need help fix brown spot and other problem

devhnhSeptember 9, 2013

My lawn was replaced as new in 03/2013. I dont remember what kind of grass (which i ordered from homedepot). Someone can tell me what is of grass from picture. I will upload other close up photo. In May, i spread mix of fertilizer and week killer. Until June, i found many brown spots.
Other problem: Until July, i found a different kind of grass growing taller than my new grass. From the picture, you can see brighter green color which is a different kind of grass growing faster than my new grass. I dont know if these are old grass. Should i kill them or just leave?
I will upload a detail picture later today.

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Lawn pictures come out better when you take them in the shade or on a cloudy day. Also if you can take pictures of the grass blades from about 3 inches away, that usually makes it easier to identify.

Where do you live in California? It's important.

Did the new grass go in as seed or sod?

What is your watering regimen (duration and frequency)?

What fertilizer did you use? Do you remember what rate you applied it?

What weed killer did you use?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 9:16PM
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More detail images:

Where do you live in California? Orange County (Southern California)

Did the new grass go in as seed or sod? SOD

What is your watering regimen (duration and frequency)?
Once/day every other day right after install new sod. Since i found brown spot, i turn on once/day every day a week

What fertilizer did you use? Do you remember what rate you applied it? What weed killer did you use?
I used Scotts 43.75 in. H Snap Spreader:
with this weed and feed:
I dont know the rate i applied. But i remember i did spread more at some spots

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 2:38AM
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someone help me pls

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 1:17PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

The old grass is coming back. That looks very much like St Augustine. It is coarse bladed and very dense when cared for properly. It will die if you stop watering, but that will also kill your other grass. St Augustine also gets diseased very easily. You could try covering it with one sheet of newspaper and watering the paper so that it goes limp and clings to the grass underneath. Then put something on the paper to hold it there and moisten it once a day. Just moisten it. When St Augustine cannot breathe, it gets diseased and will die from that. If you don't do something, it will take over your new lawn. Also most broad leaf weed killers with 2,4-d will kill St Augustine. Or you could spray it with vinegar (but that will also kill your other grass). You could flame it out with a weed flamer. In any case, everywhere you kill out the St Augustine, the new grass will have to be replaced. The new grass looks like Marathon sod. Once the St Aug is out, then you can piece in some new sod.

You're watering waaaaaaaaay too much. The problem is you can induce a disease in all your grass. Where are you in Orange County? It makes a difference if you are in San Clemente, Trabuco Canyon or Anaheim. If you are on the ocean side of the coastal ridge, then you should be watering no more than every 3 weeks this time of year. And you would be getting close to monthly watering. Back away from the water it would be more like every 2 weeks unless you have temps above 90 every day.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 10:02PM
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When I put new sod, I removed and rolled out old grasses. Why does it come back. I don't want to replace whole lawn when I just put a new few months ago. So far they spread like 5ft square area
Can I use my hand to pull up these? or spray closer to root spot?
I live in Anaheim. I currently turn on water 13 min/ a day at 9pm on everyday. Did you mean watering 1 time per 2 weeks? then how long? Are you sure? My neighbors have like 2-4 times a week

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 3:17PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Your watering is very typical...and wrong. Your neighbors are wrong too, but again, it is very typical. When I say, wrong, I am talking about daily watering being in violation of the accumulated wisdom of this and other forums including lawn gurus from across the country. Daily watering is the wrong way to do it. How did yours get that way? Likely as not your sprinkler installer set it up to demonstrate the really cool programming features of his system! They do that 95% of the time. Then it is up to the homeowner to either deal with the consequences (weedy lawn subject to drought) or else make the corrections. And yes, I'm sure. Some people have cured all their lawn problems simply by changing from daily watering to weekly in the summer.

I should point out that you cannot make that transition cold turkey. Your fescue will really suffer if you try. I would start by skipping a day or two to see how long the grass takes to look stressed. It will change color slightly looking a little darker when the grass blades fold together. When that happens, water immediately and preferably in the early morning. Put out some cat food or tuna cans to determine how long it takes to get a full inch of water. That is your target time to water. It could be as little as 20 minutes or as long as 8 hours depending on your sprinkler system. Every system is different. Water a full inch and see how long the grass goes before turning dark again. Watch it carefully. As soon as any part of it looks dry, water. It will not take long in Anaheim to get back to infrequent watering.

Yes water one time every 2 weeks. Eventually. One full inch applied two times per month should be good until your daily temps fall into the 70s. When you are consistently in the 70s, then fall back to once every 3 weeks. When it drops into the 60s or below, monthly is plenty.

Here are the problems with daily watering. First of all the water is only sinking in to a depth of 1 inch. If the soil is bone dry deeper than that, then the roots will only be 1 inch deep. If you go on vacation and a sprinkler head breaks off, you could return a week later to a dead lawn. I just returned from 3 weeks away and my grass was fine (I live on the edge of the Texas desert - about the equivalent of Temecula, Corona, Riverside, Redlands, Hemet, etc). In fact I have not watered in a month with temps in the high 90s. Rainfall on my property has been about 3/10 inch over that time. But when I do water, I water for hours and hours. Sometimes my hose timer sticks and it gets 6 hours instead of 4 hours. What that means is my roots grow that much deeper. My grass roots are probably 1-2 feet deep.

