View Full Version : Lawn help

08-19-2012, 08:09 AM
So I have this one job not far from home, the lawn is nice but as you can see has some issues. The client said the sprinklers don't come up far enough to get over the grass in front of them but after looking closer I am not sure that is true, look, the grass directly in front of them in dieing. Can anyone give me some insight of what could be going on here and how to fix it?

08-19-2012, 01:53 PM
Check for grubs and chinch bugs. Are these areas heavily thatched? Is the soil extremely compacted? Is the grass planted over an area where there used to be a sidewalk with some of the foundation left under the soil?

Also, while I can't tell from the pictures, it looks like what dormant bentgrass looks like around here. It can't tolerate the heat we've had in PA this summer.

08-19-2012, 05:30 PM
What state are you in? Whats the temp been like for the last few months, and how much rain have you gotten? Just from your Pic I would say you have chinch bugs. Chinch bug damage is seen first along sidewalks or driveways. The ground around cement areas will stay warmer thus allowing eggs to incubate and hatch easier. Chinch bugs damage turf by sucking moisture out of the turf. Chinch bugs need to be controlled by a professional spray tec.
You need to look under the thatch layer (on your hands and knees) your gonna be looking for a brown or black bug with a white dot on it's back....Look in areas that are just starting to yellow out.

If you have a street light in the corner of the yard could be mole cricketts.
Hard to tell you with just a pic sorry!

08-19-2012, 06:10 PM
depending on the quality of the sprinkler head, they may not have a good coverage of spray around the base of the head. Just the first thing that popped in my head...

Sprinkler Buddy
08-19-2012, 06:18 PM
Also could be that the home owner had tried taking matters into his own hands. Spraying round-up on a windy day around the sprinkler heads, the over-spray would have a similar effect.

Over the years, I have seen that done a few times. :eek:

08-19-2012, 07:27 PM
Some pics to help identify chinch bugs.

08-20-2012, 05:20 AM
looks like Ur in AZ the hi temps there will heat up water in lines that will burn the lawn around head. here in pa i have seen it at down spouts with hi heat and then rain on a hot roof cook the grass at all down spouts

08-20-2012, 09:20 AM
Those pictures make me dizzy for some reason.

Other than that, it's hard to say.

Was the lawn previously sprayed with fertilizer?

Maybe dogs often pee there, or something was left lying on the lawn for a week.

Take more pics, the contrast in your pictures are tripping me out... I have no idea what I'm looking at LMAO.


08-21-2012, 06:14 AM
While I am not an expert on bugs I am fairly sure it is not Chinch bugs but I will look into it just in case, I have had an issues with those at my house so I am fairly well versed on what they look like and what they do. There is a spot or 2 that look like it was sprayed with weed killer but not here on the front lawn, most of the dead grass in the pictures is directly around a sprinkler head. After the first cut the home owner asked me to trim the grass around the heads lower and said if I did not the heads wont spray over the grass and it will die, I thought this sounded odd so I have paid close attention to it and don't think it could be the case, if anything the grass around the heads should be doing fine because it would be all that is getting watered.

Now that being said, what happens if I can not find a cause? I hate having my name on an ugly lawn like this, Can I maybe reseed these areas and then pay close attention to them? I believe the irrigation comes on at 6AM, sometime, assuming the home owner does not get creeped out I plan on being there to witness it and see if they are all coming on and if the water is being distributed properly.

It looks like the last people who did it or even the installer did a terrible job as several of the heads are not level, possibly from not being installed level or being hit to many times with a mower. I thought this could be an issue but after looking at the trajectory of the water from those it dose not appear that it would be an issue.

08-22-2012, 07:44 AM
It's dog pee. The big spot is from dogs marking where other dogs went. The only way to fix it is to scrape it out and replant. An easy way to tell...rip some out and smell it. Kinda nasty, but if I'm wrong, at least you know its not that.

08-22-2012, 08:04 AM
LOL. The first 2 pics dont look like dog p!ss at all. Smell it?? :confused:

08-22-2012, 08:15 AM
yup, if you pull it out, it will have a smell to it. Thats an easy way to tell. The other thing...look where the burn spots are. Dogs usually go on the edge. If it was soemthing else, I would think it would makes its way more into the yard.

08-22-2012, 02:30 PM
Yeah I have a dog. i know about p!ss spots. What you would smell is ammonia but I cant imagine that sticking around too long if it rains or get watered on a regular basis.

08-22-2012, 05:49 PM
female dogs when they squat have a worse burning effect. Larger dogs also have the same effect. I have 2 100lb weimaraners, 1 squats and leaves the worst burning spots. Its not so much the ammonia causing it, its the acid level in the pee. If you have multiple dogs walking by that spot, which looks like a corner lot, the chances are high its from the dogs marking territory. You can put down lime to counter act with the acidic pee, that helps a little.

Don't get me wrong though, it could be something else. But with the location of it, and what it looks like, I'm 95% certain its from dogs.

08-22-2012, 07:00 PM
You are absolutely right, kinda. They have a small dog that uses the bathroom but only on the rear lawn, not the front.

08-23-2012, 06:10 AM
LOL I can just see the talk of the town now, the guy smelling grass for piss lol I guess I will never know unless I try it to be for sure though. As far as rain, we have had none in a long time, the sprinklers however run daily, I wander if its not getting over watered? hmmmm. I just went and cut it yesterday afternoon and about puked when I pulled up, The house next store had sod installed, the day was 108F and it was never watered, it is a foreclosure and the bank hired a person to do it, in the 3rd picture you can see the dead sod and weeds growing through it. This person has made a few comments about the annoying weeds in the lawn WELL!!!! When I arrived yesterday I saw that someone had mowed the weeds on the dead sod next store and clearly did it with a side discharge and no bag as they through the weeds all over her lawn and just left them there. It turned out not being a big deal because my mower picked up and bagged the dead weeds but how tacky is that for a property maintenance person to do such a thing? I guess if there is any silver lining I will probably be getting that account as soon as someone with the bank sees the yard lol

Another thought I had is I read about how edgers, trimmers exc exc can knock pop up sprinklers out of alignment so maybe this has happened and the dead parts are simply just getting no water. I want to show up one day "not un announced" and view how they are working to be sure but is there a way to tell if they are pointed the correct way just by looking at them with the system off? Can I maybe pop them up with a screw driver and tell which way they are facing?

Thanks for all the help, I have absolutely no experience with this kind of thing, normally homes that have systems installed just work and I never had had to play with them or figure it out, I plan on installing one at my house in the next few weeks so I can get some experience in working on them.

Not only that but I am getting tired of watering my yard by hand lol.