Need help desperately!!

Need help desperately!!

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jbinflorida – posted 05 September 2011 17:24

OK, so I have been trying for two years to get a nice healthy lawn. I have resodded twice. Each time my sod seems to die out of nowhere it does good for about 6 months and then dies. I always thought it was chinch bugs, but I always put down the bug killer and it still dies.

I have been reading about this take all root rot and I am starting to wonder if maybe that is the problem. I need to know, how do I take a soil sample? Do I need to call a company for that? Does anyone know of any in Boca Raton (Palm Beach county) or near there. I need to get this fixed once and for all.

The grass seems to do well for about 6 months and then all of the sudden I get brown patches that just die completely. Slowly but surely, the weeds set in and I can never get the lawn to recover. Now I have weeds that even look like grass, but I don’t think it is. I am posting pictures of some of the weeds here:http://i1121.photobucket.com/albums/l509/jbutlerinflorida/IMG_0248.jpghttp://i1121.photobucket.com/albums/l509/jbutlerinflorida/IMG_0246.jpg

Here is a pic of one of the spots that just died completely and now weeds are taking over:http://i1121.photobucket.com/albums/l509/jbutlerinflorida/IMG_0250.jpg

Last, the little bit of st. augustine I do have left looks like it has either a disease or a fungus. The blades have brown spots on them and some are dead. Here’s a pic:http://i1121.photobucket.com/albums/l509/jbutlerinflorida/IMG_0249.jpg

A friend who is a landscaper tells me just fertilize it really good and then do heavy weed and feed in October, but when I fertilized heavy all it seems to do is make the weeds grow even stronger. Should I maybe try dethatching or even aerating the lawn? I already fight a constant battle because the three neighbors across the street from me have no grass, only weeds in their front lawn, so everytime they cut their weeds are going airborn and infecting my lawn. I am tired of fighting a losing battle. Any and all help is appreciated.

If I want to get rid of this lawn and resod again, how should I go about it? Should I try plugs first to see if I can get it to come back that way? Should I kill the entire lawn and then till it up and then resod?

Maybe I have overfertilized? I am just so frustrated!!!!!!

[This message has been edited by jbinflorida (edited 05 September 2011).]

seed – posted 05 September 2011 17:31

That is a sedge, probably purple nutsedge. It can be killed with Image, applied carefully and in accord with the label. Take-all root rot, if you have it is a difficult disease, but I don’t know why you think you have it, especially if you have brown patches if they are well defined.

Here is a link to the UF Plant Disease Clinic which has information on sample submission.

seed – posted 05 September 2011 17:40

You added some more observations and links after I started writing. The leaf spots are probably gray leafspot which can occur in the rainy summer, especially if the lawn has plenty of N fertilizer. It’s usually not debilitating, but the nitrogen may be enough for now.

The cut leaf blades show damage from an unsharp mower, not good, but not catastrophic.

Check to make sure you don’t also have sod webworms feeding; if so, you will see minutely skeletonized leaf surfaces, and some munch marks on the sides and tips. Even if you don’t have sod webworms or other lawn caterpillars, you will, if you have been fertilizing heavily in summer.

There are young healthy stolons, so at least some of the stolons are growing back into the dead area.

You didn’t say anything about shade, but sometimes new sod goes through a tedious process of adapting to a shady location, and summer transplant problems can be difficult.

I don’t see anything really bad.

seed – posted 05 September 2011 17:42

Woops, here is the link:


jbinflorida – posted 05 September 2011 18:11

Thank you very much for the quick feedback! So assuming that I don’t have the “take all”, would you suggest killing the areas that seem like it is all weeds and then resodding just those areas, or perhaps put in some plugs? Also, is the dethatching necessary? I have also read some things about PH on this site. Is there a way to test the PH yourself? Thanks again for the feedback!

PS. This section of the lawn is full sun for most of the day. There are no shady areas.

[This message has been edited by jbinflorida (edited 05 September 2011).]

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