We have had an organic lawn service for a number of years without any issues....

Asked August 7, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT

We have had an organic lawn service for a number of years without any issues. We've enjoyed a green, lush lawn in our front yard. Last summer, we noticed a small brownish spot and asked our lawn service about it. They suggested a dog might be peeing on it, which couldn't be the case, as our dogs are in the back yard. We did have a very hot summer, so we hoped for a snowy winter and a good wet spring. Well, the small spot has taken over our yard. The damage stops at our neighbor's property line. Our lawn service has not been helpful, suggesting grubs; however we do not see any under the grass. We've complained about paying them to kill our lawn and they are sending someone to look at it. However, my husband and I would like your help identifying the problem, as well. Thank you for any guidance you can give us as to the cause and treatment. I have included a photo. I couldn't figure out how to include more. Sorry! ~ Patty Vasquez

Dakota County Minnesota lawns and turf horticulture

3 Responses

You did not mention how often you are watering your lawn. If it stops at the property line, I would imagine your neighbors are watering their lawn. If it was such a huge grub infestation, it would not stop at the property line. It could be over-fertilized along with drought stress. Please visit our diagnostic page and take a good look at photos and the description: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/turf/irregular/other.html

Last summer was very hot and dry. We watered our lawn as recommended, 1 inch on a weekly basis and following the application of fertilizer by our lawn service as they recommended. Our lawn service comes in the early spring, early summer, mid-summer, and fall. We cut our grass to a height of 3 inches. We use an organic lawn service.

This summer we had a deluge of rain in both May and June. We watered as recommended following applications of fertilizer, but did not start watering our lawn on a regular basis again until the last week of July. We actually watered on a similar schedule to that of our neighbors.

My husband and I had looked through your web-site before e-mailing with our concerns and thought that our lawn looked as though it might have turf patch disease. Do you think that might be the case?

Your original question included only one photo. I had the impression that the entire lawn looked like that. Now that I have three photos to look at, I see that it is only a portion of your lawn. The photo now looks like Pythium blight. Treating that blight is the opposite of watering to keep your lawn healthy. Moisture encourages the spread of the fungi. You will have to remove the infected grass, let the area dry out and it would be best to sod next spring as that will require less water than seeding. Please read through the publication thoroughly: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/lawns/pythium-blight-of-turf/ You can send a sample to our Plant Disease Clinic for actual diagnosis. Here is the link to that information http://pdc.umn.edu/