DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   Landscaping & Lawn Care (
-   -   Fungus?! Help!! (

Casey12081 08-08-2009 12:14 PM

Fungus?! Help!!
I am trying to restore my lawn. I have an issue in the back where it keeps dying and I don't know why. The rest of the lawn looks great, coming in and very green. But I get these brown spots, and now there are 3 types of some really weird fungus? One in the back is white and looks like cotton (wet here). It may be a drainage issue? All the seed I put in is all starting to die/rot again. In the front I have this weird yellow and brown stuff with a crusty shell and powdery's like something out of a poltergeist movie.:furious: Is there a fungus test like a soil Ph test I can do? And how do you diagnose a drainage issue?

Casey12081 08-09-2009 03:54 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Okay, I am going to post some pics here as I don't think my description did it justice...I really have no idea what this stuff is! :(

downunder 08-10-2009 04:50 PM

I don't have a guess on the white stuff in the first photo. I'm not sure what we are looking for on the second photo. I see brown spots- is this where some of the "fungus" is? The third photo looks like, I'm not kidding-
"dog vomit fungus." There really is such a thing. It is more common around hardwoods I think. And that looks like hardwood mulch there maybe? It will dry up and go away in a little while. Or, you could remove it if it bothers you there.

So, what is going on with the wet issue? Is this a low area that naturally pulls in water from the surrounding area? Or does it just not dry out with same amount of water as other areas nearby get?

"Drainage" is what some people call a low area, others use that term to refer to an area that holds water. This could be due to the soil type, or due something like a hardpan directly under the topsoil. In that case, think of a pot with good soil but no drainage holes. You could water the soil very heavily and it would drain with holes in the pot, but not if there are none. Nothing wrong with the soil, the water just has nowhere to go.

A lot of things could be going on. Try to give us a little more info please.

Casey12081 08-10-2009 05:27 PM

Okay, I think I have multiple problems. I found another post on the "dog vomit" (which is in the front yard in mulch), so I am alright with that. It won't hurt anything, just isn't pretty to look at.

My problem is the backyard. It's just sod thrown on top of hard-clay soil. No topsoil. So it was a pain for it to take root and establish, as you can see in the second photo from the brown spots. The first photo is right by the house and is fairly moist. Don't know why as I don't overwater and my lawn is on a down-slope to a drainage area.

A 6x5 area died, where the grass literally rotted. I had to rake it out and re-seed it. It came in and was doing well and now it is starting to die again. That's when I found the white stuff.

Both neighbors on either side of me have no issues. They don't water their lawns, lots of brown spots, but that's it. So I am guessing that I have a low-lying area as you said? Not sure what I can do. A soil Ph test won't tell me much, and I have no idea how to figure out if it is in fact a drainage issue...

Yamvmax 08-10-2009 07:29 PM

dont waste your time seeding now. Its too hot. wait untill mid sept.

downunder 08-10-2009 08:09 PM

Definitely wait another month or so. I would aerate this area very thoroughly with a core aerater before I do anything- unless you decide to tear it all out, plow it up and follow that with a good tilling. But I am thinking of the most cost-efficient and effective way of doing this.

The clay is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. Try digging a hole about a foot wide and foot or so deep. Fill it with water and see how long it takes to drain. You might want to check with your local building codes or a plumber who installs septic lines and get a recommendation on a percolation test. That's basically what the hole with the water is called.
It should be drained ideally overnight, but at least within 48 hours.

With the brown spots- are you sure you don't have a bug problem?

Tess 08-10-2009 08:57 PM


Originally Posted by downunder (Post 312788)
With the brown spots- are you sure you don't have a bug problem?

Kinda looks like that to me too. Grubs maybe?

Casey12081 08-12-2009 12:37 PM

Okay, so I just mowed it, threw on some fertilizer and raked. Also ordered a soil Ph test (at this point why not?). I dug a hole and filled it with water, we will see how that goes. To aerate the lawn can I just use any tool to "poke holes" or do I need something specific? Is there a technique on how many holes/spacing? Also bought some insect and weed killer - Home Depot loves me right now! :laughing: Hope this works, and thank you all for pointing me in the right direction!!

downunder 08-12-2009 05:50 PM


Ordered pH test- Is this a soil sample you sent somewhere? Was it part of a soil analysis or pH only?

Did you water in the fertilizer?

When you raked, do you mean raked up the grass clippings or raked into the soil?

Aerating is not "poking holes," it is using an aerator. The ones that remove a plug about the size of a good cigar are much better than ones with tines. By the way, you will not get good results if the soil is dry and hard. Schedule this to do a couple of days after a good soaking rain.

Casey12081 08-13-2009 06:25 PM

It was a soil analysis test that is supposed to tell me what's in it so i can figure out what to mix in for fertilizer. Right now I am just using the kind you spray on with a hose. I raked the whole lawn and then about 3 inches down in the bad spots. I wanted to get the rotten grass out and expose the soil to see if that would help. Plus it will be easier to get the insecticide stuff in there (thanks Tess!).

downunder 08-14-2009 03:13 PM


so i can figure out what to mix in for fertilizer.
I presume this is the first soil analysis you have had done. It will tell you a recommendation for x lbs of whatever fertilizer, lime etc. that you need. It will also (should) tell you what your soil structure is, i.e. clay, loam, etc with percentages of silt, organics, etc.

That's why I was asking if you just had a pH or the analysis done.

Good luck!

Casey12081 08-18-2009 03:20 PM

So my frustration factor is pegged out in the red on this one. All the seed I put in last month, which looked great a week ago is dying. Too much moisture from a drainage issue that I can't figure out. The brown spots (from grubs?) are getting bigger and spreading. The fertilizer worked great on the grass that is still alive. So I have a mosaic lawn of luscious green grass with dark brown spots and rotted out brownish gunk with a sprinkling of dog vomit! Can't help but see the humor in it after countless hours and $$ invested in this.

The hole I dug took over 24 hours to drain and I haven't received the soil analysis kit yet. So at this point I am throwing in the towel. Chalk one up to mother nature! I appreciate all the help, and I will be back next season!

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:53 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1