Why is my bermuda dying?

pbguy420August 11, 2014

This common bermuda was seeded June 1st. The rest of the yard is thriving but this one spot turned solid brown and stopped growing, it gets more than. 6 hrs sun, and that can't be the problem because there are spots that receive less sun that are thriving. Water has been hectic due to tons of rain in coastal nc recently so we have got tons... This is nowhere near my other area that had a fungus I posted about and completely unrelated

I used milorganite about 3 weeks ago and 29-0-4 last week

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pbguy420

Close up

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 4:40PM
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pbguy420

Anybody?

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 6:50PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you fertd twice in two weeks??? on 6 weeks old grass seedlings???

dont know where you are ... but i would suggest reflected sunlight is cooking the soil... on seedlings without deep enough roots to offset such soil heat .... with attendant lack of water due to the reflected sun .. all complicated by over fertilization ...

you claim lots of rain.. but i see bone dry white sand at the foundation ..... and i would guess.. the wall is causing the ambient water to disappear ... before the grass can use it ...

personally.. i would not have fertilized grass seedlings.. for up to 6 months after planting ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:02PM
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t_d_harvey(7)

I agree with Ken on the fertilization. The milogranite was probably ok, but such high nitrogen may have been part of the cause. How many times have you mowed the grass? Rule of thumb is twice before using synthetics on new grass.

Did this area ever get high enough to actually cut anything?
Also did this area get enough water to actually get the fert in? Are my eyes deceiving me or is that grains of fert in the second pic? They could be a problem of lack of water to dissolve the fert and burning the grass.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 3:40PM
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pbguy420

I don't think you read what I wrote very well...Well as I said I'm in coastal nc, and The grass is close to 11 weeks old, very well established and was growing 3inch avg per week... It was very healthy.

In the picture the soil is relatively dry, because after receiving 1 inch of rain on average per day for two weeks I haven't watered in a few days.

I used milorganite 3 weeks ago, not two and even at double bag rate it's not enough to hurt anything according to the experts on this site.

Many folks, to include TW and his bermuda bible say you can throw all the N You want at bermuda and not hurt it. Here's another few pics as it appears to be spreading quickly! Please some of you experts like dchall and TW help me out... I put TONS of man hours into this lawn and I'm not going to loose it..

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 4:09PM
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pbguy420

I've mowed 2x per week since about third week in June so roughly 14 mowings, all with a brand new blade, only one in early July was a scalping

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 4:11PM
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pbguy420

That post wasn't meant as snappy btw!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 4:12PM
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pbguy420

Also, it seems all the centipede around it is unharmed, which, as I understand, centipede is much less tolerant to fertilizer than bermuda... So I don't think that's the problem

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 4:24PM
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pbguy420

Since I can't figure out how to edit I'll post another post haha...

Just mowed and the rest of the lawn ( other 90%) is healthier and denser than it's been yet so I really am confused here, can't be over fert bc I am always meticulous to make sure everywhere gets the exact same amount

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:25PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

dont worry about snappish ... i wont read yours that way.. if you dont read mine that way ...

how old is the house.. any chance that the cement is leaching into the soil ...

i see a grade change.. to make proper drainage from the foundation to the lawn proper ...

did you add that soil... do you know its source.. it could be significantly different that the rest of the lawn ...

regardless... 29-0-4 is an incredible nitro burst .. if that is/was the cause.. and its spreading.. i dont know what else to tell you.. besides live and learn.. and perhaps.. not do it again ...

in my MI ... august is not the time to 'expect' pretty lawn .. sometimes it is.. sometimes its not ... up here.. sept is grass time.. warm days and cool nights .... hopefully.. when your clime goes towards fall ... your grass will pick up proper growth habits... and surprise you ...

i wish you luck ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 7:07AM
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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

A friend who runs a lawn business has been grilling me about bermuda dying in patches in Tulsa. Perhaps there is a disease running around?
I usually wish ANYTHING could kill Bermuda, maybe I got my wish ?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 7:14AM
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pbguy420

House is 3 years old so I have no clue about the cement leaching.

I've looked up bermuda diseases and it seems it could be brown spot, a fungal disease that can occur with warm temps, lots of water and fertilizer.

