Summer is finally here and that means vacations, being outdoors and hot and humid weather here in the Midwest. With all of the fun that is upon us, there is also a down side; summer turf problems. Some of the most common are brown patch, dollar spot, leaf spot and summer patch. Turf issues can be tricky to identify, but never fear, we have a guide to help you identify the most common turf diseases.
Not all grasses are susceptible to the same kind of turf diseases. To identify which disease is affecting your lawn, you first must know which variety is planted. Once the variety is determined, you can then begin narrowing down the diseases and selecting curative and prevention practices.
Susceptible grasses: bluegrass, annual bluegrass, fescues, and ryegrass Conditions favoring disease: moist, hot weather on over fertilized lawns Symptoms: First appears as small, dark, water- soaked looking grass; turns into brown circular areas several inches to several feet in diameter Prevention: Improve soil aeration, water drainage, avoid excess nitrogen, water deeply but infrequently, mow high and remove excess thatch Curative: Alternate Dyna Green Rx T-Methyl and Dyna Green Rx Eagle to prevent resistance.Apply Infuse Lawn and Landscape granular, any of the Daconil products, or Infuse Lawn and Landscape RTS.
Susceptible grasses: bermudagrass, annual bluegrass, fescue, ryegrass, seashore paspalum, and zoysiagrass Conditions favoring disease: affects lawns in heavy dew periods that are low in nitrogen and stressed by drought Symptoms: small, circular spots from 1-5” in diameter, reddish band across the leaf, fine cobweb-like threads seen in early morning Prevention: fertilize adequately, reduce thatch, and maintain air circulation Curative: Alternate Dyna Green Rx T-Methyl and Dyna Green Rx Eagle to prevent resistance.Apply Infuse Lawn and Landscape granular, any of the Daconil products, or Infuse Lawn and Landscape RTS.
Susceptible grasses: bermudagrass, bluegrass, fescues, kikuyugrass, ryegrass, and zoysiagrass Conditions favoring disease: low clipped grass, excess nitrogen fertilization or deficiency, warm temperatures (70°-90°F) for bluegrass, ryegrass, and fescue, cool temperatures (60°-70°F) for bermudagrass, and zoysiagrass Symptoms: circular to elongated brownish spots with brown centers and dark brown or purple borders on leaf blades, sheaths, and stems Prevention: improve soil aeration and water drainage, avoid dry spots and too much nitrogen fertilizer, and maintain a high cutting height Curative: Alternate Dyna Green Rx T-Methyl and Dyna Green Rx Eagle to prevent resistance.Apply Infuse Lawn and Landscape granular, any of the Daconil products, or Infuse Lawn and Landscape RTS.
Susceptible grasses: bluegrass and fine fescues Conditions favoring disease: high temperatures (> 85°) in late spring through the summer, turf mowed too low or when soil moisture is excessive Symptoms: circular, yellow or tan areas of dead and dying plants up to 1’ in diameter, might have green healthy looking plants in the center, which is called frog eye pattern Prevention: aerate soil, and apply slow release nitrogen, improve drainage, reduce compaction, reduce soil pH if higher than 7 Curative: Alternate Dyna Green Rx T-Methyl and Dyna Green Rx Eagle to prevent resistance.Apply Infuse Lawn and Landscape granular, any of the Daconil products, or Infuse Lawn and Landscape RTS.
Susceptible grasses: Kentucky bluegrass Conditions favoring disease: daytime temperatures (85°-95°F), drought stressed areas in full sun, and it survives in thatch and grass residues Symptoms: small, circular, grayish green areas, ranging from a few inches up to a foot in diameter, some plants in the center can survive, dead foliage appears bleached Prevention: don’t apply more than 1 pounds nitrogen/1,000 square foot/application or more than 6 pounds annually, mow at the highest recommended rate Curative: Alternate to prevent resistance Dyna Green Rx T-Methyl and Dyna Green Rx Eagle.Apply Infuse Lawn and Landscapegranular, Actinovate, or any of the Daconil products.
Susceptible grasses: all grasses Conditions favoring disease: low spots that remain wet, warm temperatures, and look for it when nighttime temperatures (Fahrenheit) plus relative humidity equals 150 Symptoms: small circular spots 2-6” that run together, blackened leaf blades rapidly wither, turn reddish brown, lie flat, stick together, and appear greasy Prevention: improve soil aeration, and water drainage, avoid mowing wet grass and applying high levels of nitrogen during hot, humid weather Curative: Apply Actinovate.
Susceptible grasses: bentgrass, bermudagrass, bluegrass, fescues, and ryegrass Conditions favoring disease: mild temperatures (60°-75°) and extended periods of wetness, deficiency of nitrogen with adequate moisture (excess irrigation or rainfall) Symptoms: red threadlike structures which extend from the upper part of the grass blade, and grow in patches that are 2-8” in diameter Prevention: proper irrigation and fertilization, prevent drought stress, and provide adequate air circulation Curative: Apply Infuse Lawn and Landscape RTS
Susceptible grasses: all grasses Conditions favoring disease: moderately warm temperatures (70°-75°F) and extended periods of leaf wetness, deficient in nitrogen Symptoms: irregular patches of weak turf covered with rust colored (spores), the colored spore residue will rub off when touched Prevention: maintain turfgrass vigor by following proper irrigation and fertilization requirements, mow regularly and remove clippings to reduce the number of spores if lawn is infected Curative: Apply Infuse Lawn and Landscape RTS
Susceptible grasses: bluegrass, annual bluegrass, fescues, and ryegrass Conditions favoring disease: excess thatch and mat along with high temperatures (80°-95°F), high humidity, soft, lush growth due to excessive nitrogen Symptoms: first appears as small, irregular brown patches or rings that can enlarge to many feet in diameter, the leaves and sheaths become water soaked, wilt, turn light brown, and die Prevention: improve soil aeration and water drainage, and avoid excess nitrogen Curative: Apply Actinovate.
We stock a wide variety of products to help cure the diseases in your turf.
While you are outside enjoying the summer, remember to look at your lawn and see if you notice any diseases starting to form. Remember the steps in identifying the disease; identify your grass type, find the types of disease that affect that specific grass variety, then identify the disease and treat. Once you have a beautiful disease free lawn, you will be able to enjoy the outdoors even more.