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My pond has been surrounded by fescue for 7 years. Pretty thick in places. We’ve had more rain overall this year than most. Everything started off fine, but now my fescue has virtually disappeared. Replaced by a small leaf (I’m calling chickweed) weed and crab grass. Maybe I mowed the fescue too low? I’ve got a lot of grasshoppers, did they eat it all? I’ve always had a lot of hoppers though.. So, the question is, does fescue have a 7 year lifespan? What do you think happened to it? Will is come back next spring? Should I somehow til up all around the pond and reseed? Everything else is going well. Despite losing 100+ trees a few months ago due to a crazy storm, and numerous days in the 90s. The water is pretty clear and cool. After running a chainsaw all day it sure is refreshing to jump in. Just trying to figure out if I need to reseed.
I sure appreciate any advice.
Thanks

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]


7 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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That does look like it was mowed pretty low; I don't know how that might affect Fescue if done more than twice a year..

Here in Ahia we have been warned about Fall Armyworms, which reportedly can turn a green lawn brown in a week. Do you have an infestation of caterpillars?

I believe in having a mix of grasses and legumes around the ponds (as well as in pastures/hayfields), as monocultures are less stable. We plant a Fescue, Timothy, Perennial Ryegrass, Orchard Grass, Brome Grass and Red Clover mix, and also have lots of White Clover, Black Medick, and Birdsfoot Trefoil volunteer around our ponds.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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There are different kinds of fescue. Did you plant a turf type or pasture type?

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Fescue is a cool season grass. It doesn't like our hot Misery summers, especially when there's a dry spell in August.
It's also not great on poor soil. If you didn't spread topsoil around the pond after it was built I would expect that your
grass was seeded straight into the clay. Chances are good that it's just gone dormant due to weather conditions, and
will come back strong in the spring. All of the fescue in my lawn looks just like the fescue in your picture, and it's
growing in good topsoil.

Maybe think about seeding some Dutch clover around the pond. Over-seeded on sparse turf it will germinate on the
surface. It puts down a deep taproot, which will help to break up/aerate the clay, and it will spread by rhyzome so it's
not necessary to sow a mountain of the stuff. Being a legume it will fix nitrogen into the soil, which, over time, will feed
your grasses.

RAH makes a good point about variety. K31 is great in the hay field, not so great in a lawn. Creeping Red is a much
better choice if you're going to keep it mowed.

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Agree with previous posts. We use fecsue mixes, and mow them at the highest mower level once or twice a year.

If it is army worms, they're very easy to find. Just go out right after sun up, and wear a pair of rubber boots. Don't step, but slide your feet through the edges of the brown fescue and the small army worms will stick to the toes of your boots. They may be 1/4" long, and a very bright green. If you find army worms that are an inch or longer, they'll be near death, and searching for a place to lay their eggs(1,000 to 2,000) before they die. Best control is a contact herbicide insecticide mixed with a slower kill herbicide insecticide that lasts several days.

Last edited by FireIsHot; 08/31/21 10:18 AM.

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Think you meant insecticide?

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My fescue is coming back (if I can keep the armadillos away) after being wiped out with armyworms.

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Originally Posted by RAH
Think you meant insecticide?
I did.


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Wow! Thanks all for the replies. I wish I knew what type fescue I planted. It was too long ago. I did plant it directly on to the clay, but then covered it with straw. I had some great luck with timely rains and got very good germination. It’s been thick in most places for 7 years. I have to admit I’ve mowed way more than twice a year. I used to brush hog it though. I bought a used JD X540 lawn tractor that mowed it even faster and allows me to get a little closer to the pond. I think, if I’m lucky enough to get it to come back, I’ll mow less frequently at the highest setting. I was trying to make it easier for little grandkids to run and walk through. Down to 2 yrs old.
I think I’ll get more seed and over seed it next month. See what comes up. And get the right fescue. Maybe add in some other grasses.
Thanks all for the advice. I do not think I have a worm infestation I have t seen any. I think I just mowed too low. Shame on me.

Thanks again
Jeff


7 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Originally Posted by SetterGuy
Wow! Thanks all for the replies. I wish I knew what type fescue I planted. It was too long ago. I did plant it directly on to the clay, but then covered it with straw. I had some great luck with timely rains and got very good germination. It’s been thick in most places for 7 years. I have to admit I’ve mowed way more than twice a year. I used to brush hog it though. I bought a used JD X540 lawn tractor that mowed it even faster and allows me to get a little closer to the pond. I think, if I’m lucky enough to get it to come back, I’ll mow less frequently at the highest setting. I was trying to make it easier for little grandkids to run and walk through. Down to 2 yrs old.
I think I’ll get more seed and over seed it next month. See what comes up. And get the right fescue. Maybe add in some other grasses.
Thanks all for the advice. I do not think I have a worm infestation I have t seen any. I think I just mowed too low. Shame on me.

Thanks again
Jeff
Try Kentucky 31... And if you can, water the old fescue..

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The other thing to do is do a soil test to find out if there is enough nutrients in the soil, and the soil has the correct pH. Here we have to lime every year or every 2 years.


www.hoosierpondpros.com


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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Damn Setter,, I didnt know anything or anybody could kill fescue. ive seen fescue pastures that have been overgrazed in dry years that are 50 yrs old, the stuff is pretty durable.
like Mongo said tho, I have never had much luck with creeping fescue, just cheap old KY31 will grow on almost any soil. I didnt even know drought hurt it much, actually the greenest spots I have in my dry yard are the fescue and bermuda right now, the bluegrass looks about like your picture.


All the really good ideas I've ever had came to me while I was milking a cow.
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Agree with Theo. Looks like army worm damage. They can eat every bit of leaf off everything in a few days. They are small caterpillars, most active at night. After they eat everything they disappear for a month or so as the grass recovers, then the next generation attacks. Good news - the grass eventually recovers and the army worms will usually skip several years before they return.


4 acre pond 32 ft deep within East Texas (Livingston) timber ranch. Filled (to the top of an almost finished dam) by Hurricane Harvey 9/17. Stocked with FHM, CNBG, RES 10/17. Added 35lbs RSC 3/18. 400 N LMB fingerlings 6/18
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Originally Posted by gehajake
Damn Setter,, I didnt know anything or anybody could kill fescue. ive seen fescue pastures that have been overgrazed in dry years that are 50 yrs old, the stuff is pretty durable.
like Mongo said tho, I have never had much luck with creeping fescue, just cheap old KY31 will grow on almost any soil. I didnt even know drought hurt it much, actually the greenest spots I have in my dry yard are the fescue and bermuda right now, the bluegrass looks about like your picture.

This is exactly what I thought! I didn’t think fescue would ever die. Just get thicker. I tried looking for the worms today. Couldn’t find any. But that seems like the most likely cause. Hopefully it’ll come back. I’ll also throw down some seed.


7 yr old pond, 1 ac, 15' deep.
RES, YP, GS, FHM (no longer), HBG (way too many), SMB, and HSB (didn’t make it. 0 seen in 5 yrs) Restocked HSB (2020) I think we have survivors!
I think that's about all I should put in my little pond.
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Dang, don't have those around here... yet.

I thought maybe a bad grub problem as well, but don't see any skunk activity as evidence. If it is grubs, then applying Milky Spoor works well for long-term control. I have a bad grub problem this year, but that is the best time to apply Milky Spoor as it is a fungus that needs the host to thrive and get established in your soils. Once established, the natural control can last for many years as long as grubs keep trying to make inroads and "feeding" the fungus.


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