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What is wrong with this yard

Posted by bluephi1914 8 (My Page) on
Mon, May 5, 14 at 7:50

new to lawn care.

but i have been applying pre emergent to get control of the crab grass problem that i previously had and it seems to have worked pretty good; however i now have another problem. grass is brown in areas and in those areas you can see the roots and even the dirt.

Not sure if its insects (mole crickets, grubs, etc)

any suggestions for the more experienced lawn care members.

i live in Georgia (Atlanta area) and this is bermuda

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What is wrong with this yard

more pics

RE: What is wrong with this yard

a lot of thatch in the yard

RE: What is wrong with this yard

Blue, only you can determine if this is a pest, and which one(s) it might be.

Contact or visit your local extension office to find out how to scout for grubs and mole crickets, webworms and other arthropods. Nematodes are another possibility to consider. It's not the time of year to test for nematodes in your location but the damage is accumulative.

An expert may be able determine if a fungal disorder is the problem, and which one. A hand lens is all that is needed.

Don't forget to evaluate your own maintenance practices. Improper watering, fertilization, compaction, chemical applications, etc., can all contribute to the decline of turfgrass.

RE: What is wrong with this yard

What is a hand lens and extension office.

RE: What is wrong with this yard

A hand lens is a magnifying glass or something along that line.

There is a national system of county Cooperative Extension Services offices which advise on gardening and agricultural topics. Search here to find your local office and contact them (they're your local experts on pests and other garden issues):

This post was edited by missingtheobvious on Tue, May 6, 14 at 11:03

RE: What is wrong with this yard

Ok, thank you so much. I googled extension office and it came up. I thought hand lens was referring to a camera.

I didn't want to have a service come out because I didn't think they would be honest or they would charge me hundreds for a $50 / problem.

RE: What is wrong with this yard

That was likely not thatch but just the way bermuda looks when dormant.

How often do you water and for how long?

How high/low do you mow?

How often do you fertilize?

RE: What is wrong with this yard

I did not mow in the winter months.

I fertilized twice from December to March... once with pre emergent and the other with weed and feed.

During summer months it's cut twice a month.. with a zero turn on the highest setting.. I've only cut it once since last summer.

I watered once a week during the summer, but we got allot of rain... some of the watering was at night

RE: What is wrong with this yard

I realize this is an old post but I feel like nobody addressed your final post. I'll go one by one to try to help you this year!

>I did not mow in the winter months.

You should try to mow in the winter when there is no snow. Most people raise their mower height one notch for the winter and then lower it again for the spring.

>I fertilized twice from December to March... once with pre emergent and the other with weed and feed.

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Pre-emergent is not really fertilizer and you should select another fertilizer for Bermuda. Weed and Feed is good for other lawns but most people don't like it for Bermuda, and if you don't pick the right bag, it'll actually hurt it severely.

Use a high nitrogen fertilizer and apply 1lb of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft.

>During summer months it's cut twice a month.. with a zero turn on the highest setting.. I've only cut it once since last summer.

During the summer months is when Bermuda REALLY takes off. You need to drop your mower to the lowest setting. Common Bermuda should be cut from 1" - 2". Keeping it at 1.5" or lower will require mowing AT LEAST once a week. I mow every third day or so.

What you need to figure out is how dedicated to your lawn you want to be. If don't want to mow so much I suggest you mow higher 2.5" - 3". Bermuda does not thrive at this height and will not grow completely horizontally but it's better than scalping your lawn by cutting too low every time. Only cut off 1/3 of the blade length with every mow.

>I watered once a week during the summer, but we got allot of rain... some of the watering was at night

Most of the time you don't want to water at night because it could lead to fungus. Mornings before 10:00am is the best time for deep watering. About 1" of water every week or so should be good for your general area.

I really hope this helps. Like everyone else will tell you, find the Bermuda Bible online and follow it.

RE: What is wrong with this yard

We had a much colder winter this year both in your area and here in Texas and Bermuda likes it hot. Once soil temperature reaches 65 degrees it 'wakes up' and proves why it is considered one of the most stubborn 'weeds' in the world.

Cutting Bermuda high in the Summer when it is hot can help reduce watering needs and shade out weeds but scalping it (lowest possible setting) early in the year and keeping it very low until it fills in will make it grow much thicker and get rid of that mixture of thatch and woody stems that are so unsightly when you cut, it will also 'warm up' more quickly. If you start out very very low then raise the blade a bit once it starts taking off.

Do this when it is DRY!

A couple other things: If you want the DEEP dark green apply ironite or Milorganite (I do my lawn organic 'ish' and use milorganite for the iron and slow release nitrogen.

Do you have a Dremel? If so, be sure to sharpen your mower blade as often as you are willing to spend the three minutes it takes to sharpen it up. The sharper your blade the less 'ripping' and stress on the grass.

Let your clippings lay on the ground to decompose as this will help improve the soil and retain nutrients for the soil.

A cheap and easy way to jumpstart things would be to run by Lowes and get a gallon of the 'Horticultural Molasses" in the organics section. Once you scalp you get a layer of dead stuff and a few ounces of molasses in a pump sprayer with 2 gallons of water sprayed on it will accelerate the decomposition and improve your soil.

I'm not an organic 'zealot' by any means - the stuff just plain works and happens to be better than the chemicals.

One reason to train it very short early in the year is that the thicker you get it, the less you have to mess with it later in the year - Bermuda will get so thick that it 'chokes out' weeds and the thicker it is the slower it grows vertically.

I clearly have a disorder and keep my Bermuda much lower and more manicured than a sane person would because grass time is my think time but what I listed above works. There is more you can do if you are so inclined but I kept it simple as it sounds like you don't particularly want to make it your hobby to maintain a putting green ;-)

If you want to go a bit further, spread something like 'Black Kow' composted cow manure over it after you scalp and that will also accelerate the decomposition of the dead stuff and jumpstart things. While the grass is mostly dormant and very low is a good time to see where your lawn is not level - filling in the holes with a top dressing of compost and sand makes for easier and more uniform mowing and a better looking lawn as well.

A trick for 'leveling' I started using after spine surgery (lugging soil and breaking up soil with a garden fork not exactly recommended after bionics added to lumbar area) is to get one of those high pressure nozzles at your hardware store and literally 'blast' the little 'hills' when you water. This is a very lazy way to break up some compaction of the soil as well.

My way actually makes your lawn look worse for a couple weeks but if you did this as soon as we dry up from this weeks deluge I bet your lawn looks fine by June 1 and will be better than you've ever seen it by mid June.

RE: What is wrong with this yard


turns out this was brown patch...the watering at night probably caused or helped this.

the pre emergent was crabgrass pre emergent.... the other was weed and feed.

I am going to download the Bermuda bible as suggested and get the right fertilizer for me.

RE: What is wrong with this yard

Yard is looking much better. I applied Scotts fungus control twice... and the turn around has been very pleasing.

i raked over the affected areas first then put down the scotts, i put it down again two weeks later. i brought in several bags of top soil for the affected areas then seeded in those areas. I watered during the day and these have been the results.

RE: What is wrong with this yard

another angle

RE: What is wrong with this yard

Yard still improving... Started 35-0-5 fertilizer regiment last month and will continue through the growing season as the Bermuda Bible recommends

RE: What is wrong with this yard

I've also been mowing twice a week. I don't see many weeds cutting this often.

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