Fescue Sod - Silver Spring
Hello, I recently laid down DruaBlend Fescue Sod from Central Sod, Inc., approximately 4 weeks ago. The sod seemed to take well. The roots have attached and the grass is growing. I have mowed it two times, only remove the top third of the grass blades. A few days ago, I started noticing patches of grass that have died. I have attached images of the dead grass. Do you have any thoughts about what might be the cause of the dead patches and any recommendations for fixing the problem? Many thanks, -
Montgomery County Maryland
Some possibilities include dog urine https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/dog-urine-lawns and/or red thread. This is a common disease during cool wet weather.
You can check for this. It may not show up pink/red as it turns tan after the grass is dead. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/red-thread-lawns
These diseases are more damaging on under fertilized turf. Often an application of fertilizer will alleviate disease severity. However excessive fertilizer use can cause increased disease susceptibility.
If you suspect red thread, you can call the sod farm and ask them when the sod was fertilized. If they did not, you can fertilize with a half rate of fertilizer in mid May.
In Maryland, fertilizer use on lawns is regulated to protect the Chesapeake Bay.
Lawn fertilizers now sold in the state are formulated to comply with the MD lawn fertilizer law. Lawn maintenance fertilizers have zero phosphorus in them and contain at least 20% slow-release nitrogen. Specialty products containing phosphorus are still available and may be used when a soil test indicates the need for phosphorus.
Here is our link on fertilizing, the Md Fertilizer Law, and the U of MD Fertilizer Schedule.
If you have not tested the soil, You should do a soil test to see how much fertilizer to add https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawn-fertilizing
Thanks, Marian. Central Sod said they fertilized the sod in early March. I also applied their starter 10-10-10 fertilizer before laying the sod. Should I consider fertilizing in mid May?
No, you shouldn't need more fertilizer.
Red thread is nothing to worry about. It doesn't kill the roots and the lawn should recover.