Fescue lawn is browning everywhere

drnukeJune 6, 2011

With this latest heat wave/mini-drought, my TTTF lawn is starting to die back severely. I started a new lawn last September. It was full, lush, green, and absolutely gorgeous. I fertilized it back in March, along with some pre-emergent, and everything was going great. Now, all of a sudden, the lawn is turning a light brown color on about half the lawn. I don't think it's a fungus because I can't see any fungus along the boundaries of the dying grass. It's really odd.

I grew up with a bermudagrass, and it was a piece of cake to maintain. I'm thinking of throwing down some bermudagrass seeds and just maintaining a TTTF and BG mixed lawn. It just seems like it has gotten too hot here in TN (in the past two years) to even maintain a TTTF lawn. Anyone have an idea why this die-off is occurring?

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I'm not a turf expert, so wouldn't be the best to guess why your grass is dying (other than the hot, dry weather we're having), but I can't imagine why you would want a sickening looking Bermuda lawn. I'd just about as soon kill off the whole thing and have bare dirt (I HATE!!!!! Bermuda grass).

Maybe try the Lawn Care Forum, or, even better yet, the local extension office. Too bad Bloomsday is over; UT usually has some renowned turf specialist there.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 1:01AM
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Thanks, Brandon. I've posted in the lawn forum. Still waiting to see what people can come up with.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 12:52PM
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As one who is fighting bermuda, I second brandon's revulsion at the thought of actually *seeding* bermuda. What was the lawn before you started new last Sept.? New construction? Maybe a soil test of the affected areas vs. the unaffected? Wondering if there's something with the soil in those areas that has meant weakness with the grass there, and the heat is exacerbating the whole situation.

And if you really do want bermuda, you can come take all the plugs you want from my lawn. X-D

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 6:55PM
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LOL. OK, well maybe I'll just hope for the best and aerate/oversee this Fall. I am thinking of adding more shade to my landscape so the grass can stay cooler, increasing it's chances of making it through the hot summers (or spring in this case).

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 1:25PM
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fivemurfs(6.5 TN)

Bermuda is a great warm season grass. The old way was bermuda in the summer and rye in the winter. That probably worked well in the new 50's suburbs where there were no trees.

My dear old Dad who lived both north and far south said that Tennessee is the worst place to try to have a green lawn. We've found that to be absolutely true. My husband battles every year for a nice fescue lawn and he loses. Unless we want to spring for an irrigation system (for two acres?) we have to be satisfied with dead fescue under the trees and bermuda and weeds(where the fescue dies out) in the sun).

I've been fighting the bermuda in my beds for as long as I can remember. This year I broke down and started spraying Round Up on the outer edge of the beds. So far, so good. If this is successful(meaning no plants in the bed and no lawn dies) I will no longer hate bermuda.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 11:13PM
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maternut(7 west tn)

So a little brown fescue in the summer. Just think bermuda brown all winter.
PS I hate bermuda

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 8:30PM
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katiedidcottage(z7 TN / Chattanooga)

We've had so much rain here in the eastern side near Chattanooga that our fescue has greened up wonderfully and it actually looks like there is more grass than weeds now. But I believe that will soon change unless I water a whole lot.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 8:21AM
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myrtleoak(z7 TN)

Try zoysia.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 4:56PM
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I know I am late coming to this thread, but I have been researching zoysia here in Nashville, too. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 4:45PM
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