QUESTION: Why is my fescue grass turning brown? I water 2 to 3 times a week and have it professionally treated (fertilized and weed control). The lawn company says that’s just the nature of cool weather grass in the summer heat. What do you think? — Charlie
I’m not a lawn expert, but I do a lot of research to answer readers’ questions. Here’s what I’ve found:
It is the nature of fescue, which is a cool-season grass, to turn brown in the summer during hot weather, especially during dry periods. It goes dormant, and will green up again when the weather gets cooler.
However, there is also a fungal disease called “brown patch” that may affect fescue lawns. The symptoms include small brown patches that get bigger. It might start with a ring of brown grass with a patch of green in the middle. Individual blades of grass will be brown, but the plant will be green at soil level. If this symptom isn’t present, it may just be the summer heat. It’s a good idea to know for sure what the problem is before applying unnecessary fungicides.
Lawns do well with about an inch of water a week. They don’t need to be watered every day, but water deeply maybe once a week if it doesn’t rain. (Too much water may do as much harm as too little). It’s also a good idea to cut the grass higher. If it’s cut too short, it leaves the lawn vulnerable to more weeds and diseases.
I found this garden expert’s web site that may offer a little more information: http://www.walterreeves.com/lawn-care/fescue-diseases.
How much are garden-grown stringbeans worth? Plenty, if you have to protect them from marauding rabbits. See my solution over the garden journal, Turning Toward the Sun.