Is this lawn fungus?

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Old 05-23-17, 12:05 PM
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Is this lawn fungus?

Been noticing more and more of these over the past few weeks. Before I put down fungicide, just wanted to make sure that's what it is.

Thanks!

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Old 05-23-17, 12:18 PM
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Cant tell from the pics... could be nitrogen burn from dogs using the lawn as a bathroom.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 12:25 PM
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Would zooming in help or is it too hard to tell from pics?

I don't think it's from dogs as it's cropping up all over, including pretty far away from the curb (where dogs are more likely to go).
 
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Old 05-23-17, 12:30 PM
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Not sure if these pics help:

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Old 05-23-17, 12:35 PM
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How much water has the lawn been getting? Not enough will cause it to turn yellow while too much, especially in the evening/over night can lead to fungus.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 12:43 PM
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It's been a wet spring here in Southwest Connecticut, so I'd say it's possibly been getting too much.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 01:19 PM
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In that case, I would wait and see what happens when it gets a chance to dry out a bit.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 01:34 PM
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Sounds like a plan.

Is there any harm in putting down a fungicide if it turns out not to be fungus? If it is fungus, I don't want to get too far behind it...
 
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Old 05-23-17, 01:35 PM
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Post a picture from further back so we can see more of the general lawn.
 
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Old 05-23-17, 01:49 PM
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These are the best I can do on short notice (I was more focused on zooming in...):



 
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Old 05-24-17, 12:03 PM
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I just mowed and here are some pics from my 2nd floor window.

Also, here are the actual links as the forum keeps shrinking the pics (or doesn't let me upload the full size):

http://i.imgur.com/vHONOJZ.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/guUdFdO.jpg

As you can see, overall (and from high up) it looks really good, but as you get closer and look around (the 2nd pic is a zoom in of the first pic), I see all of this dying or fungus covered grass. Not sure what's going on. It's cropping up all over my yard. Maybe it's a reaction to the weed and feed I put down recently (though that was 3 weeks ago).

We just had more rain overnight, now it's sunny, but are looking at more rain tomorrow/Friday.

Thanks again for any thoughts!

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Old 05-24-17, 12:43 PM
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Are there any tunnels or mounds that would indicate a mole or vole problem?

When you get down close and look at the grass does it appear as though the brown grass has been chewed off at the ground? If so then it might be grubs (which is my #1 guess right now).

What day and night time temperatures have you been having? I'm not seeing anything that is jumping out as a fungal problem. It's a bit early for brown patch but if your day and night temps have been above 68-70f and gotten more rain then usual it is a possibility. Usually I'd expect to see a more definite area of dead grass for brown patch.

Ordinarily I'd want to see a grass stem in the transition zone between brown and green but you don't have a definite area or brown patch. It looks like you have totally green blades of grass intermixed with your brown/dead grass. Is there any sign of white tufts or fuzz on the grass in the browning area or on the green grass adjacent to it?

If you continue to suspect a fungal problem there are two fungicides that I use. Applying them according to the labels will not harm the lawn even if you don't have a fungal problem so if you've got the money it's not crazy to apply just in case. Fathom 14.3 MEC (propiconazole) and Prostar (flutolanil). Fathom is inexpensive but has a definite chemical smell and needs to be applied more often. Prostar is quite expensive but also quite good.
 
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Old 05-24-17, 01:07 PM
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I don't think it looks chewed off, just the color isn't right.

Thanks so much for the info. It's been in the 50s at night, 60s and 70s during the day (though about a week ago we hit 80+ a couple of times.

I thought grubs yields much bigger areas of damage?

No white or fuzz as far as I can tell.

Perhaps I'll treat it and see what happens.

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Old 05-24-17, 04:06 PM
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If you put the weed and feed on a little too heavy, that might explain any patchy discoloring.
 
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Old 05-24-17, 05:39 PM
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Has there been this same problem in the same area in previous years? If so this might indicate some issue with the soil.

You probably have several different strains/varieties of grass. I'm wondering if one strain is being stressed by the more dominant.

You may want to contact your county's Agricultural Extension office for help.
 
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Old 05-25-17, 08:11 AM
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Thanks for the info.

I know that I've had red thread in the past, but not sure about this other stuff. I used to have a lawn company and never really cared as much, now I take it more seriously (and do it myself) and notice more issues.

I'll try to check with some local people and see what they say.
 
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Old 05-25-17, 01:11 PM
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I totally forgot that I also put down lime a couple of weeks ago. I don't think that could be causing an issue (I definitely did not put it down too heavy), but maybe it was a bad batch...?

