Neighbors FUNGUS(?) Creep-Anyone know what this is and how to kill it?

Jim Ginas
by Jim Ginas
My neighbor had a GREAT lawn (Tall Fescue) until July timeframe when his entire front lawn started getting this ?FUNGUS?? like issue killing all his grass, NOW it is creeping onto his side yard and NOW to edge of mine.... Can anyone tell what he may have? (He has True Green and the True Green people said they didn't know what it was.
Left side of yard, my side is still good - for NOW!!
Close up showing my neighbors fungus(?) issue creeping into my side..... Want to kill it for him and me!
Closer Up!!
  27 answers
  • Patricia W Patricia W on Sep 14, 2013
    One of two things. lack of water. The entire lawn needs fertilized and allowed to grow back about 4" and then mowed high. #2, hubby looked at it. It could be Fairy Ring, which is a fungus. It usually grows in a ring, but if it is then the only cure is to dig all the grass, get rid of the soil, add new soil and seed. he is pretty sure it is water and its being mowed too short. Its really not the best time to fertilize because lawns are best fed in the spring and mid summer.The next feed should be a winterizer to help it wake up nicely in the early spring. But, if left unchecked it will die.
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    • Deborah Donovan-Navarro Deborah Donovan-Navarro on Sep 16, 2013
      If it's lack of water, it can be treated naturally. First core (aerate) the lawn, if possible or at least walk all over it with those spikey strap-on soles. Then spread laundry SOAP - like Ivory or Dreft, but do NOT use laundry detergent. Then water very well. The soap acts as a humectant and pulls over-dried water into the soil. If your soil is clay, it may be hard to dry out, but it is also very hard to get to absorb water if it is too dried out.
  • Could be grubs. Pull up on the dead grass and look to see if it comes up in large clumps. Then look for the white grub just below the root.
    • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 15, 2013
      @Woodbridge: I was in my shed yesterday and saw a small portion left in a bag I have and decided I'd have to go out this week and buy more for this fall to treat again. Plan is to treat my yard with Grubex this week, just cause I don't want to take chances! I suspect he will follow also. (He is due over to watch football and I'll suggest that to him.
  • Catherine Smith Catherine Smith on Sep 15, 2013
    Check with your local extension office, they should be able to help you figure out what's causing this problem and come up with some solutions. They will also probably suggest doing a soil test, which will give you a more detailed idea of what the balance of nutrients are in that soil. Part of that looks like fertilizer burn to me, but it's hard to tell from a picture. I believe I'd be asking some questions about what kind of fertilizer is being used, how often, and how much. Chemical fertilizers will kill off the microbes, earthworms and other beneficials in the soil, usually at a slow rate, but this looks like somebody over did it.
  • KrysFL KrysFL on Sep 15, 2013
    ^^ I agree with calling the extension office. Is there a way to dig a little trench to separate his from yours so it doesn't spread and kill all your grass?
    • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 15, 2013
      @KrysFL probably can't dig a trench as this area is used by his kids to play on. I do like the thoughts earlier to check for grubs!! can;t hurt to treat it anyway. (I'm treating my lawn this week with Grubex again. (In-fact, just thatched the lawn and treated with Lawn killer; 3 weeks, then aerate and overseed again! THEN Winterizer.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Sep 15, 2013
    Have they ruled out brown patch? I wonder if this could be caused by efforts to keep fescue green in the summer when its natural tendency is to go dormant.
    • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 15, 2013
      @Douglas Hunt Doug: He had True Green out and I talked with them. they said its too late in the season for brown patch. (I'm not sure I have LOTS of confidence in them, as they allowed his lawn to turn from beautiful to that in 4-6 weeks. Guy said he didn't know what it was. again, no confidence yet, as I had true green for 2 years and had more weeds during their service then before or since!
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Sep 15, 2013
    Fescue is a fantastic, sturdy grass, but like all grasses it can suffer in dry weather and when people cut it too low. I do not like the trend to cut grass about 1/2" above the root! There are all kinds of bugs from ants to spiders that can go after grasses. I started using a lawn care service because it was a lot easier and cheaper than the time it took to run down problems.
    • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 15, 2013
      @Jeanette S AGREE about the Lawn Service, though MY experience with true Green here was bad 2 years in a row, so I stopped and did my own, pretty successfully..... and my neighbor hired them THIS year and his lawn is now a nightmare! He USED to mow his LOW, and I kept suggesting he mow it HIGH, like I do mine. He did this year and states he ONLY mowed it low being the grass started dying. *** I may try SCOTTS this year or Lawn DR. It IS cheaper in the long run, IF they treat and give you a good lawn!
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Sep 15, 2013
    It is odd how it comes off of the sidewalk in that pattern. Almost looks like some kind of run off from the driveway indicating chemical damage of some type, ( like a spray tank spill)but if it is continuing to 'grow' that sort of rules out that..hmm. I think is it in your best interest to have extension test it for you to find out what is going on.
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    • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 16, 2013
      @KrysFL IRONIC: He used to have a detailing company come to his house and wash his cars, and I saw him out about 3 weeks ago washing his own car and using a Power washer! Wonder of he used anything that could have caused this, EXCEPT issue is it is ALL over his front lawn also!
  • Just make sure you need it. We had the same issue. Over half of my front yard was hit all of a sudden by them. Got no idea how they came and spread so fast. I could pick up lawn up like a carpet. And these grubs were everywhere. Eating all the roots off and killing the grass. After about five days and early migration of about a million black birds tearing up the lawn, could not find one grub. Natures way of pest control I assume. Pulled up all the dead stuff and planted grass seed. This year no issue at all.
