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My carpet grass lawn has brown patches over it, is it dying?

My back lawn has been slowly going brown over the last few months. Recently I aerated it and applied Dynamic Lifter Lawn Food. Since then it has become even browner and appears to be dying off. I have read that carpet grass can go dormant over Winter but we are in the tropics so the days are still fairly warm. The grass feels very dry and crackly underfoot but the soil seems moist. I am watering it every second day in the morning. There are some broadleaf weeds which I am removing by hand and have also been raking out the dead grass but I can't keep on top of it. I did a soil test and it showed up as alkaline. I can't see any grubs in the soil but there are little grey butterflies and grasshoppers everywhere. Is there anything I can do?

Lawns • Pests

Hi Heather,

Thank you for sending the photo of your lawn. I can see what you mean about your grass dying off. There is however some green shoots present, which is promising. You would want the pH to be between 6 - 7 for your grass to be able to grow at a good rate. You did mention that your soil was alkaline. It would be of interest to know what the pH is? I am sure it wouldn't be that high that it would affect the growth of your grass. It could be that at the end of autumn, your grass may have been affected by the Lawn Armyworm. The adult moth, which is grey/brown in colour is busy flying around laying eggs, which then turn into caterpillars to feed on the stems and leaves of lawn areas. The lawn usually recovers over time as the roots of the grass are unaffected, unlike the damage done by the larvae of the African black beetle which chews the roots and causes the lawn to become brown and spongy. Now that it is winter, there is little point in fertilising, but you could give your lawn a boost by applying a Yates product called Yates Dynamic Lifter Liquid Concentrate. It's an organically certified fertiliser, which contains seaweed, blood&bone and fish meal to help developing new roots and restoring healthy growth. Next summer, keep an eye on your lawn and if brown patches begin to appear in the grass, investigate check your lawn in late summer/autumn and if the blade of your grass appear to be eaten, apply a Yates product called Baythroid Lawn Grub & Garden Insecticide.



Answered: 20 Jun, 2012

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