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Lawn turning grey

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by 2nd_bassoon, May 4, 2018.

  1. 2nd_bassoon

    2nd_bassoon Gardener

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    We've been away since Monday, and got back this afternoon to find relatively large grey patches on the lawn:

    20180504_180535.jpg

    20180504_180540.jpg

    Those are probably the worst areas but there are bits of it all over the lawn, and even in the healthy bits I can see grey dead/dying stems.

    Any ideas as to what could be the cause? And, more importantly, what I can do to alleviate it?! All seemed well when we left, by all accounts it's been average here weather-wise this week (some rain, some sun), so I'm baffled.

    Brief lawn history - I laid it last March (2017), and it seemed to take well. Resumed mowing two weeks ago, it had it's second mow of the year on Sunday just gone, followed by Aftercut All-in-One. At the same time I also spread some compost and grass seed in a couple of places where things had got muddy and thin over the winter. We then left on Monday, and our upstairs neighbour has been out twice a day on chicken-sitting duties, but the garden has been otherwise untouched until we got back today.
     
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    • martin-f

      martin-f Plant Hardiness Zone 8b

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      How did you apply this, i once put it down by hand and my lawn looked like that i burnt it all over, i over seeded and it gradually come back ok.
       
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      • 2nd_bassoon

        2nd_bassoon Gardener

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        I used the funnel applicator thingy that came with the box. Reading the datasheet more closely it does warn about scorching so I wonder if that was the cause, despite following the directions :frown: I'll oversow and give the happier areas a feed tomorrow.
         
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        • martin-f

          martin-f Plant Hardiness Zone 8b

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          Ive never used it since i now just feed tomato food and weed by hand my lawns only small and doesn't take long, someone might be able to advise you better but that's all i did and it worked for me good luck hope you get it looking better soon i know how disappointing it is.
           
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          • kazzawazza

            kazzawazza Total Gardener

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            Years ago I put feed and weed on my lawn - had no idea how much to put on. I ran out half way through the lawn so I bought more. A few days later my grass looked very similar - fertiliser burn. So I raked out the dead patches, watered and reseeded them.
             
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            • Gail_68

              Gail_68 Beauty blooms in the garden as well as the heart.

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              Hi @2nd_bassoon i think Martin and Kazza could be right on this one...as it does look like a burnt look...sorry to hear it's gone like it :sad:
               
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              • kazzawazza

                kazzawazza Total Gardener

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                • Liz the pot

                  Liz the pot Gardener

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                  Water the areas to help to flush out the high N level. Most of the time the lawn recovers but I’ve had jobs where a customer has applied to much fert or has used the wrong herbicide and to hide the issue I’ve used grass paint.
                  Think about a spreader like a small drop spreader, this way you will achieve correct rates if you have the correct settings.
                  Don’t apply any more fertiliser as that will just cause more problems and check the label if you are going to add grass seeds.
                   
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                  • HarryS

                    HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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                    I used to apply lawn fertiliser by hand . Being super smart and skilful I could do this easily without problems . When lo and behold last year big burn patches on my back lawn ! To add insult to injury I did the same on our caravan lawn two weeks later:wallbanging: I bought a lawn feeder as below . I weigh the correct amount of feed to put in and place a piece of wood with a small weight on top of it to give an even feed over the load. I did have a hand spreader where you turn a little handle but being left handed found this awkward.


                    5010272089356_01c.jpg
                     
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                    • Gail_68

                      Gail_68 Beauty blooms in the garden as well as the heart.

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                      Hi Harry...with this you know your feeding the right amount mate [​IMG]
                       
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                      • 2nd_bassoon

                        2nd_bassoon Gardener

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                        Thanks all, glad I'm not the only one! Live and learn... :rolleyespink: How long should I leave it before feeding/fertilising again? I'm definitely not going to repeat the Aftercut, but last year I used a liquid feed (Green Up) every few weeks through the summr, should I hold off on that until there's new growth established?
                         
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                        • Liz the pot

                          Liz the pot Gardener

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                          Yes, you need the lawn to recover as it’s weak. Most feeds sold to the domestic market have an above average N content to create growth. I don’t like them if a lawn is already nice as it creates a soft growth pattern and the turf can turn if temps rise as the plant can’t control moisture release.
                          Ideally an N rating of 3 is all you need to keep a nice lawn unless you are using a weed and feed where you need to stimulate growth to fill in.
                          The good news is that you can alter the N if you are using a basic straight feed but you need to calculate for this.
                          As for seeds, I would not feed after seeds have been applied, normally you would dress the lawn as well and the soil content will be more than enough to encourage growth.
                          Fertilisers can have the opposite effect where they do more harm than good.
                           
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                          • Gail_68

                            Gail_68 Beauty blooms in the garden as well as the heart.

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                            You need to let new growth establish first mate :thumbsup:...just a shame your lawn went like that :dunno: :)
                             

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