I don't want to try any fungicides until I get more opinions tjo

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 4:44PM
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pbguy420

So what course of action do y'all reccommend? I didn't notice the browning until after the rain. I initially thought over fert, but it's a slow release nitrogen 29-0-4 applied at proper rate. Either way my first course was a good soaking .... Then I started thinking fungus when that didn't help so I've been thinking cutting water way back could help - it's been hot and relatively dry the last week and a half (no rain, but lots of morning few ) ground feels mostly dry in the areas affected...

Should I keep restricting water to the bare minimum (maybe 1/4 inch per week instead of 1''?) or what?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 11:28PM
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pbguy420

So what course of action do y'all reccommend? I didn't notice the browning until after the rain. I initially thought over fert, but it's a slow release nitrogen 29-0-4 applied at proper rate. Either way my first course was a good soaking .... Then I started thinking fungus when that didn't help so I've been thinking cutting water way back could help - it's been hot and relatively dry the last week and a half (no rain, but lots of morning few ) ground feels mostly dry in the areas affected...

Should I keep restricting water to the bare minimum (maybe 1/4 inch per week instead of 1''?) or what?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 4:46AM
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neilaz(9a)

Can you push a screwdriver into those areas without much resistence? Compare to other areas that are green. If the ground is dry like you say then it may just be a water issue.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 11:33AM
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pbguy420

Yes, and if anything it goes in easier ... My soil is pretty airy and soft... Takes nothing to push a screwdriver 12 inches... I missed the driveway a bit today pulling the boat out and had a bit of an ouch moment, now I have a tire track that sunk in 2 inches below the surrounding ground, grass unharmed but I'm bummed about that

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 7:50PM
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pbguy420

Really need help! Problem is only getting worse...

The area is spreading rapidly. I have maintained my watering at 1" week and applied test spots of high nitrogen fert and another of milorganite to see if those helped and neither did... I'm going to have a huge dirt spot come winter if I don't remedy this...

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 2:41PM
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pbguy420

Really need help! Problem is only getting worse...

The area is spreading rapidly. I have maintained my watering at 1" week and applied test spots of high nitrogen fert and another of milorganite to see if those helped and neither did... I'm going to have a huge dirt spot come winter if I don't remedy this...

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 4:01PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Okay it's time to get much more serious. Have you looked for grubs? Dig up a square foot of soil and count how many grubs you see. You don't have to go too deep, because they feed on the roots. If you have more than a dozen grubs, then that WAS the problem. And since it is now almost September, the grubs have finished feeding for the season. You can kill them if you want to but that would be a waste of time and money. The places where they damaged the grass are already damaged and no more places are being added. It will appear that they are continuing to spread simply because the damage they do takes a few weeks to appear.

The other bug to look for is chinch bugs. If you have those, they will be all over you when you're doing the digging for grubs. Check out this video for more information.

I'm not worried about the amount of fertilizer you used. It's bermuda. If you can rule out bugs and disease, and when water and fertilizer can't revive it, it's time for a soil test. If you spend $25 on the Logan Labs soil test and post it back to this forum, it is very likely that morpheuspa will give you $250 worth of consultation based on the test results. Be sure to tell Logan Labs that you are having trouble growing bermuda.

In the mean time you could apply corn meal at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. If it is a fungus, the corn meal should clear it out for you. Corn meal is an organic approach to curing turf disease.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 6:52PM
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pbguy420

Holy crap! Armyworm central! I wish someone had mentioned that before half my lawn died ... No grubs at all in the soil sample I dug up, and I didn't see any cinch bugs but there where armyworms every few inches!!!

From a quick google search I found that ortho bug b gone Max will work... Id prefer organic but want this remedied ASAP, so I don't care to suck it up!

I'm sure the completely brown areas are completely dead and will need reseeding but the areas that are super thin will hopefully come back... What fertilizers are safe on this affected area to get the lawn back ASAP? If like it full before winter comes

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 2:06PM
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pbguy420

Also, what can I use to kill these things on 15k sq ft?

I bought a bottle of bug b gone as a test and applied to the worst affected area, maybe 2k sq feet. But I need to apply to my whole lawn

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 7:34PM
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