We have decided to replace our sod since the majority of the yard has severe zoysia patch as diagnosed by a lawn management company. We have multiple bids to replace the sod. Two insist that we should kill the existing sod first. Take it up and then treat the dirt underneath for fungus before putting in the new sod. Others have said that is not necessary. The lawn treatment man said that he did not think it was necessary, but might be. We are confused and need to make a decision as soon as we can. Please let us know your thoughts.

In general, its always best to "purge" the yard of weeds, old grass and fungus prior to the installation of new sod. Is it necessary? No. And you probably won't notice anything dramatic by not doing it. At least not for the first season. But by the 2-3 year following the new sod installation, failure to do the right "preparation" of the soil will give way to something unwanted like robust weed growth, fungus issues or dead zones.

So to protect the sod investment, it would be wise to take several precautionary and what we would term "preparatory" endeavors. This would include the purging or killing of all grass and weeds currently growing. Next, having it all physically removed would be "normal".  And once the soil underneath is exposed, testing the PH would be paramount. At that time you should make adjustments if needed because if the PH is off, you would be making a huge mistake without getting it right before installing new grass.

At the same time as any PH adjustment is being done, the use of  a good fungicide would be smart and in many cases, a new layer of topsoil added too.

To learn how important PH is for normal plant growth (including grass), review our article. In general, this is overlooked 99% of the time and yet its by far the most important thing that governs plant health in the yard.

Soil PH: http://www.bugspray.com/article/ph.html

The bottom line is what you see up top is a direct reflection of what's underneath. And if the soil underneath doesn't have a stable PH or is full of weeds and fungus, your newly laid sod will soon weaken and give way to disease and dysfunctional growth.

Hope this helps!

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Our lawn was fertilized about 30 days ago to treat weeds, fungus prior to the spring. However, our lawn is having a hard time getting green and we have a few brown, dead spots. We water each day at least 10 mins per zone. What can we do? Thanks for your help. :)

First and foremost, it's imperative that you check the SOIL PH and make sure it's 6.5 or higher. This is vital for any grass. If you don't have a healthy, stable medium in which to grow your grass, you don't stand a chance. Read our PH Control article and get a PH METER. Anyone with a yard that's trying to grow grass needs one.

Second, review our article on HOW TO GROW GREEN GRASS. This will explain everything you need to know regarding the secrets to a happy and healthy lawn.

And as you'll see, once you know the PH is adjusted and you have an ample supply of water, getting a good LIQUID FERTILIZER is the first step you can take to fix this problem. You'll need a HOSE END SPRAYER to apply the product too.

Liquid fertilizers do the best job of getting grass to grow and spread – especially when you have a lot of dead spots. Give the turf 30-60 days to fill and consider adding some seed if you're not happy with your results after this initial time period. Remember, when you have the proper PH and Fertilizer, you can add seed any time of year and get positive results.

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

PH Meter: http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/testing/phmoisturelight-probe

Liquid Fertilizer: http://www.bugspraycart.com/yard/fertilizer/mont-joy-juice

Hose End: http://www.bugspraycart.com/equipment/sprayers/gilmour-20g-390

Soil PH:  http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph

Green Grass: http://www.grass-greener.com/fertilizer-control-for-greener-grass

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I was reading your lawn fungus article, very informative. I have what I believe is a fairy ring fungus. Will the methods and products you descibe work on that type of fungus? It seems very different from dollar spot and brown patch.

We get this question quite a bit. In fact Fairy Ring is not easy to control and there is no specific product one may apply to the symptoms it displays once it gets a foothold in your lawn. But there are proven remedies that will cover up the impact and in the end, you should be able to sustain a lawn that won't show the rings and over time, very little mushroom growth if you're experiencing that too.

As is the case with most lawn problems, once the PH of the soil gets out of whack, a lot can happen that's bad. I suggest you start here making sure the PH is in check as explained in our PH CONTROL ARTICLE.

Once the PH is known to be stable and within the range acceptable for your grass, get a decent fertilizer applied. We recommend LIQUID FERTILIZER as quick way to get grass to grow and during the warm season, this is usually the best way to proceed when trying to overcome a fairy ring that's showing poor grass growth. But if you maintain the turf throughout the year, this problem will be minimal so the regular use of Liquid Fertilizer won't be needed.

