Lots of dead grass blades

mrbigelowJuly 17, 2014

Had the back yard sodded last year when we moved in. This spring, everything was looking great. Aerated, overseeded and fertilized. Then, all of a sudden, it started to die off a bit. Not sure if it was too much fertilizer, maybe from the heat....not sure. Couldn't tell you how much fertilizer I put down, but it was a little extra than the recommended dose.

Anyways, now I have a lot of dead grass blades and its thinned out quite a bit. Any suggestions on how to move forward? How to get rid of this and get it back to thick and plush?

One of the pictures from above shows the section closest to the house. This is dark green and VERY full. Its where the dog pees. We water the spots every time she pees. So its of course getting a lot more water and fertilizer (pee) from the dog. These spots look awesome.

I fertilized again about 2 weeks ago, but used a spring time fertilizer instead of the recommended weed and feed.

That's where we're at.

Thanks for the help!

This post was edited by mrbigelow on Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 19:50

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morpheuspa

Your mower blade needs sharpening. Just FYI.

It looks like it could be a little bit of dry weather shock, in which case it'll reverse itself in September when temperatures cool and rainfall can keep up with evaporation.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:40PM
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mrbigelow

Brand new lawn mower as of a month ago, but thanks. ;)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:14AM
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polyguy78(z8OR)

Can you send along a picture showing a nice section of the entire lawn? The close ups a good one, but I'd like to see what the lawn really looks like. Looks to be a KB lawn, but plz confirm. I think I can help.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 11:56AM
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mrbigelow

I believe it is a Kentucky Blue, yes.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 2:17PM
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sahara145

I have this exact same issue with my 2 year old KB lawn and would love to know what the reason is and what can be done about it as it takes away from the attractive color.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:09PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Please click on polyguy78's name and check his credentials. He's a professional lawn guy. Nice!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 11:08PM
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polyguy78(z8OR)

Here's my take........Very much looks like a very mild case of Brown Patch. Note the light colored patches in the picture and the dark colored lesions on the leaves in the close-up. It's not unusual for KB to exhibit mild cases exhibiting these light colored patches, especially if the cultivars have decent resistance. All too often we see pictures of devastating BP on TF. With KB most often not that bad. Read up on Brown Patch on KB and see what conditions favor it and become familiar with the foliar symptoms. If you're over-watering or have the lawn pumped up on N, you're predisposing the KB to the disease. Back off and change things up. Hope this helps. PG78

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 12:17AM
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baconk5

I have new sod that is about 3 months old and it is doing the exact same thing. I water often, but it doesnt get any better. I thought maybe I had a dull mower blade, but it is still sharp and doesnt seem to be tearing the leaves. The lawn doesnt seem to have "patches", but it is all over like the pictures posted. I put some plain fertilizer on that had high iron (5%) in it, but it didn't change the lawn one way or the other. Whats next? Wait it out? Or would a fungicide work?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:55PM
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baconk5

I have new sod that is about 3 months old and it is doing the exact same thing. I water often, but it doesnt get any better. I thought maybe I had a dull mower blade, but it is still sharp and doesnt seem to be tearing the leaves. The lawn doesnt seem to have "patches", but it is all over like the pictures posted. I put some plain fertilizer on that had high iron (5%) in it, but it didn't change the lawn one way or the other. Whats next? Wait it out? Or would a fungicide work?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 4:17PM
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polyguy78(z8OR)

Regarding Iron: As so many blenders use inexpensive iron oxide or oxysulfate as their iron source, typically granular iron is a waste of money Unfortunately many fertilizer products have these ineffective iron sources added so we pay for it and move on! If you're looking for color from Iron, consider the foliar applied liquids or look for granular products containing iron sulfate, iron sucrate, or iron humate. The sources of nutrients including Fe are always on the label, so check it out and see what's being added.

As for treating w. fungicide, I'd only go that route if you feel you might start losing grass. That being said, if you want to give one a shot, consider a broad spectrum granular ( as in controls many diseases ). Granulars are also easy to apply. Arysta has a nice one called Disarm. Possibly Morph might also chip in with a recommendation. You also just might want to purchase a small bottle of a general purpose fungicide and try a small area. Often those products are inexpensive, broad spectrum contacts, but it might be enough to knock the disease down for a week or two. This would allow you to potentially see some improvement and help make for an informed decision on application. Good fungicides are not inexpensive and at best effective for only 3-4 weeks. Hope the comments are helpful.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:25PM
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morpheuspa

>>Regarding Iron: As so many blenders use inexpensive iron oxide or oxysulfate as their iron source, typically granular iron is a waste of money Unfortunately many fertilizer products have these ineffective iron sources added so we pay for it and move on! If you're looking for color from Iron, consider the foliar applied liquids or look for granular products containing iron sulfate, iron sucrate, or iron humate. The sources of nutrients including Fe are always on the label, so check it out and see what's being added.

Tru dat. Although iron oxide can be useful if you're looking at the very long-term, you're not going to get much immediate green-up. If any. Iron oxide is most available in very acidic conditions, which shouldn't describe our lawns.

I do like Milorganite. The source is iron sulfate and iron chloride (one of the few times I don't mind a chloride, although I can't say I'm completely happy with it). It even seems to work on moderately alkaline lawns, and at 4% it's a pretty good hit of iron (which is, after all, a trace element).

There isn't a thing wrong with foliar iron applications, and I keep iron sulfate and ammonium sulfate on-hand for just that purpose. With my slightly gimpy shoulder (ah, advancing age), it really only gets done once per year at this point, at the end of the growth season. It keeps the lawn dark green all winter.

I don't generally recommend most chelated sources of iron unless pH is in an appropriate range for them--generally 7.0 to 7.7, depending on the chelate. Above that, they're much less effective. Below that, they're really spendy when a standard source would do just as well.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:44PM
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morpheuspa

>>Possibly Morph might also chip in with a recommendation.

Sorry, missed this. My take on fungicides is sparingly and only as absolutely required.

You might catch me in September, spraying the zinnia with Rose Pride to combat the powdery mildew they're about to develop as nights cool and dampen. That's really my only general use.

If you have a disease running rampant, then that's "absolutely required." I have no specific recommendations, except that you can also test the following formula in one small area:

In a one-gallon sprayer:
1 Tbsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1 tsp liquid dish soap or spreader sticker.

Spray the entire plant just like any other fungicide. It's extremely broad spectrum, so I dislike using this except in small areas and very rarely. It'll take down most fungi.

Next spring, apply 20 lbs per thousand square feet of cracked corn or corn meal (cracked corn is usually easier to handle and flows well through a spreader). That'll give you a modest level of protection against fungal infections next summer. If it's a great summer for them, they'll still take off, but this tends to knock the top off how bad they get.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:50PM
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