Lawn Problem - Knowledgebase Question

Salem, OR
Question by clymorrb
September 4, 1999
I have this strange stuff in my lawn. It grows it circles and keeps getting bigger. If looking at it from a distance it is light green in color and infiltrates the lawn so it almost looks fern-like. In trying to remove it with a rake it is just a mass weaving throughout the area with kind of stiff stems. After raking there is very little grass left in the area. Do you have any idea what it might be?

Answer from NGA
September 4, 1999


If your lawn is shaded, has poor drainage, compacted and acidic soil, or is under fed, you may be dealing with a native liverwort or moss. These are light green in color and ferny-looking, and they spread by creeping over the soil surface. If the pesty growth is more yellow than green and looks stringy, it's probably dodder, a parasitic plant that takes its nourishment from other plants. Without actually seeing the problem, it's difficult to positively identify. You can take a sample to your local Extension office for diagnosis and recommendations for control. (OSU Extension Service, 182 SW Academy, Suite 202, Dallas, OR 97338. Phone (503) 623-8395.

Lawn that's well maintained has fewer problems, so put your grass on a regular feeding, mowing and watering schedule to help restore its health. Feed in April, June, September and December using a fertilizer with a 3-1-2 ratio of N-P-K. Supply one-inch of water per week during the growing season, and mow regularly, removing about 1/3 of the top growth with each mowing.

Following the above recommendations should result in a lush, green, healthy lawn. One that you can really enjoy!

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