Ask a Question forum: HELP! Calling Lawn Worshippers

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Name: Jennifer Temple
Welland, Niagara Region, Ontar (Zone 6b)
Abrasive personality,corrosive even
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jenniferatemple
Sep 4, 2015 12:04 PM CST
Does anyone know what is killing my grass? I've dug around affected areas but see no grubs and the lawn is not loose from the ground . There is a lot of the very fine webbing (?) everywhere.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 4, 2015 12:19 PM CST
Looks like spider webs. As predators, their relationship to the dead spots in the lawn would only be to exploit the opportunity to easily build a web over them, and/or to hunt/trap small critters attracted to (or hatching from) the bare spots.

The last pic looks like chunks of dead grass were left in the lawn after mowing? That can make dead spots. If that's what happened, you can rake the cut grass around a bit so it's not so thick in any 1 spot to avoid that in the future. Try not to mow when grass is damp, so it doesn't clump up so badly.
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Sep 4, 2015 12:47 PM CST
Sod Web Worms would be my guess.

edited because I forgot to add the link to a photo: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=sod+webworm+webs&view=de...
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[Last edited by plantladylin - Sep 4, 2015 12:49 PM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 4, 2015 1:16 PM CST
Is the webbing primarily there early in the morning on humid days? It resembles a fungus disease called "dollar spot". If you Google dollar spot and look at the images showing the leaf lesions then see if you can find some blades in your spots that look like them, that would be even more suggestive. Those leaves would have tan areas surrounded by normal green, often with brown edges to the lesions but it's not on every leaf. I'd post a link or two but haven't figured out how to do that on my iPad.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Sep 4, 2015 1:29 PM CST
I'd never heard of Dollar Spot but that could very well be a possible cause of Jennifer's lawn issues, description says webs are present with the dollar spot too:
http://www.american-lawns.com/problems/diseases/dollarspot.h...
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Sep 4, 2015 1:39 PM CST
OK, fired up the laptop so I can post a link. Here is a picture of what to look for, see if you can find any leaf blades that look like this:

http://www.turfdiseases.org/turfdisewp/wp-content/uploads/20...
http://hort.uwex.edu/files/2014/11/dollar-spot-1.jpg
http://entoweb.okstate.edu/ddd/IMAGES/Dollarspot2.jpg
This one's a bit fuzzy but may be helpful:
http://files.campus.edublogs.org/blogs.cornell.edu/dist/9/82...

This page has a picture of the fluffy stuff (mycelium) and the leaf lesions:
http://msu-turfwiki.wikispaces.com/Dollar+Spot

This one shows just the mycelium:
http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/plantpath/extension/fact_sheets/ima...

If you can't find the characteristic leaf lesions then there are other possibilities but my suggestion would be to try that first.
Name: Jennifer Temple
Welland, Niagara Region, Ontar (Zone 6b)
Abrasive personality,corrosive even
Organic Gardener Birds Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Region: Canadian
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jenniferatemple
Sep 4, 2015 3:54 PM CST
Thank You! Everybody!
Well, it would most likely be dollar spot and every cure seems to recommend chemicals. That being the case, plus the need for water and fertilizer for nice looking turf, I am giving up on growing grass! I think I'll pick a nice clover for ground cover next year. For this year, I'll just let pests have their way with it. Clover is green, soft underfoot, provides it's own nitrogen and bees love the blossoms. I live in an area with a number of major waterways so I will not add any kind of chemicals for the sake of grass. When I have a little money to spend I'll do paving stone walks and raised gardens in the back. Grass is just to fussy and crabby for me to spend an other year trying to keep it looking nice. Sighing!
Flowers never give me any trouble!
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Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Chillybean
Sep 4, 2015 4:06 PM CST
I like your attitude about lawn. I am not sure I'll plant clover, I have fits with the white in my prairie patches. It is fine in the yard areas. You did give me an idea about paving stones. There are areas that nothing can grow because of where we walk and they turn to mud in the rain. I'll have to look into it and hope to find something that doesn't look like the same old thing.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Sep 4, 2015 4:22 PM CST
If it is dollar spot then once environmental conditions are no longer suitable for the disease it should go away on its own, but just applying nitrogen fertilizer should reduce it because it's a disease favoured by low levels of nitrogen. I'm familiar with an outbreak on a lawn near me and it improved dramatically after fertilization. In Ontario I don't think there are any "chemical" fungicides available to homeowners for dollar spot due to the provincial cosmetic pesticide ban.
Name: Jennifer Temple
Welland, Niagara Region, Ontar (Zone 6b)
Abrasive personality,corrosive even
Organic Gardener Birds Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Region: Canadian
Image
jenniferatemple
Sep 4, 2015 4:30 PM CST
Chillybean said:I like your attitude about lawn. I am not sure I'll plant clover, I have fits with the white in my prairie patches. It is fine in the yard areas. You did give me an idea about paving stones. There are areas that nothing can grow because of where we walk and they turn to mud in the rain. I'll have to look into it and hope to find something that doesn't look like the same old thing.


Years ago, when I had a small creek with a very steep bank at the back of my very small yard. I leveled the lower bank for a terrace and collected a lot of natural flat stone (Rocks) to do my stone paving and the same for steps I'd cut out to the top of the bank. With a set of white birch and decorative grass at both ends for privacy and a wooden pic-nic table, it was a wonderful little retreat! All it cost me was hard labor.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Sep 5, 2015 5:54 AM CST
I share your attitude! You might find something of value in this discussion:
http://garden.org/thread/go/38388/

I would love to have some of that disease killing our grass! Getting rid of the grasses that grow here is very difficult (torpedograss, bahiagrass, St. Augustine's, Bemuda, wiregrass, panic grass, they're all in our "lawn") and I just want flower beds...
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