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Old 10-29-2008, 03:28 PM   #1
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Is This Brown Patch?


Hello,

I'm a long time lurker, first time poster. Me and my wife bought our first home several months ago here in Los Angeles and ever since I've come to really appreciate and admire the vast wealth of knowledge on this message board.

Anyway, over the last week or two as the weather has started to cool off (I'm not sure if that's just a coincidence) I have started noticing what looks like clumps of brown, synged-like grass throughout my backyard. So far I have not noticed it on the front yard which is heavily shaded compared to the lack of shade in the back. Please see attached pictures.

My question is, is this the dreaded Brown Patch disease? From what I've read on the internet, it sounds like it although most say that Brown Patch comes in circular, doughnut shaped patterns where mine come in random shaped clumps. Anyone have any ideas on what I have and how best to treat it? Also, I'm not quite sure what type of grass I have. I've compare what I have to some of the websites that some of you guys have suggested in others' posts but to me it looks like several different types of grass.

Anyway, I water every other day, there's very little shade over the grass, it gets a pretty good amount of daily sunlight, and I haven't fertilized since I've moved in nor do I know the last time the previous owner did.

Thanks to everyone in advance.

David
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:27 AM   #2
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Is This Brown Patch?


The reddish brown looks like a virus of some sort, but not really like brown patch to me. I am in Atl, GA so I can only offer a guess.

Could you tell us what lawn you have?

"Anyway, I water every other day"
Whoa, Nelly! Once a week should be plenty unless you are starting a new lawn. Diseases like continual damp conditions.

"I haven't fertilized since I've moved in nor do I know the last time the previous owner did."

If it was my yard, in Georgia, I would fertilize lightly, then water it in with a least an inch of water, then leave it alone for a week. Also, cut, bag, and discard the clippings first.

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Old 11-01-2008, 10:30 AM   #3
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Is This Brown Patch?


Fertilize at least 3 times a year. Plants need nitrogen and they won't get it from anything else unless you put it in there.

Do in in the spring, mid summer and late in the fall. Since it is not new growth and not a tree you can get the cheaper 20-0-0 or something like that.

Brown patches happen for many reasons, one of which is soil compression. One soil is compressed by any means including walking on it the roots will not have an easy time getting through the soil to go deep. Then the root will travel horizontally and end up shallow which makes them in danger of dying when they don't get watered enough.

Then what can happen is that the soil won't drain and when they are over watered the roots rot in the constantly wet soil and will die or turn kind of a yellowish color.

There is a way to check for compaction. Just take a screw driver and jam it into the ground. If it doesn't go in easy or more than an inch or so it is compacted. Do this over your lawn and see what happens especially in the brown areas.

If there is some compaction then you can rent an aerator that will put holes in your lawn to loosen it up and allow the root so go deeper. One the roots go deep they will break up some of the surrounding soil and make for better drainage.
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:17 PM   #4
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Is This Brown Patch?


Quote:
Brown patches happen for many reasons, one of which is soil compression.
"Brown patch" is a specific fungal disease.

Dead areas that happen to be brown are another story.
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:19 PM   #5
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Is This Brown Patch?


Hi Guys,

Thanks for your thoughts. As I said, this is my first house so there's quite a bit that I don't know.

downunder, it looks like I have several types of grass, the prevalent being Bermuda. It feels as if previous owners have tried patching up various spots with various types of grass over the years. Also, I kept the same watering schedule as the previous owner but maybe as it gets cooler, I can try backing off the every other day cycle. I tried this during the Summer and the grass quickly turned brown over the course of a couple weeks.

Marvin Gardens, I will try your soil compaction idea once the soil has dried a little bit more as we've gotten some decent rain over the past week. I have a feeling it is compact because in some areas when water hits the soil, it doesn't seem like it absorbs the water properly. Sometimes it takes a while to absorb or sometimes it runs off.

Also, I will start a regular fertilize schedule to see if that helps over time.

Thanks to all for your help.

Best,

David
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:36 PM   #6
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Is This Brown Patch?


That looks like St. Augustine grass to me, and here in Los Angeles, it goes dormant in the winter. I think what you're seeing is perfectly normal.

Pull some of the living stuff out and take it to a nursery to identify it and be sure - but I'm 90% sure that's what you're seeing.

It will just go dormant until the weather heats up again, and it'll come back on it's own. You can either take the winter off mowing it, or put down some 'winter rye' seed and manure to keep a green lawn over the winter. That seasonal rye will die off when the St. Augustine comes back. You'll have to do that every winter.

I've heard of some people using a perennial rye - but I'm not a fan. I like being able to control when it starts growing.

FWIW, I don't put down the seasonal rye - that way I don't have to really mow anything for a few months! It's a nice vacation.

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