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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all

I've been stalking this site for some time now and decided to go ahead and join in on the fun. I've had a bermuda lawn for the past few years now and I've never had to do much more than water and fertilize. This all changed in February when my wife and I purchased a new home. I still have bermuda but it was put down sometime in late fall so this is its first growing season in its new home.

The soil is heavy red clay that was scraped to develope the neighborhood and the lot had very little done to prep for sod besides being "leveled". :roll: I had very slow growth at the start of spring but now it is slowly growing in. I am battling crab grass in the back yard but that's a story for another time. The main problem I am having is a yellowing in the front/back yard. I am not sure if it's just lack of water or some sort of fungus. I had this issue about 5 weeks ago and I panicked and bought a fungus granular at lowes. During this time we were getting enough rain for me not to water so I'm not sure if water was the issue. I was using a chemical company till about 2 days ago. They spread fertilizer 2 weeks ago. I'm watering 2-3 times a week in my front lawn. Time and amount vary. (Yard doesn't hold much water) I usually water once a week in the back.

I noticed the grass turning yellow on Tuesday afternoon and then when I got home today noticed it had spread throughout the yard. We had a small rain storm today and that's the first rain in about 10-14 days.

I'll attach better pictures tomorrow when the light is better. Let me know what you think.
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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I think it's a watering issue. It's either not enough water or a water infiltration issue.

How easy can you push a screwdriver into the soil? What kind of irrigation do you have and how long do you water for and how often? Do you have pooling in the lawn during heavy rains and how fast does it drain after the rain stops?

Sorry for all the questions but the more we know the better we can help.

Welcome to TLF!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
In 90 percent of the yard I can get a screw driver in pretty easy. In the other 10 percent I'm still working on get rocks out.

As far as irrigation goes I'm working off of a sprinkler and a hose. The yard is pretty square so I get hit it all without moving it. Watering right now depends on any rain we get. If it doesn't rain I usually hit it with 20-30 minutes twice a week.

The yard is higher than the street so water runs off pretty quick after a heavy rain. It does pool in some lower spots but like I said it doesn't sit there very long.
 

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I agree with Mightquinn, bermuda requires infrequent watering of up to 1" (depending on the heat). Do you know what the output is for your sprinkler system? Set a few tuna cans in various place where the sprinkler hits run the water for 30 minutes, pour all the tuna cans in a measuring cup and determine how much water is being put out.

I had somewhat the same issue when my sod was laid and a buddy recommended I do the above so I can make sure I am getting the right amount of water for the turf.

Also, have you gotten a soil test done to see what the turf needs beyond watering?

Welcome to TLF! it's good to have you!
 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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csbutler said:
I'll have to measure the next time I water. Soil test is next on my list. Anyone recommend one?
Just use you County extension office for one as it shouldn't be too expensive and they should give you recommendations and of course you are more than welcomed to post it here to get more ideas or suggestions from the members. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mightyquinn said:
csbutler said:
I'll have to measure the next time I water. Soil test is next on my list. Anyone recommend one?
Just use you County extension office for one as it shouldn't be too expensive and they should give you recommendations and of course you are more than welcomed to post it here to get more ideas or suggestions from the members. :thumbup:
:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update

I looked into my watering habits and I was definitely not watering enough. I adjusted them to get more even coverage and more water on ground. The only problem I'm having is that even after adjusting water and my area getting 2-3inches of rain from Thursday-Saturday I'm having a discoloration on the blades. It looked great and green during the rain but as I got in the yard today I noticed the discoloration. This time its yellow but also has some shades of a purple. I know I'm having some compaction issues and I plan to aerate soon. I would just think with all the rain this weekend I wouldn't be having water issues. Anyone have any guesses with what might be going on?





 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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If you are having compaction issues it very well could be causing water to not get to the roots where it's needed.

Try taking a drill with a large drill bit and drill a few holes in the problem area and give it an extra drink of water for a few days and see what happens.
 

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If you have hard pack clay, you most likely have a poor root system. My lawn is the same. Had an irrigation system installed. Guys used a trencher for TWO days. Gave that trencher a workout, bucking like a bronco. Looking at the trench, I saw nearly zero root system. My grass does the same as the OP is doing. It's struggling for nutrients and such. My recommendation is aerate the snot out of it monthly in the growing season. Then use a starter fertilizer to "help" build the roots. Gypsum at 40lbs per 1k sq feet twice a year for three years will help greatly. I just started my first gypsum app. Don't bag or don't use a Snapper Hi-Vac after the gypsum. My Snapper sucked up a lot of mine after two waterings. My lawn, doesn't matter how much water you put down. The clay is starving it out.
 

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slomo said:
I Gypsum at 40lbs per 1k sq feet twice a year for three years will help greatly. I just started my first gypsum app. Don't bag or don't use a Snapper Hi-Vac after the gypsum. My Snapper sucked up a lot of mine after two waterings. My lawn, doesn't matter how much water you put down. The clay is starving it out.
I may benefit from this slomo as I have clay soil too. I had my yard aerated in March. What signs visually would help me decide if I should apply gypsum?
 

