MonkeyPigDog – posted 10 July 2002 21:30
I have recently noticed some large areas on my lawn that have started growning very light colored, almost lime green colored blades of St. Augustine grass. I have also noticed that my once thick lawn is starting to thin out and develop small gaps. I assumed this may be too much water (though I’ve been using the same watering cycle for three years now) so I cut back the sprinkler cycle. I also noticed a lot of dead grass in the small gaps that are developing. I spent an entire day getting rid of the dead grass to avoid fungii/root rot from the damp, dead grass. The yard looks pretty bad now but I have faith that it will rebound. Does anybody have any other ideas about what might have caused this? Is reducing the water a good idea (at least in the short term)? Is there any kind of fertilizer, fungicide, pesticide or combination that I need to consider? I have never seen this happen in the past five years that I have been maintaining this lawn. Any assistance is appreciated!!!
wdrake – posted 12 July 2002 20:48
From your description it is hard to tell what is happening. I had similar, though not identical, problem a couple of years ago. Turned out to be Take all Root Rot. Fungus attacks roots and produces some of the above ground symptoms you describe. No quick fix other than cultural; i.e., water an inch or so when needed, and mow at 3 or 4 inches. There are some fungicides that claim to treat the disease, but frankly I had little success with them. Current thought is to increase Potassium “feeding” to same level as Nitrogen. That is a pound of Potassium for a pound of Nitrogen. Some suppliers are now offering 15-0-15 or 16-0-16 as Centipede fertilizer and that is what I have started using. Not far enough along to tell whether it is working. Suggest you take a look at roots on dying grass and see if they look healthy. Also you might want to consult your local county extension agent for help. Take a look at reference to locate yours. I have more “literature” on Take-All–etc. Too much to include here. E-mail me and I’ll share !
List of State Extension Office WEB Sites;http://ceinfo.unh.edu/state_sites.html
Bill DrakeNiceville FL
kirb_in_sarasota – posted 04 May 2004 08:39
I just read your account of your St Augustine problems. I live in Sarasota, Florida, and have had a similar experience. For the last ten years or so, my lawn was the envy of the neighborhood. I watered and fertilized a lot, and had a lawn I really took pride in. Then about two years ago, it started thinning a little. It just didn’t have the look it used to have. I gradually eliminated all the usual suspects, cinch bugs, overwatering, fertilizer, etc. etc. The lawn continued to die out, until I had large sections of the lawn with no St Augustine, and taken over by weeds, and wild bermuda. By the second year I had begun to look at St Augustine decline, take all root rot, and other possibilities. I even bought some very expensive fungicide and treated one small area, with no luck. Close examination of the dying areas indicated that I had something called “Take All Root Rot”. By the way, my neighbors on either side had similar problems. There is no known cure. Of course, I did what most home owners do, I bought plugs and installed them in the bare areas, and they just died even with water twice a day. I began to think that maybe all the chemical fertilizer, and fire and and mole cricket and cinch bug killers had also affected the micro organisms in the soil. I went to Home Depot and bought 20 40 pound bags of composted cow manure, (for $1.09 each) and applied it to the affected areas. Lo and behold, my lawn is coming back now. Many spots were just bare dirt, and now have big healthy runners growing in. I have held the chemical fertilizer to a minimum, and so far things look good. By the way, this is the third year I have been fighting this problem. Maybe this will work for email@example.com