As the season begins to heat up, we should be on the lookout for disease pressure in cool-season turf. There can be several diseases that can appear in turf, but we will focus on a few that are most common: leaf spot, brown patch & dollar spot.

Both leaf spot, brown patch, and dollar spot are fungal diseases that can proliferate based on environmental conditions. With these fungal diseases, weather plays a large part in how the fungi can affect turf. The main culprits are heavy rainfall, over-irrigation, high nighttime humidity, poorly drained soils, wet foliage, or thatch.

Implementing these cultural practices can help to reduce or eliminate this disease pressure:

  • Avoid wet foliage. When watering your lawn, water deeply and infrequently. Water early in the morning so the leaf tissue can dry quickly.
  • Proper fertilization practices can reduce disease pressure.
  • Practice proper mowing techniques. Appropriate mowing heights and sharp blades are essential.
  • Improve airflow to the turf. Reducing the thatch layer and aerating in the fall will increase airflow and help with better movement of water and nutrients.
  • Use resistant varieties when seeding turf.
  • Application of fungicides as preventatives and curatives. Remember timing is essential. There are granular and liquid options available to help reduce the impact of the diseases.
  • Products like Zoxy-PG or Pillar G are broad-spectrum granular fungicides that can help control several cool-season turf diseases.

If you think you may have fungus in your lawn, reach out to your ATS Rep for assistance in diagnosing the disease and product recommendations to resolve the issue.