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Thatching

Posted by wizfan90 7 (My Page) on
Wed, May 28, 14 at 13:24

My grass is thatching really bad. Tgus is the second year it has done this. I'm in the southern part of Maryland. The grass is Scott's tall rescue. Can anyone explain why this keeps happening?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Thatching

Fescue isn't known as a thatch producer. What is pictured appears to be dormant or dead grass. Does this occur every late spring? Does it occur after an extended dry spell.? After treating the lawn with something like weed killers or fertilizers? Does the grass green up again after watering? Noticed any abundance of insects like small moths or grubs when you dig? Are there any lesions on the bordering grass blades? Any reddish dust on the grass?


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RE: Thatching

Usually happens in late spring, but it somewhat greens up after a water.


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RE: Thatching

I'm going to assume that none of the other questions apply? OK So, let's go with what we have and address this as a possible water problem.
Under ideal conditions a healthy lawn requires approximately 1" of water every week. This can be from rain, sprinklers or a combination. Adjust your watering habits to meet that need.
If your turf is already getting one inch a week, there can be a number of reasons that may cause the water to be unavailable to the grass. Rather than go through all the possibilities and solutions and doing the tests, let's start simple. Soil can become hydrophobic and repel water or it can be "hard" due to an excess of magnesium.
A simple, inexpensive treatment that can counteract this and improve water penetration is the application of a surfactant. Baby shampoo or an unscented shampoo w/o conditioners like White Rain is a chap surfactant. Use a hose end sprayer and apply 3-6 oz of shampoo per thousand sq feet and water regularly. See if that helps.


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RE: Thatching

Alright, I will try it. I'll give an update in a few days. Thank you.


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RE: Thatching

So I tried extra watering and Johnson's baby shampoo. The grass hasn't become worst but it's still brown in the spots from the picture. When I cut the grass, I rake it up now so the problem doesn't persist.


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RE: Thatching

It's probably the seed. Scott's tall fescue is junk. I tried it once.

Spend a little extra money this fall on a better product.


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RE: Thatching

What would you recommend?


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RE: Thatching

Earlier in the spring was your grass nice and thick? Is it possible that you had poa annua that fills in nicely until things get hot, and then it dies off until next year?

You may want to consider waiting until the Fall, have your yard punched, add some organic matter as a top dress and put down some new seed appropriate for your location.

I wouldn't do anything before September at this point.


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RE: Thatching

The areas that are brown were areas I patched in in the spring. The seeds sprouted and then they died off. But I'll wait the fall.


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