Lawn Disease

Rust

Rust fungus can infect most types of grasses. The three most common in the mid-south are Bluegrass, Fescue, Rye, and Zoysia grass. The disease first appears on the leaves as tiny orange to reddish-brown flecks that enlarge to form raised pustules. Lawns that are heavily infected become thin and week with an orange or reddish color.

 

Fairy Ring

Fairy rings can show up in lawns, in the same place, year after year after year, and they may get bigger as time goes by. Fairy rings are a bit of a mystery. Some say that they start with the spore of a mushroom, but mushrooms are the fruit of thread-like mycelia, which spreads underground and can, become massive.

 

Spring Dead Spot Disease

Spring Dead Spot shows up in late March, April, and May as the turf greens up. The disease is identified as circular spots of dead turf ranging from a few inches to several feet in diameter. The spots can overlap and form larger areas. The causal agent of Spring Dead Spot attacks the roots, crown, stolons, and rhizomes in the fall and predisposes the Bermuda grass to winterkill.

There is no definite cure for Spring Dead Spot but, through proper turf grass management, it can be reduced. Raking out the dead grass from the affected area can be helpful in getting the surrounding Bermuda to grow into it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dollar Spots

Dollar spots are caused by a fungus. It causes straw-colored spots about the size of a silver dollar to appear on closely mowed turf. Grass in affected areas may die and the spots may merge to form larger, irregular patches. In coarse textured grass that is cut high, the dead spots are larger and more obvious. Early in the morning, you may be able to see a cobweb-like growth of the infected area.

Dollar spot most commonly occurs on Bermuda grass, Zoysia grass, Bent grass, Fescue, and Rye grass, which are the grasses in the mid south area. It is most active from late spring through fall. The fungus develops during humid weather, when daytime temperatures are warm (59 to 86 degrees) and nights are fairly cool.

Proper cultural practices (e.g. irrigation, mowing, and fertilization) will help prevent dollar spot disease. If thatch is more that ½ inch, the lawn should be de-thatched to remove excess. Fungicide may be necessary for control.

 

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