As yards green up in the spring and summer months, one thing homeowners need to be watchful for is the development of turf grass disease. Disease outbreaks are the result of a combination of factors occurring at the same time. Hot and humid days and nights, excessive soil moisture caused by heavy rainfall and over irrigation, soil compaction and general turf stress are some of the factors that can hasten disease outbreak. The most favorable conditions for disease development usually occur from late April through October. Early detection and identification is vital when dealing with any turf grass disease.
Two of the most common diseases we deal with in this region is brown patch and dollar spot. Brown patch can infect all types of turf grass including Bermuda, Zoysia, tall Fescue, Centipede and St. Augustine grass. In appearance, leaf blades are blighted brown in circular patches that can measure inches to feet across. In St. Augustine grass, patches appear straw colored. Dollar spot can also infect all types of warm and cool season grasses but is mostly seen in Bermuda grass. It starts as circular straw colored infection centers that resemble the size of a silver dollar although some spots may merge giving a larger brown patch appearance. Both diseases can be very damaging to turf grass if left untreated.
There are a few things homeowners can do to help minimize disease development. Regular lawn maintenance adhering to proper mow heights is very important in late spring and summer months. Early morning irrigation is highly recommended to allow the grass to properly dry during the daytime hours. If disease does develop and starts to spread a separate fungicide application may be needed. Fungicides are essential tools for suppressing infectious diseases and maintaining high quality turf. These applications go a long way to ensuring a lush and healthy lawn through the summer and early fall. If you notice any of these conditions in your lawn and suspect you may have a disease, contact us right away for diagnosis and treatment.