Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
What is killing my lawn? It was fine in the spring, and now this summer, it is looking dead in patchy spots.
Rate This FAQ
There are several diseases that could be affecting your lawn during the hot summer months. Brown patch (Rhizoctonia) causes irregular brown patches on the lawn. Fading (Curvularia sp.) also causes irregular dead areas. Both of these diseases can spread rapidly during high temperatures, especially when turf is stressed. Brown patch can infect the entire plant if conditions are suitable or can cause a crown and root rot. Both pathogens survive on dead leaf blades and debris that reside in the thatch layer of the lawn.
The best way to manage both diseases is to improve the health of your soil and turf. When mowing during the hot summer months, keep the grass height at 2 ½" to 3" to alleviate stress. Remove clippings to reduce sporulation on decayed leaves, and mow to a shorter height at your last mow in the fall, when the grass has stopped growing. Fertilize only in the fall.
An excessive thatch layer can contribute to disease development. Thatch should be kept at ½ ″ thickness so that water and air can penetrate to the roots. Aeration can improve air circulation to the root system. Be sure to use an aerator that takes soil cores out of your lawn. The machines that punch holes in your lawn only increase compaction. This should be done in the spring or fall when the weather is cool and provides a less stressful environment for your turf to recuperate.
Proper watering is very important. Ideally, water your lawn deeply about once/week when natural rainfall does not occur. Apply the water in the morning to allow the leaf blades to dry quickly. This reduces the moisture available for the fungus to develop and allows for better moisture retention in the soil. Infrequent and deep watering promotes root growth which supports the crown and leaves.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- When will my flowering shrubs bloom, and when should I prune them and my evergreens?
- I am buying a new house in Salt Lake County, and the entire back yard is weeds. I want to put in a garden towards the back and fill in the rest with grass. What is the best way to kill the weeds completely, without killing the new grass and affecting the garden?
- When is the best time of year to reseed my lawn? The weeds and spurge are out of control. Should I rototill the lawn to remove all the weeds first?
- I've noticed lots of caterpillars eating the leaves of my Birch trees--they look like inchworms. I've also seen them in neighbor's trees. Is there an infestation, and what can I do about it?
- Do you have tips for success with African violets?
- I made the mistake of fertilizing my newly planted trees. I had heard that the salty, clay soil I have needs iron useable for the trees. I used chelated. Anyway two of the trees, a candian red cherry and a zelkova tree have dry crispy leaves on the north side of the tree. We have had very hot, windy weather. I have two other canadian cherries that look fine.
- What fall gardening tasks will help reduce plant pests next year?
- I have a large Pinion pine that we trimmed back the lower branches on last fall, The grass is not doing well there due to limited light, could I add a flower bed there instead, and if so what type of plants would do well in my VERY clay soil. Also isnt' there something about not planting flowers over/next to a tree trunk? thanks