Soil Health with Tim Johnson

It’s June and gardening season is in full swing! Tim Johnson, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s director of horticulture, shares tips on how you can get your soil into shape for the season.


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 at 11:24 am and is filed under Summer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Soil Health with Tim Johnson”

  1. Michaelene Mikus

    I read with great interest Tim Johnson’s article about the dead spots; however, mine is different from that. I have monthly lawn fertilizer applied on a regular schedule but after the first treatment in the spring, white spots appeared in round circles anywhere from 3 inches to 2 feet wide. The grass turned WHITE and kept spreading within that circle. I was advised to apply a fungicide by hand by a local nursery which I did in early July; that SEEMS to have contained it as no new spots are turning up but it looks awful as the grass within each spot is dead. I must have 30 spots like that in my suburban size lawn. Now those grass area circles are dead so what do you recommend I do next? I am scared more spots will appear.

    Michaelene Mikus
    Crystal Lake

  2. PlantCast administrator

    This is a strange case. It does sound like a turf disease. If you are fertilizing monthly, it may be too much, and promoting a problem. My overall suggestion would be to investigate cultural practices like mowing height, watering practices, and fertilizer usage. You can get a more complete diagnosis by sending your description (with photos) to our plant information service using the Plant or Pest Diagnosis form linked here. Master Gardeners and Horticulture Specialists will research your problem thoroughly and reply to you via email. You can also try the Plant Information Hotline at (847) 835-0972, but photos or samples are always helpful in providing an accurate diagnosis.

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