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I think I have a disease ! ! !

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by Black Country Boy on September 02, 2006 09:20 PM
Hi folks

First time poster here, so be gentle with me!

I have put down 2 new lawns almost 1 year ago (each approx 5 yds x 4 yds. It was watered all through the very hot summer that we have just had and it looked absolutely brilliant until about 2 weeks ago.

A small patch appeared in the middle of one of the lawns. On closer inspection, at the edges of the patch the grass appears to be turning brown at the end of each piece of grass, and is not spreading quite quickly. One one lawn it is about a diameter of 1 yard. Grass is not completely dead within the patch, but about 50-60% is gone.

A small patch has started to appear on the other new lawn next to it (separated only by a path.

I have dismissed poor water supply, as the old lawn was dug out, and 2 inches of soil taken out and 2 tons of new topsoil added. Earlier in the summer I noticed some mushroom type thingys growing, but used a very diluted Verdone. Have also used Miracle Grow earlier in the year.

Any advice form wise of sages very much needed before the patch gets any bigger!!!

Kind regards
by TulsaRose on September 03, 2006 12:11 AM
Hi There...Welcome to the forums. [wavey] I'm sure someone will be able to help you out but we need to know your location (gardening zone) and the kind of grass you planted. Full sun, shade??? Any dogs around???

Post back to this thread and let us know more details and pictures would be nice, too. [Wink]

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Rosie z7a
by The Plant Doc on September 03, 2006 12:59 AM
Welcome!!! [Smile]
Do the effected areas have any circular patterns to them? If so is the grass dead in the ring or green in the ring and dead in the middle?
Also does it seem to have an orangy color to it, or a orange to red powdery substance that comes off when touched?
It could also be insects causing the damage so another couple of things you may want to check too; Grab a handful of grass and try to lift up the lawn like you would a carpet.
Also get down on your hands and knees, and spread the grass apart (as if you were parting hair) and look closely at the base of the plants, are there any insects flitting around? It is best to look for then in the area which is dying, but not dead yet.
Mentioning which area you are from would be very helpful so that possibly someone who is a bit closer to home, and may be a bit more knowledgeable in things which are happening in your locality could respond.

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Mike Maier
The Plant Doc
by Black Country Boy on September 03, 2006 01:24 AM
Hi folks

I have put two photos on the following web-site . .

or try this


Sorry for poor quality, but weather very poor here today.

The close up photo is on the extremity of the patch

Right . . . some more info.

Location: We live in the Middle of the UK, Near Birmingham
There are no cats or dogs in the vicinity
The previous lawn was put down by the plot builders approx 6 years ago, and (as I mentioned) I dug it out and put new topsoil down last summer.
Sorry that I cannot be specific about what type of grass it is, I just ordered it our of the local newspaper - and it looked great in the summer.
We have had a hot July (high 90s) but a cool Augus
It is in direct sun for most of the day

Phew . . . hope this helps!

Kind Regards

by Longy on September 07, 2006 05:32 PM
It looks like a fungal problem. Very lush growth. Lots of water. Insufficient drainage perhaps or air circulation being less than perfect. Don't water the lawn so much and preferably do it in the morning so the grass leaves are not wet into the evening. If the fertiliser you use is very high in nitrogen, it may cause lots of lush, green growth but the grass is weak and susceptible to these types of problems. So fertilising with a high nitrogen fert at the end of spring can cause this lush growth just in time for Summer humidity.

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The secret is the soil.
by The Plant Doc on September 09, 2006 05:27 AM
Nice close up pic! [Smile]

Longy is right, it is a disease which we call Dollar Spot here in the states, not sure if they have another nickname for it over there or not. The botanical name is (sclerotinia homoeocarpa)

Different types of fungal diseases act differently with fertilizer or actually the Nitrogen in the fert. This one in particular loves fertilizer and would get worse if you fertilize into it.
It loves damp weather not necessarily rainy, but humid. Do not water your lawn in the evening. This is like throwing gasoline on a fire!
A lot of the time it will go away with a change in the weather conditions, if not you may need to apply a fungicide.

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Mike Maier
The Plant Doc
by M. D. Vaden of Oregon on September 09, 2006 02:57 PM
It's called "Red Thread".

The controls are fairly simple, ranging from fertilizing and continued mowing.

I doubt that you want to use fungicides - spendy, and not ideal for soil.


red thread turf fungus

You should find reams of pages, and the solutions will be easy to spot.

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M. D. Vaden of Oregon

Web Site

Oregon Bigfoot Trap trail

Photo Albums - Oregon Scenery & Tree Care
by Black Country Boy on September 10, 2006 03:00 AM
Many thanks to all the people who have kindly replied to help me with my problem.

My plan of action is not to (manually) water for the remainder of summer/autumn and let nature takes its cause. For those living further afield from the Black Country (a small area 10 miles square right in the middle of the United Kingdom) we had a July that broke all records, in terms of hot weather. My lawn has already started to pick up, now that some cooler weather has arrived. There are around 150 on the street where I live, and I am the only one with a green lawn!!!

I will carry on cutting every two weeks, and fertilize in the Spring

Thanks again! [clappy]


For those interested, details of the Black Country can be found at

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