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Fescue stressed?


Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation

A great way to talk about all things lawn care related. Grass, turf, shrubs, trees, aeration, fertilization, reseeding, hydro-seeding, mowing, grub control, chemicals and pesticides. Ask questions, give answers. Grow!
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:17 AM
rom818
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Default Fescue stressed?

I have a client who's fescue was doing well a month ago. Now the grass is dead in large spots and looks very stressed in most others. I live in Gainesville, Georgia and we've had a recent heat wave with temps soaring to 95+ with massive indexes.

Does it sound as if this is a heat stress issue?
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:22 AM
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Could be. The high humidity can also encourage diseases on an unhealthy lawn.

Are your blades sharp? Are you cutting at a proper height? Does the customer over fertilize the lawn? Pics may help.
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rom818 View Post
I have a client who's fescue was doing well a month ago. Now the grass is dead in large spots and looks very stressed in most others. I live in Gainesville, Georgia and we've had a recent heat wave with temps soaring to 95+ with massive indexes.

Does it sound as if this is a heat stress issue?
Fescue grass likes water if and when available but will develop diseases when receiving more water than what is actually needed.

Fertilizing Tall Fescue Grass
Tall fescue does well without fertilization on moderate fertility soils but grows best when additional fertilizer is added. The best application is 2 1/2 to 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet a YEAR in divided increments. Fall is the best time to add the highest division of the nitrogen and summer is the least best time to fertilize a cool season grass like fescue. Do not encourage growth at the hottest time of the year to cut down on disease and insect infestation, especially in the southern part of the transitional area. Do not fertilize during the summer months.

It sounds like you might have Brown Patch, Does it look like this? (see attachment)

Tall Fescue Grass Disease
http://www.turfgrass.ncsu.edu/articles/bruneau/1998/ag361-np.pdf

Grass Deficiency Symptoms - Soil Nutrients Needed
Nitrogen - Older leaves turn yellow green and little new growth is noticed.
Potassium - Leaf tips and edges looked burned.
Phosphorus - Foliage will change from dark green to reddish in hue.
Magnesium - Foliage will appear yellowish green with red tinted edges.
Calcium - New leaves will be small and grass will be rust colored.
Sulfur - Fully-grown leaves turn yellow.
Iron - The new grass will turn yellow.
Manganese - The new grass turns yellow.
Zinc - Grass leaves will appear shriveling, narrow bladed and smaller than usual.
Boron - Yellowed grassing and immature growth.
Molybdenum - Fully grown and mature grass appears gray-green.

Steve
Attached Images
File Type: jpg brown_patch_fungus.jpg (174.8 KB, 16 views)
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:45 PM
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I called the county extension and I spoke with a couple of other maintenance guys around town and it seems that there's a bad case of Brown Patch all over our city. At this juncture it seems as if the only thing to do is wait and overseed in the fall.
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:14 PM
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http://www.articlesbase.com/diy-articles/lawn-diseases-2436880.html

If you are still in the prevention stages, however, there are basic and simple cultural precautions that can be implemented to prevent this harmful lawn disease:
  • Since brown patch lawn disease thrives in areas fed by fast-release nitrogen fertilizers, try switching to a new fertilizer blend that uses slow-release nitrogen.
  • Less frequent mowing during hot and humid weather will not only reduce the stress on your lawn, but also the reduce spreading of brown patch lawn disease that can occur from foot or mower traffic.
  • And, if at all possible, increased light and air penetration can help reduce excess moisture, helping to keep brown patch at bay.
  • Be sure to clean your mower completely after mowing an area with Brown Patch. Failure to do so will transplant the Brown Patch to other lawns.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:27 AM
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Be sure to clean your mower completely after mowing an area with Brown Patch. Failure to do so will transplant the Brown Patch to other lawns.
Steve,

What's the best way to go about doing this?
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:29 PM
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Steve,

What's the best way to go about doing this?
I just hose it down and then dry it with my blower. I hose down my mowers every day when I get home and immediately after mowing a suspect lawn.

Better safe than sorry.

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Old 07-04-2010, 08:28 AM
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Thanks for the tips and the link. It looks like we're just gonna have to start over in the fall.
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