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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Meyer Zoysia (per ID here recently), north Alabama, moderate shade. I have splotchy brown patches around the yard.





It's been dry here, so didn't think fungus, but I could definitely be wrong. Took a core sample to get a profile. Soil is as hard as a rock.





What could be causing this? Also, do I need to dethatch based on what y'all see in these pictures?
 

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We have some experienced Zoysia guys around here that can start you on the right path. I'm not one of those guys.

From a general standpoint, the first thing I noticed was the grass blades appear torn from your last mowing. I'd recommend getting the blade sharpened, or replaced ASAP!
 

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Unless you are watering, its browning because lack of water. If you are watering, how much are you watering? I had bermuda struggling one time even tho I was giving it enough water. I later found out that the soil wasn't absorbing the water I was giving it. Sprayed some baby shampoo and problem fixed. i also pulled a couple of plugs and gave it a drink and that also helped out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@Red - Interestingly, the last time I cut was with a fresh set of blades right out of the box. If you're commenting on the close-up pictures of the plugs, maybe I didn't take any off there and it's left over from the previous cut. Same set of blades (and same day) I cut the bermuda in this picture....does it look ok in terms of blade sharpness?


It's true that I haven't watered the front recently...has just been neglected w/the work I've been putting in on the sod (and no irrigation system). And we haven't had much rain recently (probably about 0.3" this month). So I'll get some deep watering on it.
 

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Could be dry or it could be a fungus. I know you said it has been dry, but have you been having overnight lows between 65 and 70 with morning dew? Those conditions are where large patch thrives, especially in shaded areas where the grass stays wet longer. Large patch affected areas will exhibit similar symptoms as drought stressed areas.

After solving this issue, one other suggestion would be to scalp and bag the area down to about an inch. That will put the green growth nearer to the soil surface.

Zoysia is a tougher bladed grass than bermuda, so blade sharpness is more critical. New blades usually come with a fairly blunt edge in my experience, so I always sharpen them before use anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice on the blades. This is honestly the first time I've cared about blades. The old ones were so blunt and dinged up, they were beyond sharpening. Had no real reference for the new ones. I'll take them off and give them a little better edge.

Lows have generally in the 65-70 range this month. A few warmer, a couple cooler. I'll start by sharpening,l and watering. How do I determine large patch? Should I put down a fungicide or can I get that tested?

Thanks for indulging an ignorant (but getting smarter) noob.
 

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If it is large patch, there are usually yellow, orange, or bronze blades at the border of the affected area. Check the area for morning dew and alternatively check to see if the soil is dry. If it's moist/wet then don't add water to the problem. If it is dry then water the area deeply and try to target a time when the blades will stay wet for the shortest time in case it still is an active fungus.

You are late enough in the season that large patch should be about done, so I wouldn't worry about a fungicide at this point. It may be something to look into in the fall though when the soil temps again fall to 70.
 
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