Help my grass is dying

Asked October 9, 2013, 2:03 PM EDT

Im not sure what is killing my grass: first small dry spots started showing up but now there are larger spots showing up all through out the lawn in unconnected spots.
We've been getting plenty of rain and the healthy spots are green and lush. I looked for bugs- only thing Ive seen is spiders.
Is this fungus, bugs, or what? And what can I use to stop it that is safe for dog grass eaters?

Harris County Texas

1 Response

Assuming the soil has been kept adequately moist these past few weeks/months it appears that something is stressing the grass, most likely by preventing roots from taking up water. Possible causes range from grubs severing roots to Take-All Root Rot disease. To check for grubs lift a 12" square section of sod and look for the grubs which would be feeding near the surface to about 2 inches deep. Grubs are often found at numbers that do not warrant treatments so if you don't see 5-7 grubs or more per square foot they are not the cause of your turf decline. You would need to bring a sample to the Extension office for us to check for Take-All. There is no charge for this service. Our office location is in my signature line below. It is important to take the sample and submit it properly for us to be able to do an accurate diagnosis. Here are the instructions: Turf samples should be a 4” X 4” or 4” X 6” plug of sod with some soil and roots attached. Make sure and take the sample from sick, NOT DEAD turf areas. Usually the zone between healthy and dead turf is ideal. Remember we do diagnoses not autopsies! Place the turf sample in a ziplock or twist tie closure bag right away and seal it to prevent it from drying out and to keep any insects that might be present from escaping. Place the back in a cool location out of direct sunlight to maintain freshness until it can be brought or mailed to the Extension Office. If insects are seen in the turf, capture a few of them and place them in a jar or ziplock bag. The following online video shows the correct way to take a sample. It is best to drop the sample by our office at the address below. We are open M-F from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also mail samples if you are not able to bring them to our office.