly across the street, I bet his soil isn't that much different from yours, barring anything unusual. What kind of grass does he have? If it is KBG I wouldn't be surprised if his roots are growing practically on top of the soil. Maybe you could casually find out when he is away on vacation so you can stick a shovel in his lawn and look at the roots. :o) just kidding but not really.

  • gle2011
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    danielj_2009(6b)

    My neighbors front yard and my back yard basically get the same amount of sun.

    The grass blend looks like mine a mix of KBG and fescues. He basically puts down twice as much water as I do.

    I only water in the morning when I do water, he waters morning and night.

    Hi Joe,

    I did read your post.

    I am starting to believe you have to experiment and do what works best for each unique situation i.e. soil conditions, temperature, rainfall, sunlight conditions etc.

    Thanks

  • gle2011
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I found this on the web FYI; from a company called Rain Maker Irrigation, LLP in Lubbock, TX 79424

    HOW OFTEN SHOULD I RUN MY SPRINKLER SYSTEM?

    Most local lawn experts say that sunny type grasses need anywhere from 1" to 1.25" of water per week during peek high temperature conditions. On the other hand, it is widely agreed that shade tree grass or cool weather grasses require from 1.25" to 1.5" of water per week during the same peek season. Just as with any other topic, there are widely varying as well as often conflicting opinions concerning the frequency of lawn watering in order to most affectively achieve the necessary weekly precipitation. We will take a look at some of the most popular ideas and discuss their pros and cons.

    The first method involves watering 3 to 4 times per week usually 10-15 minutes per spray zone (30-40 minutes for rotary zones) beginning around 3:00-4:00AM. This is the preferred method when the soil profile is of heavy sand or clay. Simply put, water either travels too rapidly through sandy soil or too slowly through clay. It may also be preferable to utilize this method with fescue type grass due to its need to "cool down" after long exposures to high temperatures. The problem with the every-other-day method is that it tends to cause shallow root development due to water not being "pushed" deeply enough into the soil profile. Without a deep root structure the grass is not as drought tolerant and often times more susceptible to infection and disease. It also causes a less healthy thatch which in turn allows more weed seed germination.

    Another common method of watering is watering for prolonged periods of time trying to achieve a much deeper moisture penetration. There are not many advantages to this type of watering. Soil is only able to soak in so much water before it naturally superficially saturates, shedding the excess like water off a ducks back either pooling in low lying areas or running off the property altogether and into adjacent properties, or worse, streets.

    The method I like to observe is commonly known as "cycle and soak". This is where you run each zone up to its saturation point but not past. This "cycle" time is followed by a "soak" time of approximately 30 minutes, which is followed by another run time. You do this repeatedly until you have achieved the appropriate weekly precipitation. As a general rule, most spray heads will put out approximately 1" of water every 30 minutes, whereas it will take about 2 hours of total run time per rotary zone in order to achieve the same amount of moisture.

    I am not sure if I fully understand the "cycle and soak" method.

    What do you think is the amount of time between "cycle" and "soak" times?

    And what is the time between the "soak" time and the "run" time?


  • Joe BigBlue
    6 years ago

    Well I gathered soil for my test kit this morning; a couple of observations:

    -my soil/thatch is definitely compacted. I had to stand on the shovel in order to get it into the ground.

    -the soil from the surface down to 7 inches deep was not dry, which supports the idea of too much moisture leading to fungus, since it hasn't had water in nearly a week and it's been in the 90's....


    gle- yes, I guess we are all trying to figure out what is going to work for our particular conditions....good luck and keep us posted.....

    gle2011 thanked Joe BigBlue
  • danielj_2009
    6 years ago

    @gle: That article is just saying that if you put down too much water all at once you could get wasteful runoff or pooling. It all depends on your soil, slope, and how fast your irrigation system drops water. I haven't found any problems with runoff or pooling. I run each zone for 45 to 55 minutes to get 1 inch. The other method just suggests that you put down maybe half the water, pause 1/2 hour or so to let it soak into the soil, and then run the rest of the water. Some irrigation programs allow you to program in a pause step. If you have a problem with runoff you could try applying 3 oz baby shampoo/Ksf. This will help the water soak in rather than run off.

    @ Joe: regarding thatch, can you take a photo? Water the ground so it is softer, push a shovel in vertically and then push it forward so that you expose a profile of the soil. Take a close photo. Example that I've posted a couple of times already:

    gle2011 thanked danielj_2009
  • gle2011
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    danielj_2009(6b)

    Thanks for explaining the question on the watering.

    The weather in central Mass has temps in the low to mid 90's with high humidity 60 +RLH through the week-end. what next !

  • Joe BigBlue
    6 years ago

    How's it been coming along gle?

