Light green grass problem - Help!

yankee_in_va(z7 VA)April 19, 2009

Hi all. I am having an problem with light green grass (or something) in my previously awesome, mostly TTTF lawn. It comes in patches and spreads more and more each year. It also grows faster than the regular, darker green TTTF. Even when it gets pretty tall, it has no seed heads, so I'm thinking it's not Poa?

I'm worried that I have used too many varieties of TTTF fescue over the years, including some blends with KBG in them. Could it just be different varieties of turf grass?

Below are some pictures. Any thoughts on the issue and resolution? Is any more info needed? Thanks!

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I don't think anyone can see what it is from this distance away in the photo but if you cut out a little piece of it and take a closup with your camera against a while background for contrast that will enable the lawncare forum here at gardenweb to identify the species and solution to the problem.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 6:31PM
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yankee_in_va(z7 VA)

Thanks. Here are some closer up pictures. In one I tried to show how it is somewhat brown at the bottom when you pull up a few fingers full of it. Let me know if this helps or if something else is needed.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 7:02PM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

Creeping bent.

Ever notice a golf course, the light green grass where the hole and flag is?

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture of creeping bent here - they match yours too!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 10:55PM
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It looks like poa annua or poa trivialis.

Almost impossible to get rid of unless you use a nonselective herbicide (i.e. roundup) and reseed.

Use a pre-emergent in the late summer/fall to prevent germination which takes place at this time.

Water deep and infrequent in the summer.

There is a product coming out called "certainty" (very expensive)which will be a selective herbicide against this grassy weed.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 10:30AM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

If those light green patches develop seed heads like in the middle top pic, you will know then for sure, and it's already occuring here where I am and I've got it. If not, then it's probably not poa and what's mentioned above. Don't know.

Here is a link that might be useful: poa link

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 10:55AM
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That doesn't look like poa to me. Nor does it look like creeping bent. But I don't know what it is. One thing I do know is that it isn't TTTF so it's a weed and a grassy weed at that so the prescription for killing mentioned above for poa will work.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 12:34PM
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could be grass seeded in the fall that has not reach maturity yet, hence the color?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 1:19PM
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yankee_in_va(z7 VA)

Thanks for all the replies. I never thought of it being bentgrass but it sure does look like that. No seedheads, so no poa. I didn't seed in the fall since the lawn was in such great shape, so not immature grass.

I think a fall pre-m would definitely help, but I missed that window for this year.

Any more thoughts?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 6:23PM
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I would nuke it late summer and reseed just the patches. I'm way north of you, but those kinds of patches up here are almost always poa triv, poa annua or creeping bentgrass. Our bentgrass is not usually that light green so I will guess it is poa trivialis.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 6:29PM
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definitly looks like annual bluegrass (poa annua)Poa Triv will lay flat and will pull out with very short root base..Poa Annua will seed head in early spring and completly take over your lawn...Roundup (the expensive type) not the premixed blue type is the only thing that will kill it..I have hit it with the blue premixed stuff in mid summer to have it come right back weeks later...Airate your lawn every six months and overseed in very early fall,it loves shade,compacted soil and Nitrogen so stop fertilizing with a high N rate...

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 6:36AM
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mooch91(central NJ - zone 6)

I bet it gets real funny when the weather gets warm... not a complete dieback like poa annua, but it grows fast and then lays down on itself, creating dark wet brown clumps inside. My bet is poa triv and I think I have the same thing. I had planned to cut it out in my lawn and sod it.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 8:41AM
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garycinchicago(Z5 Chicago IL.)

>"Airate your lawn every six months"

and bring even MORE new poa annua seeds to the surface so they can germinate. Think about it.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 8:50AM
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yankee_in_va(z7 VA)

Mooch -- You are exactly right!!! Grows fast and then lays down and has brown at the bottom. I'll do some research on poa triv I guess.

Again no seed heads so really likely not poa annua.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 10:36PM
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Certainty - you probably cannot use it because you have TTTF.
Fenoxaprop - might work if the poa triv is susceptible
Ethofumesate - might work if the poa triv is susceptible
Roundup - followed by reseeding

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 9:00AM
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I have what appears to be the same problem. I live on the shoreline of Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. At first I thought it was lack of fertilizer but that was wrong. It started in one small area and is getting larger, even crossing a sidewalk. In the past my tomato plants have suffered from a mold or mildew but that is very visible. The last 3 years, our spring to early summer has been very wet and humid.
Soil is poor, sandy clay, fertilizer and summer watering is mandatory. Grass is slowly converting to zoysia, now covers 80 to 90% of the lawn.
Although not presently visible, I'm wondering if it's some kind of mildew or rust. To that end I'm considering spraying with a mild detergent - hate to use chemicals so close to the water (10 feet and 2 feet up, separated by a concrete seawall).
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 1:03PM
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I see runners (stolons) in the pictures, I'm sure now it is POA Trivialis and NOT POA Annua.

