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Turf Fungus and Disease 2015

by Kelly Dowell on June 9, 2015
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Temperatures are predicted to be in the high 90's this week and the humidity is high. These environmental factors are prime living conditions for fungus and disease to thrive in your turf. 

Our horticulturists & lawn care experts recommend treating properties beginning this week, with a fungicide application. Clients who are already scheduled for fungicides will see us out this week and we will coordinate with your mowing day. 

Even if you are not currently seeing disease, the product we use works both as a curative and a preventative measure. The product label reads "apply when conditions are favorable for disease development".

Here are some photos of disease that we took on Friday June 5th. 

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What is turf Disease?

Turf disease season in St. Louis occurs during the summer months.

Yellowing grass plants, thinning out, and brown spots are an indication of a problem. Fungus thrives during periods of prolonged moisture, humidity, and temperatures above 75 degrees. Thatch deeper than 1/2 inch has a severe impact too. Thin turf that has not been over- seeded is generally more susceptible to disease.

A trick is to identify turf disease is to check the leaf blade for lesions like you see below:

turf disease fungus

How can Dowco help?

Dowco uses a liquid product that works on contact with the diseased areas right away, as well as absorbs through the plant roots to provide 7-21 days of protection. Due to pressure from the pathogen and climatic conditions, some brown spots may remain. For optimal results, Dowco will apply two treatments scheduled two weeks apart.

What are my other options?

You may opt to let the disease run its course this year. These destroyed areas of turf will need to be aerated & seeded in the fall.

Modifying cultural practices will also help keep a healthy turf. Here are some easy tips:

  1. Allow your turf to dry thoroughly between watering. Remember to water deeply in the mornings.
  2. Provide proper drainage or eliminate low, wet areas in the lawn.
  3. Allow sunlight to reach your turf by raising and selectively pruning tree limbs. Shady spots are more at risk because they have less opportunity to dry out. 
  4. Mow your lawn with a SHARP blade to keep from tattering the leaves of the grass. 
  5. Plan for fall aeration to reduce thatch build up which is where fungus can hide out. 

When do I Over-Seed?

Large areas of browned out turf will require fall seeding. Due to upcoming hot temperatures, Spring is NOT the time to seed. A fall seeding will enable you to crowd out weeds with an desirable grass.

To learn about a healthy and lush lawn, contact us today!

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Topics: Turf Care, Fall Turf Renovation

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