Pythium is a devastating disease that progresses rapidly and often causes damping-off in turfgrass seedlings, especially in the summer. Pythium thrives when nighttime temperatures and relative humidity add up to at least 150. This is one reason why we discourage installing lawns in the summer, but sometimes a summer lawn installation project is unavoidable. 

If you have to install a lawn during hot and humid conditions, here are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of Pythium and damping-off.

  • Avoid heavy seeding rates, as they will increase the risk of Pythium.
  • Avoid watering excessively or late in the day. Extended periods of moisture will do more harm than good.
  • Use fungicides during or shortly after planting. They are very inexpensive in comparison to replanting a lawn destroyed by Pythium.
  • Avoid excessive fertilization, as lush growth is more susceptible to disease.
  • Do not use high mulch rates when hydroseeding.

With the right coating, the seed you use can also help protect a seeding project from Pythium and damping-off. Foliar-Pak XCD is an excellent seed coating that contains a fungicide to help protect seedlings as they grow. XCD contains a proprietary blend of fungicide, absorbent technology, beneficial bacteria, nutrients, amino acids, and Armament technology that work together to promote healthy lawn establishment and prevent damping-off. With the fungicide in XCD, you can also reduce your post-seeding fungicide applications.

We carry bentgrass, bluegrass, and tall fescue blends coated with XCD. Talk to your ATS rep to secure XCD-coated seed for any upcoming projects. While you can’t completely eliminate the risk of Pythium and damping-off after a summer seeding, you can set the project up for success with the best practices described above.