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Any Ideas ??

Cool season grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue & Rye
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Jeffro
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:26 pm
Location: Washington State
Grass Type: Rye
Lawn Size: 3,000 sq ft
Mower: Honda

Any Ideas ??

Post by Jeffro » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:50 pm

New here.
Here’s what I’m dealing with again...

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I live in Western Washington. I get this ‘dead’ spot in the same spot every year. However, this year it has expanded around my plant beds to the other side of the yard.
I’ve tested the ph in several spots and it is 6.5-6.8. Very tempted to tear it up and throw down more bark...but I can’t give in that easily!
Here’s what it looks like in the summer after reseeding.

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Any thoughts on what might be killing the grass?
Thanks

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craigdt
Posts: 262
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:55 pm
Location: Kansas
Grass Type: Fescue
Lawn Size: 10000
Mower: Ferris IS600z

Re: Any Ideas ??

Post by craigdt » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:10 pm

Is it in shade much of the time?

Does a roof drain rain onto it?
Dithiopyr (Dimension) Marketplace : $23/4oz, $33/8oz, $52/16oz
Mesotrione (Tenacity) Marketplace : $24/4oz, $35/8oz, $54/16oz
Azoxystrobin 22.9 Fungicide Marketplace : $23/4oz, $31/8oz, $48/16oz, 32oz/$82

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DTTG13
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:28 pm
Location: Chilliwack, BC
Grass Type: Perennial Ryegrass/KBG
Lawn Size: 4000 sqft
Mower: Toro Recycler

Re: Any Ideas ??

Post by DTTG13 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:03 pm

I'm about an hour's drive north from Bellingham, WA just across the border. I have the same thing happen to me in certain parts of my backyard as well.

I've tried different types of grass (perennial rye, tall fescue, fine fescue, kbg) in these locations over the years and still have the same result. I seed the area, the grass comes in and looks great from spring to early fall. Then it starts going downhill in late fall into winter until I end up with bare areas like in your pictures. Last year the damage reached out further into the yard as well.

I'm not 100% sure what causes it but I'm thinking it is one or a combination of factors. The areas where it is occuring for me receive hardly any sun over the winter and the ground in those areas stays wet and soggy for longer periods of time than the rest of the yard. These two factors alone could be causing it, or perhaps it has made the area ripe for some type of winter disease.

There is not a lot I can do about the shade as one area is along a fence line and the other is behind some thick shrubbery that I don't want to trim back too much for privacy reasons. I think this year in the spring I may use my manual aerator tool in those areas and fill in the holes with sand to hopefully help a bit with drainage. I'll try planting straight fine fescue rather than a mix, since it is better for shady areas. Then maybe some fungicide treatments late fall, early winter.

Wish I could be of more help as I know how frustrating it can be.

ABC123
Posts: 734
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:46 am
Location: MN 4B
Grass Type: Bewitched
Lawn Size: 8,000
Mower: 220SL GM1000

Re: Any Ideas ??

Post by ABC123 » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:01 am

has the bed ever been different shape?

Apply anything to the beds other than water?

It could be moisture/fungus if the sun sets behind the house.

You already had grass growing so I don’t think it’s the soil.

Jeffro
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:26 pm
Location: Washington State
Grass Type: Rye
Lawn Size: 3,000 sq ft
Mower: Honda

Re: Any Ideas ??

Post by Jeffro » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:18 am

Lots of shade in the winter, but the way it curves along the bed has me stumped.
The beds are not treated with anything. It’s just bark mulch, which has never caused any issues in the past.No issues with drainage.
Maybe it’s a Northwest thing!
I haven’t noticed any of the neighbors having this issue.
It’s finally warming up here & I’m getting the itch to get back out in the yard!
Thanks everyone.
Last edited by Jeffro on Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Chris LI
Posts: 213
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:04 am
Location: Long Island, NY
Grass Type: KBG,TTTF, FF-different mixes
Lawn Size: 5K
Mower: Snapper Hi Vac 21"

Re: Any Ideas ??

Post by Chris LI » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:53 am

DTTG13 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:03 pm
I think this year in the spring I may use my manual aerator tool in those areas and fill in the holes with sand to hopefully help a bit with drainage. I'll try planting straight fine fescue rather than a mix, since it is better for shady areas. Then maybe some fungicide treatments late fall, early winter.
@Jeffro

This is what I was thinking of and I saw that DTTG13 posted it. It may help some. Do you have any drainage issues in this area?

Chris LI
Posts: 213
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:04 am
Location: Long Island, NY
Grass Type: KBG,TTTF, FF-different mixes
Lawn Size: 5K
Mower: Snapper Hi Vac 21"

Re: Any Ideas ??

Post by Chris LI » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:28 am

@Jeffro
You could also try mixing in a shade tolerant kbg with the FF, if you haven't gone that route yet. Mazama has surpassed Bewitched as the highest rated cultivar for shade. Both might be worth a try. Also, there could be more of a soil issue and specific testing which might require pulling deeper samples with a soil profiler or coring sampler. Since this has been an ongoing issue, you might have an overabundance of built up organic matter from the constant die off of turf. Look for dark black soil or layer with a funky smell. You may need to dig out a sizable area and start from scratch with a sandy loam.

SpiveyJr
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:15 am
Location: Upstate NY
Grass Type: Northern Mix.
Lawn Size: 6500
Mower: 21” push mower

Re: Any Ideas ??

Post by SpiveyJr » Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:44 am

I would make sure there is nothing buried in the ground. I had an area in my lawn that grew in and died out early each year due to pieces of brick and concrete not too far in the ground.
One man’s weed, is another man’s lawn.

Jeffro
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:26 pm
Location: Washington State
Grass Type: Rye
Lawn Size: 3,000 sq ft
Mower: Honda

Re: Any Ideas ??

Post by Jeffro » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:09 am

The house is only 5 years old, and who knows what the builders did before laying in the turf. One thing I was told by a neighbor was when the sod was layed, all the crew did was rough-rake the ground an toss the turf on top. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’ve had problems with it.
I typically aerate once or twice a year....but I did skip last year.
Moving forward, I’m aerating and doing a complete reseed with a mix of seed designed for the shade.
Thanks again!
Last edited by Jeffro on Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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