ID warm season grass

phasedweasel(7b)July 28, 2014

I am trying to ID the warm season grass in my backyard. I would think it's Bermuda grass like my front yard, but the leaves are less bent and it doesn't seem to put out above ground runners. However it does spread underground d to previously grass free regions. I think it's too thin to be St. Augustine, Centipede or Zoysia? Here it is pictured below. The yard is ~50% shade, heavy clay and acidic.

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Here it is compared to my other Bermuda lawn and what I think is a blade from a patch of zoysia.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:13PM
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Removed less useful image.

This post was edited by phasedweasel on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 10:52

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:15PM
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Tall Fescue

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:30PM
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Can it be fescue? It's a warm season lawn for sure - it doesn't turn green until maybe late May, and it's the last lawn in our whole area to green. Before then it's a uniform tan / brown.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:09AM
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Pretty sure it's tall fescue. If you can take a closer picture of leaf blade and tip and the growing point where the new leaf emerges I can give a 100% positive id. I really don't think its a warm season grass. The grass is not st.augustine, bermuda,centipede, or zoysia

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:45AM
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Thanks - I'll get another picture this evening. By the way, what would you expect the yearly cycle of tall fescue to be in North Carolina (piedmont region)? It lies fully dormant until May, and is basically on the same green / dormancy cycle as my bermuda front lawn. It is also vibrant green all summer, no matter if it's drought and 100 degrees. Finally, I saw tall fescue was described more as clumping and having erect tillers, whereas this grass diffuses out pretty easily to new areas by rhizomes (I believe).

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:02AM
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While I'm thinking about it, I'll add another piece of information: I'm trying to ID the grass because I'm trying to solve either a brown patch or large patch problem. We've been in the house about three years now, and the entire time a circle of dead grass has been growing the backyard. First year it was maybe four feet across, now it's probably about twelve feet across. There's an ~1 ft "border" zone of green but less happy grass in the patch, and then dead grass / dirt. The very center (~1 ft) does have some grass which has recovered.

Brown patch is a disease of cool season grasses and is treated in the summer, the season of disease activity. Large patch is a similar fungus but afflicts warm season grasses, and is active in the fall and spring. Last year I sprayed fungicide weekly for about a month (chlorothalonil, not the best I know) with no change in July. This year I've been keeping a closer eye on the patch development, and I have found no signs of fungal activity in June or July. I was planning to use Disarm G in the fall when the temperatures were appropriate.

Cultural history: aerated in June, limed in June, fertilized lightly in June with a bermudagrass fertilizer with no phosphorus. (Lawn pH 5.0 before lime, phosphorus way too high at 92, potassium 46). The lawn is very gently sloping and receives direct sun 9 AM - 2 PM.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:09AM
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Sorry screwed this one up. Not tall fescue sorry about that I did not see the first pic. I think your right, looks like zoysia. Can you post a pic of the area hats giving you trouble.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:57AM
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Sure - I'll do a leaf emerging, a leaf blade and a brown spot shot this evening. My local garden place could not name the grass. Their best guess was Bermuda that was growing very leggy in the shade, but all my front yard shaded Bermuda has more curve to the leaf when its long.

It also grows upward very slowly - I only mow the yard maybe once a month at most. It's prone to a thick layer of thatch right on the soil. I don't have any seed heads that have come up this year at all, even in the areas it's spread to at the side of the yard. I cannot remember what the seed heads looked like from previous summers.

It's weird that it's such a thin blade for a grass that must be warm season.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:46PM
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A better detail of the grass:

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 8:59PM
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Here is the largest and oldest spot (3 years, maybe tripled in size):

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:00PM
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I was just wondering if anyone had any insight into which warm season grass I have yet. I remain baffled by the soft, narrow leaves which are almost entirely straight, and the lack of above ground stolons.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 10:51AM
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The only thing I can really tell from your last picture is that the new leaves are rolled. Zoysia and Buffalograss are the only warm season grass that have rolled leaves. You have way to much shade for buffalograss to persist also its stolons are very easy to see. As far as texture goes Zoysia is fairly fine bladed for a warm season grass only bermuda and buffalograss are finer than zoysia. If we can agree that this is zoysia we can move on to trying to fix the problem.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:48PM
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Thanks! I always thought of zoysia as coarse bladed - goes to show what you can learn.

Now that the grass is ID'd, I started another thread to discuss the disease.

This post was edited by phasedweasel on Fri, Aug 1, 14 at 8:40

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:57PM
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