Click on the link below:

Here is a link that might be useful: Poa Trivialis from Purdue Univ.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 9:31PM
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Looks like I'm getting good information here, I too see these light colored, fine blade, quick to go dormant, and brown ground level stems. In the AM, it appears like animals had laid or rolled on the turf overnight.
The patches are spreading and the visual is not good. I seeded my lawn (being in mid-Michigan) with Spartan Grade A 10 yrs ago.
If no other answers come, I'll be using the shovel soon.
Any and all comments welcomed.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 11:16AM
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It is indeed Poa Trivialis, and here's a great guide to its removal: I think that the rake removal may work for the pictured lawn; maybe even a straight edger chopping vertically to slow its growth - probably best to do so before a spring pre-emerge treatment.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rough Blue Removal

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 7:37PM
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Even though this is an old thread, I'll still jump in here. Here in the South, we overseed bermuda grass putting greens on golf courses with Poa Trivialis. Makes a good putting surface through the winter, then dies out in early to mid summer so the bermuda can take over. I don't know of anyone who overseeds bermuda grass putting greens with perennial ryegrass any more.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 8:30PM
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You are correct nearandwest, most golf courses use poa triv (or a mixture of triv, rye, and or creeping bent) to overseed bermuda greens. That poa triv, however, isn't generally what invades northern lawns like the one in the pictures. The one in the pics above is wild type poa triv. Its blades are much wider and coarser, and it grows fairly tall over the rest of the lawn. The poa triv used on overseeding is a highly specialized type. My whole back yard is composed of these specialized poa trivs since I have tons of shade and moist conditions. If you don't cut it at green heights it gets wider and more lawn like, but nothing like the wild stuff. If it was mixed into a tall fescue yard it would also stand out like the wild type since it grows fast and is lighter green. In a monostand like I have it looks very good.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 11:16PM
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And it stripes well, also. Very nice!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 8:13AM
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That is Poa Triv? Wow. Very impressive color. overseeded greens share the same light apple green color as the wild stuff that invades tall fescue lawns, but what you have there looks as good as any tall fescue I have seen, and stripes better! Where did you find Poa Triv seed? I have a largely shaded backyard that isn't growing tall fescue, or fine fescue very well and would like to try it out.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 1:18PM
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The color is a bit misleading as it looks lighter in person, lighter than my tall fescue and different in texture, but if the whole lawn is a consistent color I personally think the shade of green is not as important. Golf fairways are light green compared to most elite KBG cultivars, but I would prefer a consistent fairway colored lawn over a splotchy KBG lawn (of course a consistent KBG is ideal). It isn't a very hardy grass, so if the area gets a lot of traffic it's a poor choice. Also if you live in the transition zone, it might not fare to well in the high heat and long summers. It needs about 2 hours of good sun a day. In full shade it struggles. It also likes water since it has a shallow root system. I am considering an overseed with poa supina, another shade tolerant grass that is lighter green in color. Poa supina does much better in high traffic areas, is very disease tolerant, and spreads quickly as well. Unfortunately it is very expensive, 25-30 bucks a pound. You can find poa trivialis at a number of internet seed sellers, I bought some from Hogan Seed and Chas Hart seed. Outside pride carries poa triv, poa triv/poa supina mix, and straight poa supina.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 2:14PM
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yankee_in_va z7 VAl,
I know this is an old thread, I'm curious what you have done for the lawn. I ask because for the first time in 40 years in the same house this started to happen this year! What I suspect happened is I had for the first time gotten someone to put treatments on the lawn, when the guy came he said he doesn't use a bluegrass mixture for reseeding ... huge mistake (just out of the hospital and wasn't on my toes) anyway the bright green patches are where the sun damage usually is- my neighbor has something like it that grows much faster than the rest of his lawn, these patches don't. BTW some of my neighbors grass started to grow in the middle of my lawn and it took a few years of pulling the crappy grass out, easy because it grew taller than the normal lawn.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 4:12PM
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yankee_in_va(z7 VA)

My bad stuff definitely grew faster than the rest of the lawn, especially during good TTTF growing conditions. I ended up killing a lot of it with roundup and reseeding. It's better now but not completely gone. I could never track down where it came from, maybe from the "wild". Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 9:20AM
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I have the same problem. Can anyone identify if this is poa, if so I will dig it up and re-seed with tall fescue.



    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 8:08PM
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It probably is, but it's too hard to tell from the picture you posted. Usually with triv you will have stolons. Use google to compare what you have to poa trivialis.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 8:43PM
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Tenacity herbicide will wipe it out in two treatments.

Above picture does look more like Trivialis than Annua because it has more a spreading than clumpy look to it and I want to say I see some stolons on that picture.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:17AM
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I know this is an old thread, but Yankee, that light green grass is nimbelweed or nimblegrass. It's light green, pulls up very easy, and turns straw color with the onset of autumn.

I have an issue in my lawn as well with light green grass, though it's not nimbleweed and it's not poa trivialis. Last fall I renovated and laid sod. WIthin the blend of Ky Bluegrass the sod farmer planted, was common KY Blue and Improved KY Blue. That common Blue has more verticle growth and a lighter green color. The Midnight variety in the blend is much lower growing and much darker in color. I'm just disgusted after spending $600 on sod and there's so much common in this stuff.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 8:49AM
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