I used: Sta-Green 30-lb Balance Soil
 
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Old 05-25-17, 01:46 PM
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It's very hard to hurt anything with lime... unless you use a quick lime. You really need to do a soil test before apply a quick acting lime. Most lawn limes act slowly and offer more buffering capacity over time and it's really hard to screw up when using them. Quick, rapid or hydrated lime is somewhat caustic and should be handled with a bit more care.
 
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Old 05-25-17, 01:55 PM
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The lime mentioned above is a "Rapid Lime" product.

Soil test last year showed pH of 5.3 and said to put down lots of lime. I put a bit down end of last year, and some more just a couple weeks ago.
 
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Old 05-25-17, 04:35 PM
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The bottom photo that you posted on May 23rd seems to show an abundance of white granular material deposited at the bottom . . . . do you think that's some of the Rapid Lime or the Sta-Green Fertilizer ?
 
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Old 05-25-17, 04:51 PM
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Just to clarify, the "Sta-Green 30-lb Balance Soil" that I referred to is the lime that I put down (on 5/21, which is actually more recent than I remembered). On 5/4 I did a Greenview Spring Fertilizer Weed and Feed.

So the picture on 5/23 is most likely the lime from 5/21.
 
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Old 05-26-17, 06:35 AM
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Wow, it's funny for me in NC to see applications so late in the season. I sometimes forget how much shorter your hot summer period is than it is in the south. We want grass growth to be really slowed by mid June so it can harden up to survive the heat of July and August.
 
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Old 05-30-17, 07:46 AM
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I had a lawn company come out and they said it was a bit of red thread and some dollar spot, nothing too major. Then they came back with an estimate of $300/application x 3 applications. They said the chemicals alone are around $200 of the $300.

Does this sound remotely legit?
 
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Old 06-06-17, 09:06 AM
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So...whatever is happening is getting worse. I'm pretty sure it's fungus, and I think a lot is red thread.

Should I try the professional at $300/application? Scotts Fungicide granules for $44 (on sale at Walmart)? Some sort of chemical that I'd spray with a hose sprayer (Amazon has a lot of different, well-reviewed products)? Something else???

It's still been wet and cool here in Southern CT.

Should I do nothing (keep liming and feeding my lawn of course) and hope that it goes away as the weather gets nicer?

Thanks again for any thoughts.
 
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Old 06-06-17, 10:39 AM
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Professional lawn companies are extremely expensive. I almost never use big box home center products but you can look up the active ingredients in what you are considering and see if they will work. The two products I previously mentioned will work well and are likely what the lawn maintenance company would apply.
 
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Old 06-06-17, 02:21 PM
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I think this lawn might benefit from some benign neglect for a while. That bottom photo that you posted on May 23rd still seems to show an abundance of white granular material having been deposited, and now the lawn looks like it's showing the signs of too much fertilizer.

I think I would continue on just watering and mowing . . . . and maybe have the soil tested BEFORE adding any more fertilizer or limestone this spring, when I don't know exactly what its deficiencies are.
 
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Old 06-15-17, 09:18 AM
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Hi again.

So I haven't yet done anything as I was hoping it would just go away... It's been really dry for a while and originally I thought it was looking better, but now I'm not so sure.

I haven't put down any product of any kind, and like I said, it's been pretty dry for a while (and I haven't done any watering).

I still have a lot of patches all over (even after a few mowings, where I was hoping I would clip away the bad stuff and nice green grass would be left).

I wanted to post some more pics to see if you still agree that it's fungus, and that it should be treated.

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Sorry for the link, rather than actual pics, but you can really zoom in on the pics at the link above.

Separately, does it look like maybe my mower blades aren't sharp enough? Some of the grass tips don't look like they are getting cut very cleanly.

From afar (and also when the sun isn't directly hitting it), the lawn looks great. But when it's really sunny and you are walking right over it, it looks pretty bad.

Thank you!
 
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Old 06-19-17, 01:32 PM
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So I decided to go ahead with Bayer containing Propiconazole.

Do you think I should follow the inx on the bag and do another big dose in 14 days? And looking further ahead, should I them put a maintenance rate every 30 days? I'm not inclined to go with the maintenance race since I normally don't have these issues, but I'm thinking another heavy dose per the inx might be a good idea.

Separately, any thoughts on Jonathan Green 10236? It uses Thiophanate-methyl (dimethyl 4,4’-o-phenylenebis[3-thioallophanate]).

