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Help! How Am I Killing This Lawn?!

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Red Gum
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Help! How Am I Killing This Lawn?!
#1

It's a small courtyard lawn with underground irrigation. Seems to be a buffalo of some sort - really tough broad leaf, quite blue, with a really dense thatch. It took a few cuts initially to find the best length to cut it, as it was really spongy and would scalp easily in a couple of spots. Finally settled on 52mm.

 

Back in March it was looking pretty ordinary. The owner had some problems with the watering system and the lawn was looking shabby with weeds and bald spots (which I attributed at least partly to urination by the owner's female dog). We also seemed to have lost a lot of the buffalo and had some wispy green rygrass or similar in its place:

 

Attached File  March.jpg   180.84KB   1 downloads

 

The owner got the irrigation fixed and I hit the weeds and did a couple of applications of feed, one charlie carp and one dynamic lifter. The buffalo dominated again but it never regained full strength, and the clover and rye etc kept coming back through it.

A couple of weeks ago I tried Munns weed and feed granules (allegedly buffalo friendly) but it did the opposite of what I hoped, it really blackened the lawn, and now the only healthy green to be seen is clover and rye grass.

 

Attached File  June-1.jpg   107KB   0 downloads   Attached File  June-2.jpg   185.96KB   0 downloads

 

Last week I cut it shorter than normal (42mm) in the hope it would remove the worst of the blackening and we'd see some signs of hope, but it looked just as bad yesterday.

 

So I gave it a good stiff rake and a serious 32mm scalping mow to try and reduce the thatch, in the hope that is at the root of the problem - I took away almost a full 240L bin of material from about a 20m2 lawn that isn't even growing! Must have taken a good inch or two of thatch out of it. I'm really hoping that will do the trick and a bit of sunlight and air will kick start some new growth from the remaining runners - I know it's probably a bit early in the season but I think we're past the frosts here now and the days are sunny, and I couldn't let the owner keep looking at it like it was. Although, it does look a lot worse right now :ph34r:

 

So anyway, do you think I am on the right track now with the dethatching?! Have I missed something, or just completely stuffed something up? I'm really struggling to understand what it's problem is.


Posted 08 July 2017 - 01:05 PM

crocster
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Help! How Am I Killing This Lawn?!
#2

I'm not a turf expert but the only other things I'd do is test a few spots for PH, and put a bag or carpet square down and see if any grubs come to the surface - wrong season now but damage may have been done earlier coming in to winter.


Posted 08 July 2017 - 02:03 PM

Red Gum
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Help! How Am I Killing This Lawn?!
#3

Good ideas, thanks Crocster. What sort of bugs should I be looking out for?


Posted 09 July 2017 - 01:10 PM

markp
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Help! How Am I Killing This Lawn?!
#4

Can you tell me what area you are in, before you apply anything else


Posted 09 July 2017 - 03:26 PM

crocster
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Help! How Am I Killing This Lawn?!
#5

Good ideas, thanks Crocster. What sort of bugs should I be looking out for?

I'm not sure what types would be in your area but any significant number of grubs coming to the surface would be a reason to treat - but here in SE QLD the main season for them is end of summer - Feb - so you may not see any but the damage has been done - in that case I don't think there's much you can do till spring when you can give it some water and something like Eco 88 or a soluble fertiliser


Posted 09 July 2017 - 04:43 PM

Lawn Stabber
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Help! How Am I Killing This Lawn?!
#6

Definitely a fungal disease. Most likely brown patch. Zaleton or mancozeb will help, cut off watering completely and give the lawn a fertilise. Also make sure you catch all clippings and wash out under your mower as you can spread it to other lawns. It's not a grub attack it's definitely a disease.
Posted 17 July 2017 - 01:02 AM

Red Gum
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Help! How Am I Killing This Lawn?!
#7

Hi guys, sorry I somehow missed the previous couple of posts. I'm in southern NSW btw.

 

 

Definitely a fungal disease

 

The sudden blackening I'm attributing to the weed'n'feed granules, as it happened immediately afterwards, and is exactly the same kind of result you get on broadleaf weeds. What are you attributing to the fungal disease? Just the general weakness and crappiness or are you seeing something specific?

 

I visited last week (a week after the dethatching and scalping) and there is some healthier looking new growth starting to emerge, but I might apply a fungicide next visit if you think it will help.


Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:31 AM




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