Pesticide definitions.

Some pesticide definitions. With a few sample products. –Cide: “denoting a substance that kills.” The Oxford American College Dictionary, through Google.com Pesticide “a substance used for destroying insects or other Continue Reading →

Turf grass disease

Aside

Once again turf grass disease is an issue this year here in the transition zone of eastern TN.  It’s definitely ubiquitous here in the Knoxville area.  Would suspect it’s an issue elsewhere as well.   I treated multiple times last year for brown patch.  Unfortunately it can’t be fully eradicated.  One way to managed it is with the use of a fungicide.  If not treated it can spread and eventually kill most of then lawn. It can also be spread by mowing machines and in some cases even by foot traffic.

The spores which grow into the fungus is always present in the soil. When the environment is conducive to host such growth is when it becomes an issue. Usually cool damp weather patterns.

Lawn Fungus Brown Patch

Onset of a turf grass disease. Small patches of dying grass.

This most likely is brown patch. It usually starts as small areas of dying or yellowing grass. These small patches will grow from a few inches to several feet. Often within a short period of time consuming most of your lawn.  Often times these patches will have a donut shape.  Dead grass with a small patch of green in the middle.  This is seen later as the disease progresses. 

Lawn Fungus Brown Patch Untreated

Example of how the patches can grow from a few inches into larger patterns of dead grass.

If left untreated it can really detract from your curb appeal.  Come fall you can always aerate and over-seed to re-establish your lawn.  Some grass seed has more tolerance for fungus then others.

Manicure Ultra Fungicide Disarm Lawn Fungicide

A product such as Manicure Ultra is a topical application which will help arrest the disease/fungus and help it from spreading.  Disarm is a granular / systemic approach.  If your already seeing spots forming then a topical spray followed a couple weeks later by a granular application will help manage your lawn disease.  If you’re only wanting to invest in one of the two products I’d suggest the Disarm granular application. Visit the turf product page for more info on definitions, etc.

If you’re noticing a pattern of frequent lawn disease I’d first recommend a soil test to check ph, N-P-K, levels, etc.  If you’re suspecting it’s due to cool wet weather patterns then I’d suggest taking a preventive approach.  An application of a granular fungicide late winter/early spring to help suppress potential issues.

unfortunately it’s not cheap to maintain a nice lawn.  Most fungicides are a little pricey, coverage areas can be small and they usually don’t have a long residual.  Hopefully you’ll just need a couple applications to get the disease under control.

A couple ways to help alleviate the pressure of turf grass disease is to only water when needed!  I see  many cases of irrigation systems that are over used.  Mow with sharp blades.  Don’t mow your lawn too short.  Mow frequently enough to where you’re only cutting 1/3 of the length of the grass at a time. Mow when the grass is dry.  Follow a proper fertilizing program.   Once again you can’t control the fungus you can only manage it.  However don’t exacerbate the problem by using poor lawn care practices.

Merit. Grub Control

Aside

Now is also a good time to apply an application for grub control. Optional, yet recommended to avoid potential lawn damage. Merit is a good product to use. If you have moles this product will also help, as it kills off their food source. Grubs can do a lot of damage to a lawn. Usually it’s not so much the insects, but rather the rodents that eat the grubs. I.g moles which tunnel under the sod and raccoons which will pull up the turf. Raccoons usually do the most damage. Often times just overnight.   Apply around April / May.

Merit