tysonova
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:11 pm

My poor lawn needs help

My wife and I bought our new home two years ago (We live in Portland, OR), which had new sod. The first couple years the lawn was great, then late last summer it started to feel very "spongy" and thatchy. About a month later we started to notice brown "rings" or spots in our yard and the grass became very fragile. I could pull it out with very little effort by just grabbing the blades and giving a light pull. I thought it was grubs, so I applied a grub killer, which didn't help much.

Over the winter the grass has continued to get worse and now is almost completely white, VERY spongy and comes out with almost no effort. I'm hoping I can turn this thing around, but I have no idea where to start. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.
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imafan26
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Posts: 11621
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: My poor lawn needs help

If it had brown rings it could be a fungal infection. Other rings can be caused by things like army worms, and dog pee. If the ground is spongy it is probably too wet and the roots are dead from not getting enough oxygen.

What kind of grass was it. Some grasses are more tolerant of certain soil types and others are very prone to fungal issues.

How often is the grass watered and does water ever sit in puddles for prolonged periods and how often do you mow, fertilize, aerate and dethatch? Healthy lawns can tolerate some fungi. Usually all you will notice are the toadstools popping up after heavy rain. If the lawn is not healthy or has not been maintained properly then it will show signs of distress.

https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7497.html
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

tysonova
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:11 pm

Re: My poor lawn needs help

The grass type is Water Warden, I believe it's a type of fescue? When we first started seeing all of this I thought it was grubs, because they're fairly common around here, but I applied a powder to remove the grubs and it didn't seem to do much.

The grass doesn't sit in "puddles", but we do live in Oregon where we get quite a bit of rain in the winter. We watered almost daily in the summer, as we have fairly warm and dry summers here. I fertilize once in the spring, once in the summer and once at the end of summer beginning of fall. I did apply some ironite because it was starting to brown. I dethatched in the spring (May?), but because the grass was only a year old I didn't aerate.

During the winter you don't really need to mow here (we haven't been above 55 degrees for any significant period of time for at least 3 months), but during the spring and summer I'll mow every week, sometimes two. I don't mow too low, if anything, I probably mow a little high in fear of scalping my yard.

No dogs though, so I know it's not that. If the roots are dead from not enough oxygen, is there anything I can do? That seems to be the most likely answer.

Thanks for the reply, I really really do appreciate the help. It's almost growing season here and I'd like to get my lawn looking good again.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11621
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: My poor lawn needs help

I cannot grow fescues and shady lawn mixtures in my hot climate. But I did do some research and found that
In a new lawn seeded with a grass mixture, some of the grasses in the mixture give you a fast green for a couple of years, then the grass becomes dominated by fescue which has a few problems. Maybe these will help. Most of the problems are cultural management issues.

https://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/node/778
https://www.lawn-care-academy.com/tallfescue.html
https://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/mf736.pdf
https://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pdffiles/sfn3.pdf
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

julia34
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:27 pm

Re: My poor lawn needs help

Ohh Some time I also get nervous about my garden. You have to need more concious about your lawn on daily basis. I have also experience this kind of problems . I hope it will be sort out soon

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