  • No I doubt it would, but personally the less chemicals needed the safer the ground would be. Remember kids and critters play on the grass. Just be sure to follow the directions. But if you do not find them, why waste the chemicals and your time. You will know right off if they are the reason if you pull up on the grass that appears dead. The grubs if present eat the root section of the grass. This then allows the dead grass on top to simply lift off the ground like a cheap hair piece as there is nothing left holding the sod to the soil. You will see these white bugs real easy as they are pretty big.
    • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 16, 2013
      @Woodbridge: Ok, I'll ask him if he doesn't mind we try and pull up on his grass to see. Thanks much!
  • Audrey Audrey on Sep 16, 2013
    WE -- thanks for the great description!!! I don't have the prob but surely will recognize it in the future!! Jim - Good Luck figuring it out and taken care of!!
  • Tullynut Tullynut on Sep 16, 2013
    I had a big problem with grass fungus this summer - we had a wet summer. Lawn guy said it was a fungus and that having him treat it would be pricey as it has to be done and redone. So I went to Lowes and bought a liquid (granular didn't work at all for my neighbor) fungicide. I sprayed the front yard and within 2 days the lawn returned to green. I have had to repeat it in spots for the past 3 weeks, but now my yard is free of the dead/dying spots and a dense green. Liquid, not granular, worked for me. The container at Lowes cost about $18 and covered my rather small front yard with a few more spot applications. HTH
  • Barbara Aubrey Barbara Aubrey on Sep 16, 2013
    Looks like Grubs that we make sure we put down mid-summer a couple of containers of round worms that will eat the Grub larva till it gets cold and the grubs go too deep for the worms. Lawn may not be pretty for almost a year but you will stop them as well as other pests without chemicals that may have killed off all your worms in the first place.
  • Gena Crow Gena Crow on Sep 16, 2013
    If it's a fungus, you can treat it with cornmeal and not the kind at the grocery store. It's non-toxic! Check with your local organic garden center.
    • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 17, 2013
      @Gena Crow Thanks Gena. I'm not even sure if we have an Organic garden center! I'll have to check out our largest garden center and see what they say. SO far, so good, that I don;t believe it is spreading to my yard, but who knows, True Greens has been over there 2X this week treating so whatever it is, I hope they kill it!
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 16, 2013
    hmmmmm, Question: While mowing this week, I noticed out along the curb (off the street side) and along the driveway edge from my FRONT LAWN, HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of DEAD worms! this is off my front lawn and MY front lawn is doing really well, nice and thick and looks good!!
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    • Judy Judy on Sep 16, 2013
      @Jim G When you say worms do you mean earthworms? If so the problem is chemical.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 16, 2013
    @Catherine: the lawn in distress is my neighbors. No earthworms near his curb or driveway. My lawn is thick and green, though hadn't had any fertilzer on it since spring. Dead worms COULD BE Ironite. I put that down a few weeks ago. Greens up the lawn.
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Sep 16, 2013
    @Jim G do you have any trees in your front lawn near the street?
    • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 17, 2013
      @360 Sod (Donna Dixson) I do. Is there a significance for the trees? Pics posted below with the trees.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 16, 2013
    Donna, I do. Two, one on each end of the yard. Plusone 30 feet back.
  • Tullynut Tullynut on Sep 16, 2013
    Don't remember the name - they only had one liquid antifungal for grass - it was in a black plastic bottle you hook up to your hose. Cost was around $18.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 16, 2013
    So timeline: Spring- Scotts fertilizer approx 3 weeks ago-light hand spreading of Ironite Saturday-notice hundreds of dead worms ------ edge lawn and blow all clippings and dead worms to lawn again Tl
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 16, 2013
    Saturday after mowing, sprayed yard w/ weed killer. Today - hundreds of dead worms again! But what killed the worms the 1st time before the weed killer??
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 16, 2013
    @Tullynut: thanks. I'll pass yhat to him. True Green was at his house again this morning. He'll probably wait to see how they do. If it does creep to mine, I'll try it.
  • Drought Smart Plants Drought Smart Plants on Sep 16, 2013
    I'm going to make a suggestion to the OP that whatever this is, it looks to me like the neighbor may have washed his car in really hot weather, and the soap/detergent whatever he used has washed into the lawn and burned it. Look at the way it's run off, just as though it was water running off the driveway. For the smaller spots, most likely that is doggie urine spots...
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    • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 17, 2013
      @Drought Smart Plants so strangely I walk on it today to get to my neighbors and the grass is so soft as if invested by moles!!!.... I'm curious for what he thinks about that and why True Green didn;t think this....
  • Carolyn Bebb Carolyn Bebb on Sep 16, 2013
    I too have tall fescue and have fungus in the form of toadstools, I've been told to use a fungicide, and also been told there is nothing they can be done except pull them out by the roots. I have done this but can't keep up with them! HELP ツ
  • Karon Nelson Roberts Karon Nelson Roberts on Sep 17, 2013
    My ex-mother-in-law used an "Epson Salt" spray for fungus on her flowers. She was told this from the agricultural agency in town. I don't know if that will help with grass, but she had the best flowers beds....her roses were 8-10 inches big, and bloomed almost year round.
    • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Sep 17, 2013
      @Karon Nelson Roberts WOW! I use an Epson salt solution to spray also on the flowers and for watering the geraniums every couple weeks. My flowers are OK, but not all that great! I need to keep learning!
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Sep 17, 2013
    I just wandered if the worms could be from the trees. You said the carcasses were in the road? Just strange that they migrated from the yard to die in the street. Usually they will sort of just stay put when they are killed with a pesticide, not migrate out into the road, but I might have misunderstood your statement.
  • Gena Crow Gena Crow on Sep 18, 2013
    Good luck and I hope it doesn't spread to yours! :-)
  • Mary Mary on Aug 07, 2015
    could be grubs from junebugs. epsom salt solution will help with this problem too. check on pinterest for natural solutions.