MUDDY SPOTS THROUGHOUT FRONT LAWN
Dear Sirs: Late last summer/early fall, my front lawn deteriorated into a patchwork of muddy brown spots. I think it has to do with too much moisture AKA rain, but I don't know what the problem is or what to do to fix it. Please advise. See photo(s) attached. Thank you so much. Yours truly, Mr. Lynne Tiegs
Scott County Minnesota
Mr. Tiegs - Thank you for reaching out to the Ask an Expert/Master Gardeners with your question! It sounds like you have some muddy brown spots on your lawn and are wondering what the problem is and how to fix it. From your pictures and description, it looks like those are patches of grass that are bogged down with too much moisture and/or that the area is poorly drained. I cannot be sure of the cause without a soil test and a look at the thatch or root system. Start with a home soil test from the University of Minnesota (http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu) and go from there. Options may include amendments to the soil, improving drainage in your lawn, and/or aerating the lawn to promote better moisture penetration and lessen compaction. This site has more details on how to aerate: https://extension.umn.edu/lawncare/how-control-thatch-your-lawn. Though it sounds like the area has not flooded, these tips on repairing a flooded lawn may be helpful, especially the last paragraph on ponding: https://extension.umn.edu/lawn-care/repairing-flooded-lawns Good luck! Amy
Dear Amy, Thank you for your prompt response to my question. I will mail a composite soil sample the U of M Soil Testing Laboratory this afternoon (Thursday, April 4.) Perhaps it was too much to hope that you could tell me which fungus has invaded my front yard and the best means of treating it. My front yard is basically a mostly flat but slightly hilly piece of land draining to the north and east, wherein lies a prairie ( I planted a small, yard-size prairie there about 6 years ago.) Note, my neighbor to the south appears to have the same problem with his grass/soil. I believe both our yards have adequate drainage. Hopefully we will communicate again once I receive the result of the soil test. If there is anything else I need to know or do, please contact me. Best regards, Mr. Lynne Tiegs
I have received the SOIL TEST REPORT from the U of M Soil Testing Laboratory: pH 7.3, ppm P = 52, ppm K = 175. Interpretation: phosphorus = very high, potassium = high, pH = somewhat alkaline, soluble salts = 0. Their recommendation is to apply a fertilizer in the ratio of 33-0-0---at one time, late in summer. Plz interpret these results for me. Is my front lawn covered with brown spots because of too much phosphorus and too much potassium? Is the pH of my lawn too high...and causing brown spots? Or is my lawn possibly suffering from a fungus, which the soil test didn't comment on? If so, which fungus and what to do? RSVP Mr. Lynne Tiegs
WOW!!! WHAT A GREAT, THOROUGH, KNOWLEDGABLE, WISE ANSWER!!! YOU ARE THE GREATEST!!!!!!
I will send a soil sample to the U of M Plant disease clinic...in a month or so when we can see some new growth.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TOTALLY THOROUGH, KNOWLEDGABLE AND WELL THOUGHT OUT RESPONSE. I AM TOTALLY IN AWE!!! TOTALLY : )
Yours truly, Mr. Lynne Tiegs