Appears to be fungus

twilightzone(z7)July 28, 2008

Hello everyone,

I am trying not to give up on my lawn this season. I switched to organic lawn care two years ago. This year I have numerous browning of the grass blades. It happens right after it rains or when I water. I used to water my yard at night, since I have enough water pressure and its convenient for me. I water deeply for an inch every week or so. I mow properly, etc. After the grass gets wet, some places turn in to bluish green, then it turns into golden color and then to brown and i loose the grass. I live in upstate SC, where we have extreme drought condition. The grass is bermuda. I dont want to loose my lawn. Any help is greatly appreciated. Should I apply corn meal every month or so until it is controlled? What are your thoughts.

Thank you,


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Corn meal is the organic solution for fungus. 20#/1000 curative; 10#/1000 systemic prevention. I used baby shampoo (thread below) with good results, but YMMV.

I've begun wondering if too much organic matter topically applied is causing fungus. Seems to be a lot this year.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 10:56PM
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Thanks for the response.

I did apply corn meal two months ago at the rate of 10lb/1000 sqft. Last application was soybean meal. In my case I am not sure, if it is the drought that's worsening the problem or lack of nutrients which made grass susceptible to fungus more this year than last year. Another observation is I have fungus issues ever since I switched to organic lawn care. The lawn is 5 years old. Also can you please link baby shampoo thread? I will do a search as well. I will put down corn meal heavily this weekend, hoping that will at least alleviate the problem.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 11:02AM
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It's unlikely that drought would worsen fungus problems unless you're overwatering. Fungus usually occurs when there is too much moisture. Are you sure it's fungus?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 11:23AM
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I make sure I don't over water. I water once a week, depends on the amount of rain fall I receive. I am not certain whether it is a fungus issue or not. Trying to get in touch with local extension office. Here are some pics

One can notice how the blades are brown....

Does this pic suggests I have fungus issues to deal with?
It's difficult to see the lawn going down hill...

Thanks for your help,

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 10:29PM
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I just reread the original post and saw that you said this happens after rain or after you water, so I take back what I said about it being unlikely that it's fungus. It certainly looks like fungus, but I rarely have fungus here because it's so dry.

In areas that are more humid, watering at night can be a problem and I think they recommend watering in the early AM. If you have a timer, I think you can define early AM as some time after 1 or 2. I generally start around midnight and water for a total of about 5 hours.

Are you fertilizing enough? My understanding is that Bermuda is a fertilizer hog.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 11:45PM
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Thanks for the response bpgreen.

I suspect I am not fertilizing enough. I know some like OKCDan fertilizes every four weeks. I fertilize once every other month. Also I am not sure my application rate is sufficient.
It rained last night. I was curious how the grass gonna look this morning. This morning, I saw white stuff, looks similar to cotton on the grass. I am assuming, fungus spores perhaps..

I took this pic this morning. I tried to locate where the cotton like white stuff appears on this pic. Picture does not show white cotton stuff clearly.

So my only choice is applying heavy dose of corn meal to take of this nasty problem?


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 11:16AM
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Everybody I've seen post about Bermuda says it should be fertilized monthly, so that may be part of the problem. It definitely looks like you've got a fungus problem. I think the proper approach is to use 20 lbs of corn meal per 1k sq ft. The corn meal is also a fertilizer, but probably not strong enough to make the bermuda happy.

I think some fungus problems respond to a diluted milk spray. I don't know the amount to use, but if you search this forum for milk, you'd probably be able to find it.

I don't really know much about Bermuda, except what I've read on forums. Since I live in the desert, I don't have any first hand knowledge of fungus issues, either.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 10:04PM
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What is your soil type? Clay? Sand?
How well does that soil drain? How well does that soil retain moisture?
What is your soils pH?

Your lawn may need an inch of water each week, or that may not be enough, or that may be too much. It depends more on the weather then on a strict adherence to a general rule. Cool, calm weather canmean grasses do not need as much water as they would when the weather is hot and dry with lots of sun and grasses may then need 2 or 3 inches of water per week to offset the rate of evaporation. People that sell fertilizers may well tell you that Bermuda grasses need to be fertilized every month though I suspect that is too often. The only way to know what your lawn needs, for fertilizers, is by getting a good, reliable soil test. Contact your local office of the Clemson University USDA Cooperative Extension Service about this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clemson CES

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 6:53AM
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Thanks bpgreen.
Corn meal should be ready for pickup this Tuesday. In the mean time I am planning to apply milk tomorrow and baby shampoo the week after.

Thanks kimmsr.
I placed a call to clemson extension agent Friday. I have red compacted clay soil. I try to water whenever grass needs it. Maybe watering at night, does not help either. I have not done the soil test. I am planning to do that. Thanks for the link. My grass did really well when i was using synthetic program. Once I switched to organic it was not as good. Maybe I will be lucky in the third season.

Thank you.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 11:00PM
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