  • Lisa
    6 years ago

    Joe and gle how are your lawns doing? It rained all day here yesterday but nice in 80s all next week

  • Joe BigBlue
    6 years ago

    Well its been almost a week since I applied Bayer fungus treatment. Can't see much difference yet. I'm anxious to get my soil test results this week.

  • owlnsr
    6 years ago

    It's been about 3 weeks since I used Bayer Advanced Fungus Control (hose end) and about 2 weeks since I used a manual, step-on core aerator on the trouble areas. About 3 days ago, I used a thatch rake on the around trouble spots and pulled out a literally a mountain of dead plant tissue from a 10x10 area. I put down some Ringer II Lawn Restore to give it a light snack.

    The recovering areas are now contained to just a few spots about 1 sqft where the plants totally have died from the fungus. Everything else is looking like it did in May.

    I think the combination of increased airflow + fungus control + removal of dead tissue + organic feeding has helped in my situation.

  • User
    6 years ago

    Just a comment on fungicide - it will not make things better, at least not in the sense that it's going to "heal" damaged grass. It will prevent further spreading of the disease and prevent healthy grass from getting damaged, but the grass that is currently damaged has to "grow out of it". As the grass grows, the damaged sections get cut off by the mower, and the turf quality improves. Or, if there's a complete loss of foliage, new blades grow from the crown. If the grass is currently not growing due to heat, it's not going to start to look better until it cools off and it resumes growth.

    It is one of the reasons funcides are best applied on a preventive basis, not on a curative basis.

  • gle2011
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    gle update:

    No change here, I think it is a lack of water at this point. The healthiest looking grass is still in the shaded areas and there is more green grass around the sprinkler heads.

    I'd say it's a 50/50 dormant to green grasses. I have increased the watering today.

    This week we are suppose to have rain showers on Monday pm and Tuesday am with cooler temperatures in the mid to upper 70's this week. I am hoping all these things will help.

    We are still a month to six weeks away from a high nitrogen fertilization.

    The canopy layer is thick. I am not sure if it is a waste of time and money to apply water and fertilizer until I get the lawn de-thatched. I think my mower is riding on the canopy. I have noticed after cutting the lawn at 3 1/2" the grass around the sprinkler heads might be as long as 5". Any ideas?

    I have also been noticing a fair amount of dead / dormant grass laying on the lawn surface after making a pass with the lawn mower.

    It's a bit disappointing at this point,

  • Lisa
    6 years ago

    Gle, You can Have Our Rain smh it's non stop here in pittsburgh, thank the lord this week NO rain for once till thur :x so sick of the wet summer its wrecking havoc on my lawns back and front

  • Lisa
    6 years ago

    J4c11, Agree!! If you have a healthy lawn it should bounce back though, I def have a healthy lawn, all this rain is not my fault...and not one to put down stuff unless its needed.. Mother nature is Bi polar this yr ;) ahahhahaa

  • danielj_2009
    6 years ago

    I dropped Headway G one week ago on a 1000 sf test plot. After mowing over the weekend it looks like I might actually have necrotic ring spot. Last week (see above) I was pretty sure I didn't have it. I guess it takes some time plus a mowing for the rings to appear. I applied 5 lbs last time and will add 6 lb at the end of the week per j4's instructions. Hopefully I can turn the corner before the grass becomes really necrotic (ie, dead).

  • gle2011
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Looks like cooler temperatures and an application of starter fertilizer two weeks ago did the trick. The front yard looks the best it has all season.

  • Joe BigBlue
    6 years ago

    Wow, looks great!

    gle2011 thanked Joe BigBlue
  • Joe BigBlue
    6 years ago

    Also just re-read this thread.


    LOL what a bunch of lawn nuts we are! We were freaking out this summer!

    gle2011 thanked Joe BigBlue
  • gle2011
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Hi Joe,

    I am with you. LOL!!!!

    How did you make out with your lawn?

    I think it was a lack of water this summer.

    I have to figure out a good water regiment.

    Starting to think all the rules of thumb have to be adjusted for all of our different weather and soil conditions.

  • Jack
    6 years ago

    Unfortunately my lawn has had some bad rust issues this fall. I used Spectracide Fungicide (concentrate) this summer and it worked really well to get rid of fungus. My only complaint is the longevity. It only lasted for about 3 weeks and then the fungus was able to come back. I just kept spraying every 3 weeks and went through 2 bottles ($24) the whole summer. Not bad.

  • Joe BigBlue
    6 years ago

    gle-

    My lawn came out ok enough....it's green, fungus gone, no weeds, over-seeded in early Sept....

    My last thing to do this year is apply fertilizer late October/early November. Then starting next year, I'm going to try to follow this:

    http://forums2.gardenweb.com/discussions/4826669/a-yearly-guide-for-cool-season-grasses-from-rutgers

    to the letter and see how I make out.

    We're supposed to get a harsh winter in the northeast so let's see how that goes.

  • gle2011
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Good luck..looks like a really good plan.

    thanks for sharing..