St Augustine grass friends - Lots of stuff happening in our lawns this summer, I know! I will have out a video VERY early next week showing all the dead spots I am seeing in St Augustine lawns right now, and the process you can go through to figure out what is happening with yours and why. This is because so many of the issues look alike! In the meantime, this here is what “take all root rot” looks like.
The telltale sign is the dying grass AND the pale yellow blades around it. If I was to dig out a few stolons, they would be black around the roots and nodes. This is different then the iron deficiency Identified in this video a while back. In that video, the grass had no dead areas - it was just all yellow and it was under and around mango trees that were stealing the nutrients.
However, the treatment is similar. With take all root rot, the grass can’t draw nutrients from the soil. When the roots are rotten, they cannot perform. So the remedy is to apply a product that can be taken in via the foliate rather than the roots. The 7-0-0 Greene Effect is formulated with citric acid to make it available in this way. In fact, it absorbs within minutes. Apply with a mist and let it sit. The grass blades will be shiny which is how you know it’s sticking. You can water it in after 30 minutes or just leave it. This feeds the turf and allows the blades to turn green so photosynthesis can start up again and produce sugars the plant needs to fight through the disease.
(Note: I linked to the Soil Activator Pack above because it has the 7-0-0 Greene Effect but also contains Air8 which will help increase air in the soil, De-Thatch which will help get rid of any dead grass faster, and RGS which also stimulates the StAug to push new stolons to help it recover. This pack is excellent for St Aug lawns under stress from Take All Patch/Root Rot)
Peat Moss for pH
The second thing this disease needs is peat moss. You can get a giant brick of it for $11 at any HD or Lowes or Ace.
Peat Moss will lower the pH in the soil and that effectively stops the disease in its tracks. It literally changes the pH right at the soil’s surface where your roots are located. Sweep or spread it in thick as you can without covering any of the actual grass blades. You want water this in too.
Re-apply 2 weeks later and again after another 2 weeks. (3 total apps) In many cases, this will clear up the root rot and the grass will recover nicely, especially if you have been foliar feeding it with the Greene Effect.
That’s a quick one for you guys, but also in that pic above, I do see a little chewing - and sometimes you have 2 problems going on at once. Sod Webworm have been bad this year so be sure to review this video here and take the steps necessary to see if this is a compounded challenge you are facing!