Happy Summer! Now that the rains have slightly slowed down, and the sun is out (and the wonderful humidity is here), I’ve been seeing more people watering their yards and also hearing questions like “why is my grass brown?”
Before we dive into that, I want to fully acknowledge that I’m not a plant disease expert and I can’t diagnose many problems…but I can pick out a few! So, I wanted to point you to some good resources that may help you determine what type of lawn problem you’re having and offer solutions on how to fix it.
I also want to point out that a lot of plant problems come from having too much water (cough, rain, over irrigating, cough) and look surprisingly similar to problems with not enough water. Too much water do just as much damage as not enough water (like drowning a plant, keeping the roots too wet, fungal and rotting disease); so the answer isn’t always to throw more water on the yard. Especially with the continued rains, the soil still isn’t dried out enough to really need additional water yet.
The turf and disease experts in the state are undoubtedly the Aggies. When I last checked, their AggieTurf website was undergoing updates and expected to be up and running by July 2015. However, the old site is still there and has some great information and some decent pictures of turf disease. The Texas A&M turf researchers tend to be very analytical and formal with their responses, which makes some of their site not so easy reading. They are also quick to provide information on which chemicals to use, which I hope are always used as a last resort.
The City of Austin’s Grow Green program has a much easier to understand format, by using a chart that you basically answer simple questions to find the type of lawn disease you have. Their worksheet also tells you what is causing the issue and how to solve it, in a more friendly way. The Grow Green program offers a variety of methods—from organic, to so quite as organic!
Good luck keeping those lawns green!