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

PH Control Article:  http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph

Liquid Fertilizer:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/yard/fertilizer/mont-joy-juice

How to get green grass:  http://www.grass-greener.com/fertilizer-control-for-greener-grass

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I live in Northern N.J.
When is a good time to apply a preventive Lawn Fungicide?

That's a tough question to answer without sounding like a wise guy but I'll try. You see, in order to effectively prevent fungus from growing, you'll need to get product applied at least 2 weeks before the conditions enable the fungus to grow. Unfortunately this is not an exact date but rather a "window of time" during the warm season when the conditions peak out and the fungus spores blossom. Having lived in the northeast, I would say it can start as early as May but the most common problem months are no doubt July and August.

I've also seen where some grass types are likely to have problems sooner compared to other grass types so this will factor in. Lastly, it's smart to make note of when you start seeing problems develop in your yard. If you notice it seems to start around the first or second week of July, get some FUNGICIDE GRANULES applied at the start of June. Conversely, if you find late June is when it seems to take off, make sure you're applying some by the end of May. Again, this is not an exact science so there is no official start date.

That being said, it's always best to get product out sooner rather than later. One other point worth noting; it's critical to have a balanced PH so make sure you've checked this and that you're soil is healthy. A bad SOIL PH can indirectly lead to fungus growth along with all kinds of other turf issues.

Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:

Fungicide Granules:  http://www.bugspraycart.com/yard/fungicide/bayleton-granules

PH Control:  http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph

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I am worried:
My lawn man fertilized yesterday late in the day with a granular 'Nitrophos' Winterizer. We had some problems with my husband's blood pressure and I forgot to turn on the sprinklers until this morning (before the sun came up). It has been about 14 hours. Do you think I have burned our grass?
I think his blood pressure will be worse if I have. Our lawn is almost 2 years old, it is St. Augustine Grass and we live near Houston TX.
Thank you,

If you read through our FERTILIZER CONTROL ARTICLE, you'll learn there is always a risk or danger of burning your grass if the fertilizer used is over applied. But todays products are designed to not burn and only a very few on the market pose a direct risk or even have a chance to do so. Additionally, any lawn service that would apply such a product would followup by making sure it was cleaned up or watered in properly so they would not be held accountable for any "mis application". At this point I can say with 99% certainty there is little or no need for you to be alarmed and by no means is there any reason for your husbands blood pressure to shoot up so relax!

FYI, the "pure" or highly concentrated nitrogen blends are what cause problems and these are generally not used in the fall to winterize turf. And the only "Nitro Phos" I've heard of is a mix by Fertilome. The label I know has an 18-4-6 blend and if this is what was used on your St. Augustine, you'll be fine. This particular fertilizer isn't strong enough to cause any kind of problem in such short amount of time – even if it was over applied – and with you getting a good watering in this morning the chance of anything going wrong has been taken out of the equation.

Here is a direct link to the information listed above:


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Can you apply granules fungicide and fertilizer to a lawn at the same ?

You could. However, there are several reasons why this is not suggested.

1) First and foremost and before you proceed with either fungicide or fertilizer, make sure the SOIL PH is okay. When your PH gets out of balance, things tend to go wrong with the grass and other plants. Since you're wanting to apply a fungicide, it sounds like you may already have a problem. And if you do, start with making sure the PH is in check.

2) Since fertilizer can "feed" a fungus, it's always best to do the fungicide treatment first, before any fertilizer, to make sure you don't enhance the fungus. Now if you're only applying a fungicide as a preventive treatment, don't worry; both can be done at the same time. But if you have active fungus growing, treat for it first waiting at least a few days to let the granules get activated and then you can proceed to using the fertilizer.

So in summary, if you treat with granular fungicide and water it in within a day, you can apply some fertilizer as early as 3 days later and not worry about "helping" any existing fungus already established. Here are direct links to the information mentioned above:

Soil PH Control: http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph

Lawn Fungus Article: http://www.bugspray.com/article/fungus.html

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I have a on going Brown Patch problem and been using F-Stop by Ferti-lome.

I purchased a pint of Honor Guard and a pH meter from Bugspray.com and had a question regarding the mixing process of the Honor Guard.