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Tex86 said:
slomo said:
I Gypsum at 40lbs per 1k sq feet twice a year for three years will help greatly. I just started my first gypsum app. Don't bag or don't use a Snapper Hi-Vac after the gypsum. My Snapper sucked up a lot of mine after two waterings. My lawn, doesn't matter how much water you put down. The clay is starving it out.
I may benefit from this slomo as I have clay soil too. I had my yard aerated in March. What signs visually would help me decide if I should apply gypsum?
Like the OP said, yellowing spots, lack of required mowing. Grass struggling to live. I can water and it never really responds. Natural rain releases nitrogen into the soil. We haven't had any in 37 days here. Anyhoo, rain water makes it thrive. Hose or city water keeps it alive only. There's that then take a shovel into your lawn. Dig out a cube and look at the root line. Try to see how deep the roots are going down. If you have clay, my guess is they won't go down over one inch. You know how house plants will fill the entire bottom of the pot up with roots? Not with hard pack clay. The roots can't punch through that concrete like soil.

BTW, I got my gypsum at Ewing Irrigation on Memorial Road and Lincoln for you OKC peoples. Just under $12 a 50lb bag. Had a huge search for pelletized gypsum. We have several mines in Norman Oklahoma. Hard to find it for some reason.

slomo
 

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Tex86 said:
Got it. Baby shampoo vs Gypson provide the same purpose, which would be the best for aiding in compaction?
Hey guys, please do research on gypsum before applying it for compaction. I also had compaction issues when I first moved in, BUT, gypsum was definitely not a solution in my case. I have a soil ph of 7.5 and high levels of magnesium and calcium, and I was told that the last thing I wanted to do was add gypsum. I don't know much about soil chemistry but guys that studied soil are the ones who advised me. Everyone's case is different. Baby shampoo will help with water penetration, can't comment much on relieving compaction.
 

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Iriasj2009 said:
Tex86 said:
Got it. Baby shampoo vs Gypson provide the same purpose, which would be the best for aiding in compaction?
Hey guys, please do research on gypsum before applying it for compaction. I also had compaction issues when I first moved in, BUT, gypsum was definitely not a solution in my case. I have a soil ph of 7.5 and high levels of magnesium and calcium, and I was told that the last thing I wanted to do was add gypsum. I don't know much about soil chemistry but guys that studied soil are the ones who advised me. Everyone's case is different. Baby shampoo will help with water penetration, can't comment much on relieving compaction.
Oh jeez. Thanks for sharing. My most recent soil test stated that I had below ideal levels of Mg and SUPER high levels of Ca (i mean off the charts), and a pH of 7.48 (it states the ideal range is between 6-7). Which that confuses me as grass utilizes the Ca for root and stem tips also, from my research it assists with soil aggregation. Sulfur was high with an optimal range of 6-12, with my ppm being 21.83. Also, from my understanding calcium will raisepH levels. Since mine is barely above the optimal range, should I have any concern with my high levels of Ca?

So I'm assuming (remember i'm a newbie) gypsum would not be ideal in my case? I attached a picture of my last soil test.

 

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I don't know what to make of the gypsum idea. To be completely honest, I have applied it to my calcareous clay soil. From the info I read, the calcareous clay has an abundance of calcium (obviously), but it isn't available to be used by the plants. Adding sulfur to a calcareous soil will effectively create gypsum through reaction, so if your sulfur readings are high then I wouldn't add gypsum. The marketers will tell you that gypsum will do all sorts of wonderful things for clay soil. I do believe that it helped with drainage/ponding issues, but can't say for sure that I saw any other benefits. I would add to be careful using shampoo that includes an anionic surfactant such as sodium laureth sulfate, because they can cause dispersion of fine native soils which is the opposite of the desired effect and what happened to my soil. A good non-ionic surfactant is probably the best value for the money with these soils.
 

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Tex86 said:
Iriasj2009 said:
Tex86 said:
Got it. Baby shampoo vs Gypson provide the same purpose, which would be the best for aiding in compaction?
Hey guys, please do research on gypsum before applying it for compaction. I also had compaction issues when I first moved in, BUT, gypsum was definitely not a solution in my case. I have a soil ph of 7.5 and high levels of magnesium and calcium, and I was told that the last thing I wanted to do was add gypsum. I don't know much about soil chemistry but guys that studied soil are the ones who advised me. Everyone's case is different. Baby shampoo will help with water penetration, can't comment much on relieving compaction.
Oh jeez. Thanks for sharing. My most recent soil test stated that I had below ideal levels of Mg and SUPER high levels of Ca (i mean off the charts), and a pH of 7.48 (it states the ideal range is between 6-7). Which that confuses me as grass utilizes the Ca for root and stem tips also, from my research it assists with soil aggregation. Sulfur was high with an optimal range of 6-12, with my ppm being 21.83. Also, from my understanding calcium will raisepH levels. Since mine is barely above the optimal range, should I have any concern with my high levels of Ca?

So I'm assuming (remember i'm a newbie) gypsum would not be ideal in my case? I attached a picture of my last soil test.

The only real issue I have with a high ph is that when I had tifway, the color was poor. I have celebration and it doesn't mind the high ph. My calcium is also off the charts. But, my sulfur is normal and magnesium is also very high. In your case you have high sulfur low magnesium. Wish I could be of more help.. i just wanted to give everyone a heads up on adding gypsum, after doing a little research, gypsum is a calcium sulfate. Maybe a soil guru will chime in.
 

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[/quote]

The only real issue I have with a high ph is that when I had tifway, the color was poor. I have celebration and it doesn't mind the high ph. My calcium is also off the charts. But, my sulfur is normal and magnesium is also very high. In your case you have high sulfur low magnesium. Wish I could be of more help.. i just wanted to give everyone a heads up on adding gypsum, after doing a little research, gypsum is a calcium sulfate. Maybe a soil guru will chime in.
[/quote]

Thanks for the input. I have no clue howntonlpwer the sulfur and magnesium. I'll do a bit of research to get an idea.
 
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