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Non-Lethal Fix for Lawn Fungus?

 
                            
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HELP!  I tried to go organic on my St. Louis MO lawn this year, and due to low mow and high water (I guess), developed a fungus. Consulted a traditional lawn service and they want to:  Apply fungicide, pesticides and herbicides this month, and other stuff later. Is there any other more health-friendly way to deal with the fungus, now that it's Aug, hot, and grass is a mix of fescues, rye and blue(thus, basically dormant)? I need to stay away from toxins as much as possible, and I would like to keep my cat alive, too.  The crabrass I can deal with and was planning to aerate and overseed and add some good organics on a tight budget when appropriate this fall.
Any clues? I feel like a failure here in the land of chemlawns.
 
                    
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Read the article on proper PH of soil and how it affects chemical treatments. I am having problems with fungus in Texas. I have not tried this yet, although,  it sure has given me plenty of food for thought. I will be following their advice the rest of this year. Below is a link to the PH article.

http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page909.html

      Joe
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Do you know which kind of fungus you have?

Fungus requires lots of moisture.  Take that away and you've beaten most fungi.  The next thing is that fungus looooves soil carbons:  rotting wood, rotting leaves, organic matter in the soil with low nitrogen ....  You can counter most of that my fertilizing properly. 

Watering too much or too often (or both!) has the double whammy of too much moisture and rinsing away your soil nitrogen. 

Proper watering elminates nearly all fungal problems.
 
                    
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> My two-dog, small lawn has moss growing on it.  I was advised by a hardware store to use an anti-moss fertilizer to help the grass and hinder the moss.  A week after application, the moss had spread healthily.  Might it have anything to do with to dog [fertilizer]?

Mike
 
                            
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Thanks for input. Not quite sure if fungus is one kind or a blend (fungii).  Grass leaves taken this morning show (1) light-colored lesions surrounded by darker area - spotted along leaf, (2) other blade shows more of a rust/tan spotting.  Affected areas turned yellow and then brown and dead. Lawn service did not give specific diagnosis - just want to nuke. Definite thinning of lawn in areas affected - lots of dead thatch. Even crabgrass is showing signs of blight. Yes, lawn was cut too short and watered too often , esp. when someone told spouse that he was cutting grass too short (by then - end of Jun. - too late) - then overwatered to overcompensate. I stopped watering a couple weeks ago while we were in drought status. Now we have been getting too much rain.  Grass too wet to mow - too high now, too. Read that fungicides were basically ineffective once disease established.  Anyways, what is best way to renovate w/out spending too much?  Is power-raking called for?  Soil is clay-on -rock, abour 10 yrs old (10 yrs of chemicals).  Yeah, I can't keep my posting short. Obsessed with this problem.  Thanks.
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 20430
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 20430
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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fungus:  less water and more fertilizer.  Regular mowing when the grass is growing well.

It isn't about getting rid of the fungus.  It's all about encouraging your grass and discouraging the fungi.
 
                            
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Location: Central Florida
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Hi,
Kathi here...
New to the Forum.
Saw your post and wanted to offer a Non-Toxic problem solzer.
Global Earth Tek...Certified Organic fungus control and many more benefits.
The most multi-functional Organic product in the world !
Let me know if you'd like more info...
Kathi

 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 20430
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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As anybody who is into organic solutions is gonna ask:  What's in it?
 
                            
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Location: Central Florida
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HI..
excerpts from GET..."What is it"
…if you’re familiar with the polyacrylamides and how they’re becoming popular…but can never be ORGANIC or NON toxic?
Global EarthTek™ (GET) is the ORGANIC equivalent….The world’s only multi-link, totally organic (Organic Trade Association, EPA approved) polymer.  Provides all of the functions of the toxic chemical version and gives many additional benefits.  Researchers and users say Global Earth Tek protects against fungus, mold, root disease, etc.
Global EarthTek (GET) is very multi-functional... acts as a fungicide/disease/virus control, controls soil born and flying insects, helps the soil retain water, great nutrient delivery system, detoxify soil, prevents ground water & downstream chemical run off, increases root and stem mass plus more. Probably the most important product to any grower. Low field application cost and totally organic derived from crustacean.

USDA, University, and private research shows the ingredients in GET reduce or control diseases that attack plants. The ingredients also act as a controlled nutrient release, increase soil water retention, and build enzymes in plants increasing the immune and phyto-defense systems.

Boy, sounds like snake-oil...but it works, and it's ORGANIC !
Respectfully,
Kathi
352-684-2068
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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I think I would try less water and more fertilizer first.  Problems would have to be really severe before I would even consider such a product.
 
                            
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I  live in central Illinois and moved to a new home almost 3 years ago. Our weather has  been drought like at times with some rain so I water often during dry spells.When we first moved in the yard was a mess with sand burrs and you name it!(an elderly couple lived here and yard care was not a priority).My question is I have what we call watergrass which looks a lot like crabgrass but isn't and really spreads all over.I have a lawn care company which applies broadleaf and fertilizes but they say their is nothing they can do for the watergrass? I have never had a ph test done on the soil.I have added lime a few times but not this year.Also what do think about zoysia grass and how would you go about planting it as I do not know much about it but a funeral home down the street has zoysia and it looks great all the time and is really soft to walk on. We do have a city watering ordinace from July thru Sept.where you can only water from 6-8 am & pm. Any info would really help !!This is my time on this site.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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First, stop all pesticide use.  You're just spending money to poison yourself, your pets, your neighbors, their pets and everybody who drinks water from your aquifer. 

I'm not familiar with this kind of grass, but I'll bet that it's an annual.  Mowing and high and watering infrequently will make sure that nearly all annual seeds will germinate and die.  For the ones you have now, the winter frost will get em!

Zoysia?  A warm season grass!  In Illinois?  I would think that the frost would kill it.


 
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