Fescue Turns Yellow After Overseeding

pythium blight yellow

Q: Every year, when the heat and humidity of summer arrive, parts of my fescue lawn suddenly wilt, turn yellow and lay down. I used a southern fescue mix for overseeding, 8.5 pounds per 1000 square feet. Three weeks ago, I applied lawn fertilizer. Any suggested remedies?

A: I think you spread too much seed and have a nice case of pythium blight in the grass as a result. When you overseed with fescue, scatter no more than four pounds of seed per thousand square feet. Otherwise the tiny seedlings can easily become diseased as the weather warms up. At this stage of growth they are defenseless and any fungi that wanders through will spread like wildfire. At this point in early May, there’s no point in spraying fungicide. Instead, rake out the dead grass and reseed the spots lightly. Apply fertilizer at one-third the rate on the bag.

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