The other issue with daily watering is weeds. The way you are watering you are encouraging new weeds to come in. Weed seeds need daily water to germinate. If you only give them weekly, or every other week water, then they cannot germinate. I do have some weeds in my lawn, but they were there when I bought the house. It has about 3/4 acre of land surrounding the house and driveway. The actual lawn is about 10,000 square feet and there is about 15,000 square feet of no grass. However, since I started doing what I'm doing, I have gained about 2,000 square feet of new grass where the St Augustine has expanded.

So back to your lawn and the St Augustine. Anaheim. So you understand your heat versus, say, Huntington Beach (5 degrees cooler and more moisture in the sea breeze) where some don't even have air conditioning. If you do nothing, you will have a full St Aug lawn by this time next year. I should have mentioned digging out the St Aug. It digs out beautifully. It is easy, has shallow roots in your situation, and will not come back once you get it out. There are no seeds to worry about.

For motivation, here is a picture of a Kentucky bluegrass lawn in Huntington Beach.

He waters once a week, mows every week at the mower's highest setting, and fertilizes only using Starbucks used coffee grounds when he remembers to do it - about 3x per year. It's interesting in the Google Earth view of his neighborhood, his yard stands out as the greenest on the block. Here's that view...

His neighbors are more conventional with watering (too frequently, not deep enough). Also they mow at the mower's lowest setting. Don't know about their fertilizing.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 4:23PM
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Thanks for your time pointing out. Yes they grow shallow like above new grasses. I plan to dig out these roots. After that, i want to do fertilize next week, can you suggest me which kind fertilize should i use to fix brown spot ?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:29PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Okay back to the original issue. You have brown grass which is likely caused by too much water. It could be a fungal disease that killed the grass. Or it could be drowning by cutting off the air to the roots. In any case that grass is likely dead. Can you post another picture of the brown grass taken at a distance of 3 inches? And can you take it in the shade so we can see the grass with no shadows? Often we can see the fungus if there is any. It will also help identify the grass.

I suspect this grass is a type of dwarf tall fescue called Marathon. It is all the rage in SoCal. If so then the grass will not spread by itself to refill the dead grass or the places where you pull out the St Augustine. The only way to get that grass back is to bring in more sod or find Marathon seed. There are three different Marathon grasses. They are Marathon, Marathon II, and III. Each one is dwarfier than the previous one. If you can visit with the people at Home Depot, they might be able to tell you which one they sell - or even if it was Marathon. If you mix Marathon III with Marathon, you'll notice a difference.

If you want to be very safe in fertilizing, then use an organic fertilizer. It will be safe no matter what you're doing with the grass. Beyond organic, I cannot advise you. I have not bought chemical fertilizer in over 10 years. Organic fertilizer is hard to find in SoCal. My favorite is alfalfa pellets (rabbit chow). Here is a link to feed stores near you. Call around to get prices and availability before you make the drive. They are scattered around.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:53PM
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Please take a look pics of grasses in the link included.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grass pics

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 7:42PM
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I just uploaded few pic in previous post

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 9:28PM
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Do you think these grasses in pic are same as new grasses? I dont want to pull wrong one. It seems to me too much water cause short grasses are brown completely. What do you think?
More pics:

Here is a link that might be useful: Grasses detail pictures

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Can someone takes a look my pics and give me solution please . Thank in advance.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 2:19PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Sorry devhnh. I've been busy at work. I have a weird schedule working Tue, Wed, and Thur, but I do have 4 days off then.

I'm confused. All that grass in the close up pictures is St Augustine. On Sept 10 you posted a picture that looks like fescue in the background and St Augustine in the foreground. Am I misinterpreting that picture? Once I'm squared away on the primary turf, I can help you better with the weeds.

The pictures you posted more recently are all St Augustine. Most of them show fungal disease lesions on some of the grass blades. That is due to watering too frequently.

St Augustine spreads by sending out runners (stolons) outt across the soil and through the existing grass. Sometimes it will sent a long runner out over top of the grass. That picture on Sept 10 looks like it has one or more of those runners. You can just mow those off if you like.

If your lawn is St Augustine it should be mowed at your mower's highest setting. When you do that it will crowd out most weeds, use much less water, and need less fertilizer. I am experimenting with tall St Augustine much higher than 4 inches. Most of my lawn is between 12 inches and 32 inches. Parts of it I have not watered at all since last year. One part has not been watered since Oct 2011. My house is at the edge of the Texas desert and we're in a fairly serous drought. So the point is you do not need to put all that water on if you let your grass get up taller (St Aug, especially).

So which is your grass and which is the weeds you're trying to get rid of?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 2:23PM
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:) fortunately i have not removed all grasses you mentioned. From the first picture, what concerns me why there is 2 different color of these St Aug. There is small part light green and grown on top and taller than other parts of my lawn, while other around are dark green and shorter. So I thought there are 2 different grasses. It make my lawn uneven height. I will mow and picture again at far distance so you can see their difference.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:45PM
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please identify both grasses if they are the same or not?
Also how do i fix brown spots?


Here is a link that might be useful: grasses

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 6:02PM
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someone help me pls

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 12:16PM
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