The Q&A Archives: LAwn problems

Question: Problem with large sections of lawn yellowing a grass dying. Hve used two types of insectside for grubs and other insects. Could it be a fungus due to the large amount of rain in the northest this year? Is there a test for fungus? What is recommended to eliminate the problem?

Answer: Yellowing grass can indicate water stress or a fungus of some sort. Pull out a few of the grass blades and look at them with a magnifying glass. Fungal spores can be black dots, brown or orange raised areas and near the roots you might see white or black or even orange strings. There are several tests you can make before deciding whether or not the spots are the results of insect feeding. The easiest is to scrape your shoe over the top of the grass. Any chinch bugs will hop onto the top of your shoe. Grubs feed on grass roots. If you can pull the grass up because there are no roots anchoring to the ground, grubs have consumed the roots. Grubs can also be detected by digging up a piece of the lawn, roots and all. Grubs will either be right on the soil surface or hanging onto the roots of your turf. Those are the two most common lawn pests in your gardening region. If you find none, inspect the areas in your lawn for signs of fungal spores, mushy areas, etc. If you find none, fungus isn't the problem. Compacted soils or lots of thatch can keep moisture from penetrating the soil and your lawn can turn brown in those areas. Aerating or dethatching will help with those problems. Hope this information helps you determine just what might be causing the patches in your lawn.

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