Please........Need Help identifying St. Augustine fungus or issue

maroruben(9)May 13, 2013

Hi,

I'm hoping someone can look at these pictures and hear my story and maybe help me figure out what to do to save my lawn. I'm in Jacksonville Florida. Over the winter my lawn went dormant and went totally brown. As soon as spring rolled around it started coming back except that the area closer to the road was about 40% dollar weed and the grass was getting real thin in a couple of spots closer to the house. At this point, everything is green again accept that I have the dollar weed and the dead/brown area in the picture. the area seems to be getting bigger. The little bit a st. Augustine that is still growing there is very small, thin, and weak. The area is also completely flat. I did treat with some scott's turf builder weed and feed and that seems to have put a minor dent in the dollar weed but its coming back strong and the grass can't overtake it. I treated for chinch bugs with Talstar and I don't see any of them any more. I'm starting to think that the brown spot may be a fungus? I took these two pictures so you can see how nice the st. Augustine is still growing closer to the house....How I have the growing brown/dead spot....and the dollar weed problem closer to the street. The close up shows where Good St. Augustine meets the brown spot. You can see the runners just toasted. I did pull up some roots to see if they were black and they weren't. If it makes a difference, I haven't fertilized or added nitrogen or anything to the yard in a couple of years. I had a lawn service for a while and they did great but with a drop in income, the lawn service had to go.

If anyone can give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it. At this point I don't know what to do but go to the big home stores and buy some general fungicide to apply. I'm really hoping not to have to re-sod. Thanks in advance!

This post was edited by maroruben on Mon, May 13, 13 at 9:32

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

How often do you water and for how long?
How high/low do you mow?

The weeds can be handled by something like Spectracide with Atrazine. But I would wait until the grass returns.

I have gotten excellent results for fungal disease using ordinary corn meal. It is an organic approach that the experts at Texas A&M swear up and down does not work, but it has worked for me every year since 2002. It is a complete cure in 3 weeks. I am suggesting you try that because corn meal doubles as an organic fertilizer. Your spots don't look that much like a disease, but it could be. If you did not have the really healthy stand of grass right by the sidewalk, it would look more like disease. I would hit it with corn meal at 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet now and again in 3 weeks. If you don't see new grass coming up in 4 weeks, then get a commercial fungicide that works in your heat/precipitation zone - read the label closely to see how to apply and when. Corn meal has no restrictions on how or when. Then once you get the grass growing, zap the dollar weed (I assume dichondra or some other easy weed) and let it grow. And if you have not already raised your mower to the highest setting, do that yesterday.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 12:44AM
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maroruben(9)

Should I take out the dead grass first and leave the bare soil?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 11:01AM
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texas-weed(7A)

If it continues to grow after a fungicideis applied is a good sign it is either Take All Rot or SAD for which there is no treatment.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 6:02PM
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maroruben(9)

If it is Take All, or SAD, is it just a matter of digging up the dead grass and re-sodding the areas that need it, or does the soil need to be treated?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 1:38PM
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maroruben(9)

Here's an update. I applied the fungicide two weeks ago. I applied the Spectracide with Atrazine two days later. The dead areas seem to be filling in and getting smaller. There are runners headed into the dead spots. Also the dollarweed is turning brown and I think has reduced by at least 40%. The round leafs are turning brown but the little stocks are still green. I guess it's still working though. So far so good. Here are a couple of pictures to compare before and after:

This is 2 weeks ago

This is this morning....2 weeks after treating

Here is the Dollar Weed starting to die

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 8:36AM
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