I'm in Chile and I have lawn fungus. HELP!!

Lushgarden77January 21, 2014

Hi everyone,

I'm a 100% newbie and in need of dire advice. I'm located in Chile and we recently bought a house and I'm the proud owner of a garden :p) I need some cornmeal to combat my brown lawn fungus, being in Chile means that I can't just pop into my local garden center or nursery to pick some up. It's not available here.

Question 1 Can I use cornmeal that chickens are fed with? Or should it be cornmeal that is fed to another type of animal. Or does it really need to be the special cornmeal you can buy in a garden center.

Question 2 What is the recommended ratio?

Question 3 Can I just throw it around sparingly on my lawn or should I use a homemade shaker. Lawn feeders also don't exist here. ( I can foresee a business here)

After applying the first dose and waiting the 3 weeks when should I reapply? Can I apply it to my plants and bushes?

The land where I live is mainly sandy with poor drainage, 9 months of sun per year. It rained four times last year. Think Las Vegas but in the 1950's.

I would deeply appreciate your tips and advice.

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The original research, that I saw, on using corn meal to control lawn fungi was done at Texas A & M and several other studies at several other universities could not replicate what was done at TAMU.
Some people that believe those original studies suggest spreading corn meal at the rate of 20 to 40 pounds per 1,000 square feet, and any corn meal can be used.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 7:04AM
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So I applied cornmeal at the suggest rate and the fungus has spread it only 2 weeks since I applied it to the affected areas. It has spread like crazy.

I've attached some pics for reference. Should I just bite the bullet and apply a fungicide?

    Bookmark   February 11, 2014 at 8:57PM
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Lushgarden77, I am going to assume the turf is tall fescue. This does look like it could be brown patch, hard to tell from this picture. Conditions that are favorable for brown patch are daytime temps 80+ and nighttime temps 60+. According to weather.com your daytime temps are there but your nighttime temps are mostly in the 50's. That being said your particular micro climate might be a little bit warmer, and along with your watering schedule you could definitely produced the conditions to favor brown patch. First thing to do is stop watering twice a day. When you need to water set your irrigation system up to run early in the morning just before sunup. How much to water? The general rule is an inch of irrigation or rain a week. You said this is a sandy soil so you will be better of running your irrigation twice a week to put out a half inch of water each time. Second, because of the stress your turf is under right now, you should only mow once a week. Third, when you do mow make sure to mow early in the morning, finish mowing before 11:00 a.m. Tall fescue can take alot of abuse from disease and drought but it cannot take any traffic when in this condition. Should you use a fungicide? It looks like the damage is done already, and I would think that your disease pressure should be going down in the next few of weeks, save your money for seed in the fall. However, if you need a product for next year use Heritage G in early December at the high rate it will get you a thirty plus days of control of brown patch. The good news is I don't think you will need the fungicide next year, your disease pressure is very low there, if you change your watering practices. Also no nitrogen fertilizer in the summer. Fertilize with nitrogen one pound per thousand square feet of nitrogen early fall and mid spring. Also, a large percentage of tall fescue affected by brown patch will come back by the following spring. So just wait till until late summer/early fall to reseed the damaged area's with tall fescue.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2014 at 10:04PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

If you applied whole grain ground corn meal, that should have stopped the spread if it was a fungus. Since it continued to spread, I'm going to suggest you have an insect problem.

If you get as hot as Las Vegas, you have the wrong grass. Do you really water 2x per day??? Fungal disease would be expected with that frequency of watering.

Where do you live in Chile?
What kind of grass do you have?
How often do you water and for how long?
What does the label of your corn meal say? Corn gluten meal is an animal feed and is different from ordinary whole ground corn.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 1:15AM
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I am located in Chicureo, Colina. I need to get in contact with the grass supplier to find out what sod was installed, we had our garden designed and built by a landscaping company.

We were advised by several local gardeners to water twice a day for at least 5 min because we have high temps. Seriously I'm dealing with a bunch of gardening cowboys. I fired one gardener the other day and now this new guy comes along and starts to water my garden at 2pm because he thinks those brown patches are a cause of not enough water.

I'm currently reading The Organic Lawn Care Manual: A Natural, Low-Maintenance System for a Beautiful, Safe Lawn by Paul Tukey. According to his formula for watering which is

C X W X .52
HR = sprinkler minutes.

C = coverage area in sq feet W = water depth HR = hose rate (gallons per minute)

My calculation came out as 48min, but the author forgot to mention how often you should water, is that once a week, once a month. Who knows he forgot to mention it.

I think my best bet is to follow the 1 inch per week rule and put out a tuna can to see how long it takes to fill it to an inch.

The cornmeal is chicken fed I bought from a local supplier I asked for maiz just maiz. But I checked the label and it says cebada malteada which is made of several different things such as cereal I can't find a clear answer on the internet if it;s made from maiz at all. Now I'm concerned exactly what the guy sold me in the pet shop.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 3:44PM
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What I have read, and heard, from Paul Tukey is that he is not a fan of the school of thought that promotes daily watering of grass. Deep, and infrequent, watering is what he talks about so apply that water to your lawn once a week or less often.
My experience with daily watering is that it promotes disease in turf grass.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 6:42AM
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We can make this easy. Google brown patch smoke ring and look at the pictures. Then irrigate the next night and then go out to the yard about two or three hours after sun rise and look for the smoke ring. Then if you can't find any brown patch go to the affected area and with both hands pull up on the turf if the turf pulls up in large chunks and you see grubs, then you have grubs. Lastly cut a couple of 2" by 2" squares of sod out one on the edge of the affected area and one in a nice green spot and compare, does one look dryer than the other. On a sandy soil if the plug is dry it will be very powdery and sort of fall apart, if it has plenty of moisture the plug will stick together better.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 12:15AM
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