Guidelines for Diagnosing Lawn Problems
Determining what is wrong with the lawn is a difficult task. Symptoms of lawn problems are hard to see with the naked eye and many problems have similar patterns. The best way to help identify the problem is to first speak to a trained horticulture agent with Extension. Additional resources may be available from your lawn service or a local nursery or garden center.
In many cases a live sample of affected turf will need to be seen. Care should be taken in collecting the sample for diagnoses.
Lawns can have a variety of ailments that range from problems with the environment, diseases, insects or even improper cultural practices can lead to poor growth.
A proper turf sample for diagnosis should be a six inch square of turf and about two inches of the root system. Collect the sample of sod from the area near the margin of the affected area so that a range of diseased and healthy turf can be seen.
Do not bring grass blades for diagnosis as they often reveal little about the problem.
Place the fresh sample in a box or bag and bring to the Extension Service as quickly as possible after being cut to retain freshness. Avoid the temptation to put the sample in water or an air tight bag.