Lawn turning brown after rain

newhomeowner-2009August 9, 2009

So I'm in the Catskills, and we've had a few blessed days of sun until today, when we had rain. So the rain stopped and I noticed that the grass is yellowing in spots. See photos below.

Except for mowing the lawn (minimally, as recommended on this board) I haven't done anything for the past few week. No fertilizing, no application of weed killer (though I need it as you can see) and no watering, as we've had a ton of rain recently.

So I'm wondering what's causing this and what, if anything, I need to do.

Below are views of three different sections of the lawn:

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

If you have had plenty of water, the only two other reasons that grass turns brown is fungal disease or insects. You might dig up a full square foot of the sod somewhere where it is browned out looking for grub worms. They are about the size of your thumb and have a C shape. If you have more than a dozen in the 1-square foot area, then that's the problem and you can treat for grub worms. If you have a lot fewer, then the problem is disease. The problem with treating for disease with chemicals is that you have to figure out which disease it is or you'll get the wrong treatment. One of the reasons I started gardening organically is that the treatment for disease is usually the same: corn meal. Yes, ordinary corn meal (like what you cook with) grows a predatory fungus that kills the disease fungus. It takes 3 full weeks to work but it works most of the time.

I see you have a mix of grasses and plants (weeds???) in the lawn. One of the excellent reasons to have a mix is that not all the grass or plants will be affected by any single disaster. You can probably leave yours alone and it will fill back in with something. You might consider sowing Dutch white clover seed over the entire lawn. It is a hassle free ground cover, especially when mixed with other grasses and plants.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 6:35PM
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Well, it is a mixture but of grasses and weeds, or at least I imagine so. I bought the house last year.

We definitely have grubs, as some mole holes have popped up over the past week. I'm going to treat them with an anti-mole castor oil solution that has worked pretty well in the past, and also some Sevin spray for the grubs.

But here's the funny thing. The red color that I saw yesterday is gone, and while not green it is now a kind of pale greenish-yellow.

Today we have hot and sunny weather. Might that have had something to do with it? Here are before and after pictures from roughly the same area.

Here's yesterday. Note the redness of the grass toward the bottom:

Today (camera pointed a bit higher:

Notice that the deep redness is gone from the grass at the bottom of the picture. This might be because of the sun angle or something. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 12:09PM
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You could have PRG mixed in your lawn, if so, without fertilizer during the summer it stops growing. Once that happens and rainfall follows for an extended period of time, Crown Rust.

Most of the Northen grass mixtures are comprise of Bluegrass, Fescue, and Perennial Ryegrass.

If you are experiencing a wet summer, you can fertilize now at 1 lb per 1,000 sf. Then water or wait for Mother Nature to water for you and in a few days to week you should see some green up.

However, if you do not have PRG mixed in, then your bluegrass or possibly fescue could be infected with another disease.

If that's the case, your best friends are going to be September and Fertilizer.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Well, I'm really not sure what kind of grass I have planted there. I just bought the house last year. It may well have PRG mixed in, which would explain why some of the grass is yellowed and some is not. I had assumed it was mainly fescue.

By "September and fertilizer" do you mean waiting until September to fertilize?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 3:05PM
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My daughter has had new lawn laid, blue couch, and it has all gone brown after the heavy rain we have had of late. She lives on the Gold coast, Worongary, as she is a pensioner in a housing commission home she can not afford to spend too much. Please advise on a mimuial cost effect thay will help to bring the grass back again. Thank you.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 7:54PM
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