I have a 2-gallon pump sprayer and if I'm reading the directions correctly, I should mix 1-ounce of Honor Guard to 1-gallon of water?

Also, should I apply any type of fertilizer to help the lawn recovery? The pH was good according to the meter I purchased.

Thanks for you help and I found your website very helpful.

If you look carefully a the HONOR GUARD LABEL, you'll find it requires 1-2 oz of product for every 1,000 sq/ft of turf you want to treat when trying to control active brown patch. As we explain in our LAWN FUNGUS CONTROL ARTICLE, it's always best to treat the largest area possible in the yard when spraying. By killing making sure you control the fungus in more of an area than you see it, you stand a better chance of long term success. Spot treating rarely works so don't focus just where you see the damage; brown patch is no doubt active in other areas and these need to be treated as well.

Since you've tested the PH and it sounds like it's Okay, you may proceed with an application confident the treatment will have a good chance of success. Regarding the water quantity to mix the 1-2 oz of Honor Guard; it can be 1-3 gallons of water as long as you spray the end amount (finished spray mix) over 1000 sq/ft of turf. This way if you generally use 2 gallons of water to spray 1000 sq/ft of grass, I'd say mix the 1-2 oz of Honor Guard with this much water. But if you're confident you can get good coverage with just 1 gallon of water, then using 1-2 oz in this lesser amount of water will work too. Again, the key here is getting the right amount of active Honor Guard out over the 1000 sq/ft and not so much the amount of water involved. For obvious reasons it could require more water to treat some types of grass which is why flexible water quantities are fine.

Lastly, I suggest treating once at 2 oz per 1000 sq/ft to make sure you've killed the brown patch. Follow up 7-10 days later with a 1 oz per 1000 sq/ft treatment and at that point the brown patch should be dead. You can then proceed with some fertilizing following the guidelines we have explained in our FERTILIZING ARTICLE.

Here are direct links to the information posted above:







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My zoysia lawn has basketball size "Brown spot"s.
I was going to treat with a liquid fungicide, but would like to know if it will be affective since it is November here in Atlanta.
Please let me know if this fungus can be treated when the zoysia is ready to go into its dormant state.

Thanks J.

Most fungus problems in the yard will show themselves in the summer as explained in our LAWN FUNGUS CONTROL article. Here in Atlanta, you'd be best served by treating when conditions are most active. This can happen as early as April and as late as October. By November, we're almost always too cool and too dry though this year has been quite moist. Still, I don't see any real benefit that can be had by treating now so I say wait till next year.

However, there are two other "maintenance" concerns I have which most definitely need to be monitored and could have a big impact in your yard. Getting these "right" now would go a long way to ensure your zoysia has it's best chance of defeating the fungus next year. In most all cases, lawns become susceptible to fungus, insects and weeds when the soil under the grass gets out of whack. As our SOIL PH CONTROL article explains, the most important thing you can do for your soil is to keep it at the balanced PH level. Only then will everything else you do have a chance to work properly. November through February is the best time to adjust this PH if it's unbalanced. If you haven't been monitoring this level, now is a great time to start. Get a good PH METER and thoroughly check the soil. Make sure it's up around 7.0 and if not, now is time to get it adjusted using one of the products listed in our article.

The second major problem we see here in town in our lawns is related to grubs. They commonly infest most any turf and one of the more common "symptoms" of a grub infestation is when you see grass "browning" in patches that resemble a fungus. Have you been doing any treatments to keep them minimized? Read our GRUB CONTROL article and if you haven't recently treated, do so now. Winter is a good time to apply granules to the turf and get this problem corrected so come next spring, you'll have the best chance at keeping lawn fungus under wraps.

In summary, don't worry about treating your zoysia now as we move to the winter months here in Atlanta. What does makes sense is to check your PH and get that in check. Additionally, it's a good time to treat for grubs. Take care of these concerns now, from November through February and by next March, you should be all set to deal with any lawn fungus that shows up in April or May.

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Do you have anything for in ground sprinkler systems for fertilizer?
Thanks C.

Absolutely. We have LIQUID FERTILIZER which can be pumped through the irrigation system and done automatically. Use our IN LINE SIPHON SPRAYER to enable the system to "draw" fertilizer when in use.

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