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what is wrong with my lawn?

Old 11-10-2018, 06:06 AM
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Default what is wrong with my lawn?

A few months ago I started getting some brown spots. I put down bifen thinking it was bugs/grubs. I also fertilized with Scotts weed and feed.

It has only gotten worse: Help please!

Old 11-10-2018, 08:23 AM
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It hasn't really rained in awhile, do you water your lawn or just let nature do it's thing?
Old 11-10-2018, 08:42 AM
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Lawns are not native or natural to South Florida, being a "monoculture", critters just have a feast once they get a foothold in your sod's root structure.

Ever wonder why you can't just 'grow' grass in your yard from seed? Like you could 'up-north'?

It's a constant battle and must be combated with regular applications of toxic poisons. That pillow-soft "St. Augustine grass" (many varieties like "'Floratam") are bred to resist 'chinch bugs' ect., but you still need the poison, fertilizer and lots of water. Golf green Bermuda and Zoysia are even more 'trouble', but Bahia is probably most 'trouble-free'.

Hope you're not on or near water, as our waterway's contamination from algae is blamed on runoff from lawns and agricultural operations (like 'sod farms'!

Best solution is a natural (native) landscape requiring no fertilizer, poison and much less water. University of Florida has lots of information on how to accomplish this and retire your lawnmower.
Art
Old 11-10-2018, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by pilotart View Post
Lawns are not native or natural to South Florida, being a "monoculture", critters just have a feast once they get a foothold in your sod's root structure.

Ever wonder why you can't just 'grow' grass in your yard from seed? Like you could 'up-north'?

It's a constant battle and must be combated with regular applications of toxic poisons. That pillow-soft "St. Augustine grass" (many varieties like "'Floratam") are bred to resist 'chinch bugs' ect., but you still need the poison, fertilizer and lots of water. Golf green Bermuda and Zoysia are even more 'trouble', but Bahia is probably most 'trouble-free'.

Hope you're not on or near water, as our waterway's contamination from algae is blamed on runoff from lawns and agricultural operations (like 'sod farms'!

Best solution is a natural (native) landscape requiring no fertilizer, poison and much less water. University of Florida has lots of information on how to accomplish this and retire your lawnmower.
Art
So you are saying all the golf courses are sodded? Must be new as I have seen many grown in as a kid in SFLA. Do the hundreds of sod farms buy sod from up north and replant on their land?
Old 11-10-2018, 09:24 AM
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what kind of grass is that? i'm thinking fungus. you guys have gotten a lot of rain heading into a dormant season.
Old 11-10-2018, 09:24 AM
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Not fungus. Most likely from not enough water. I have seen this on my lawn. St. Augustine requires several heavy waterings per week. From what I have been told, most if not all of the sod we use comes from areas like Georgia. Growing from seedling is not recommended in this part of the country.

Bahia or pasture grass is less maintenance and actually starts to go dormant in the winter. Can survive with less water than St. Augustine.
Old 11-10-2018, 09:24 AM
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My neighbor "sprigged" his yard from the clippings at a golf course and he now has a Bermuda lawn.You can grow grass from scratch but you need to know what you are doing.
I have a little patch of Zoysia (70-80 sq/ft) by the pool that I can keep green but my yard is a mix of Bahia, Pusley and sand spurs. I actually prefer the Pusley. It doesn't grow very fast, it stays green all year and it gets little white flowers in the winter that is about all the "snow" I ever want to see.
Old 11-10-2018, 09:35 AM
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Bermuda is pretty easy to grow from seed in S Fl. My dad was too cheap to buy sod and seeded 3 lawns while I was growing up. Could never tell. Most of the neighbors did as well. If it was that difficult you would not see so many sod farms. Prepare those areas and seed.
Old 11-10-2018, 09:36 AM
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I suggest you go online to read about grasses. The University of Georgia ought to have plenty online since sod is a big cash crop down around Tifton.

I've got one house with a large yard with Bermuda sod 100% irrigated. It's easy to keep with 100% of the yard able to be cut by a zero turn mower. But my lake house is a bitch to cut by hand with steep embankments. We scrapped that Bermuda and sodded it with slower growing Zoysia. Nice to have irrigation with lake water.

I'm still a little perturbed at Kevin Van Dam for emptying some of his fish cooker oil on my grass 3 years ago.
Old 11-10-2018, 10:23 AM
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Looks like fungus and insect, been seeing a lot of that here on ms coast this year treat with Bifen again and fungicide. You can also send a sample to certain universities and get an answer pretty quickly but my vote is cinch bug, and Grey leaf spot fungus/ take all patch. (I’m a landscaper)
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:36 AM
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Get your soil tested by an independent lab source. There are ways to take samples and send it in.
Good lawns can be a beyatch to get right. Seeding and cutting isn't enough.
If you are not going to hire a pro, you should start with soil testing. Cover the basics there.
Old 11-10-2018, 10:42 AM
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if you already used Bifen it just about has to be a fungus. But there are some viruses that will do that too.
Old 11-10-2018, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by halfwaythere View Post
. From what I have been told, most if not all of the sod we use comes from areas like Georgia. .
You need to get out and look at the thousands of acres of sod farms in FL. What you've been told is incorrect, unless you're in the very northernmost parts of FL.
Old 11-10-2018, 10:54 AM
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Brown patch fungus.
Old 11-10-2018, 10:55 AM
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x3 on fugus, water twice per week only, too much water will cause it. Fertilizing makes it worse. I've used scotts fungus control and it seems to work pretty well, comes in an orangish bag.
Old 11-10-2018, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
You need to get out and look at the thousands of acres of sod farms in FL. What you've been told is incorrect, unless you're in the very northernmost parts of FL.
In SWF. I had 3 quotes from Sod companies 2 years back. All 3 were using Sod farms in Georgia. So maybe they were lying to me and you’re the expert?
Old 11-10-2018, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post

Brown patch fungus.
You have whatever you say. The photo in the OP is not brown. The lawn care company that does my lawn said it was from lack of water. Now I don’t know where the OP lives or how much water his lawn gets, but St. Augustine needs at minimum 1/2” of water twice per week
Old 11-10-2018, 11:49 AM
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It could be any or all the above. Without testing, seeing pests or having a trained eye check it out, we're all just guessing. A big one that nearly everyone gets wrong, only water when it needs watering. That's when you begin seeing the grass blades curl/stress from lack of water. Many say to a good test is when you can see your footprints as you walk across the yard. I have St Augustine and haven't watered in about 2-3 weeks. I just turn the system off and watch the grass for need. They tell us here in the panhandle to set the watering schedule so it ends with the dew point in early morning. The reason is to keep the grass watered but not wet for extended times creating an opportunity for fungus to take hold.

Now to figure out what you have going on, you should be able to take a sample to the extension office there. I would give them a call first and see if they can help. If so, take a piece that has both dead and live grass with roots; if they're as helpful there as they are here, they should be able to ID exactly what is going on. Here's the website with contact info: Broward Extension Office
Old 11-10-2018, 12:01 PM
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Also of note is St. Augustine is not a lawn that handles any type of traffic well. Whether it be foot traffic or pets. You will get bare spots. This isn’t that however.
Old 11-10-2018, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by halfwaythere View Post
In SWF. I had 3 quotes from Sod companies 2 years back. All 3 were using Sod farms in Georgia. So maybe they were lying to me and you’re the expert?
I would say they are lying to you. There are not large margins in sod, especially when adding transportation. Transportation into Florida is expensive because of lack of freight out. Transportation would have been four times as much. I guess the other question would be why buy from an area 2-3 hardiness areas away?

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