Is that any better/worse/different than the Propiconazole?

Thanks again!
 
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Old 06-19-17, 02:15 PM
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Did you ever get a Soii Test . . . . or just decided to skip it ?
 
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Old 06-19-17, 02:48 PM
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Yes, I had a soil test. pH is 5.7, Calcium is 'optimum', Phosporous and Potassium are just barely in the 'above optimum' level and Magnesium is just below optimum, in the 'below optimum' level.
 
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Old 06-19-17, 03:35 PM
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That's pretty acidic, I would be looking for lime.
 
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Old 06-19-17, 04:39 PM
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NC State University did a study comparing fungicides and they rank them by effectiveness, how long they protect and the fungus' ability to develop a resistance to the fungicide.
 
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Old 06-19-17, 08:05 PM
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Yep, I've been putting down lime and/or Mag-i-Cal to get the pH up.
 
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Old 07-27-17, 02:15 PM
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I wanted to follow-up as my lawn continues to not do well. I assume now that we're also getting into the heat of summer which isn't helping (here in Southwestern CT), but I wanted to ask about this;

I've noticed that the 'base' of my grass continues to be brown/brownish, but the top (i.e. as it grows) is pretty green. As an example, I cut it a little lower than normal the other day (still using 2nd highest setting on my mower) and the lawn looked dreadful. The entire thing looked brown, especially compared to my green neighbors who don't do anything to their lawns (some of their green is weeds, but some is just decent looking grass). I did this 4 days ago.

This morning I noticed that it looked vastly better, as the tips of the grass are growing and are a decent shade of green. But next time I cut it it's going to cut off the green tips leaving the brown base again. Is this normal (that only the tip grows green but the rest stays brown)? I know it's not good to cut too short, but I almost feel like if I cut it really short, everything that would then grow would be green... Then I'd go back to normal cutting..

Yes, you can see in the picture that I have some really bad spots (there used to be trees there), but that whole right side was so brown a couple days ago, and now looks so much better, but still you can see the whole thing ain't great. You'll also see the line near the bottom where I had a hose sitting for 1 day, 3 days ago. 2 days later the line is still there. Is my grass so bad/dry that the hose line hasn't gone away? Or is this normal?

I've been using sprinklers to supplement when it rains, to put down about 1"/week, but it doesn't seem to be helping. I did not put any fertilizer since the spring. Did put some iron a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks for any thoughts/comments/suggestions.


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Old 07-27-17, 02:35 PM
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That's a nice looking lawn compared to those in my area. A week of 100f heat and no rain has forced about half the Fescue into dormancy. I have a well irrigated area and the grass that borders concrete or receives window reflections is brown and probably will remain brown until September.

If you are truly concerned about your lawn get your local Agricultural Extension office involved. They can offer advice and may have you collect a sample to send to the state lab.
 
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Old 07-27-17, 02:52 PM
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Thanks for the input and I'm glad you think it's nice. Makes me feel a little better.

That being said, so many other lawns around me look better and, again, many of them I know do nothing/very little. I fertilize, lime, iron, weed control, water, etc... and many of theirs still look better. But maybe I have more Fescue and they have more of something else (rye/kbg??) that holds up better in the summer?

Also, according to my notes, I thought that Fescue was supposed to "grow deep roots to stay greener during times of drought"?
 
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Old 07-27-17, 05:08 PM
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It looks like you're mowing that lawn a mite close . . . . like a golf green.. Maybe if you allowed it to grow to no shorter than 1˝ - 2" during the summer, it would be able to withstand the dryness and not go dormant on you. Then you won't have to water so much, the longer grass will shade the soil, and from a distance, no one will know whether it's short or long . . . . it's green.

And encourage the worms !
 
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Old 07-27-17, 05:09 PM
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My property is hilly and I have a large mower. The shifting weight of the tractor sideways on a hill causes one side of the mower deck to cut lower. I have parallel brown lines in my yard where the grass is cut shorter. I mow my main lawn at 3 1/2" and it looks great up until mid June when it starts to suffer. My runway is cut to 2 1/2" and it suffers and turns brown weeks sooner than the other grass cut higher.
 
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Old 07-27-17, 09:04 PM
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To confirm, as mentioned above, I always mow high (highest setting on my mower which is probably 4"?). This time, as a test, I used the 2nd highest setting (probably 3" give or take?).

In any case, it's absolutely not that short (I'll try to take better pictures from close up).

Thanks again.
 
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