Preventing Common Summer Turf Diseases
Some of the most common summer turf diseases can actually be easily preventable if a treatment program is started early. Most of the more common grass types are susceptible to common summer turf diseases. These include Fescues, Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and Annual Bluegrass. We sell grass seed for all of these types of grasses and have learned some tips on how to prevent common summer turf diseases. Enjoy your summer and remember the Valley Green is here for all of your landscape needs.
Summer Patch is a fungal turf disease that grows if the grass is cut too short. It can also grow under objects that are left out on the lawn such as tarps and kiddie pools. This turf disease can be identified by its wilted circles of grass. The circles are usually up to two inches in diameter and are colored yellow or bronze. One of the easiest things you can do to prevent Summer Patch is to mow at the correct height for your grass type. You should be cutting 1/3 of the grass blades at any one time. Grass that is kept slightly long will have better root establishment and protection. Water deeply but infrequently and don’t forget to aerate and dethatch the lawn in spring. If your lawn is already infected with Summer Patch, you’ll want to treat it with an appropriate fungicide. You can also try overseeding the infected patches.
This is one of the most destructive summer turf diseases. It attacks both mature and newly seeded turf. Pythium Blight is usually caused by water problems such as poorly drained soil. Once it takes hold, it can destroy grass in less than twenty-four hours. It is a common turf disease that affects athletic turf and golf courses as they do most of their irrigation at night. It is identified by small, sunken spots that appear overnight. The grass in the spots will be slimy or greasy to the touch. On established turf, the grass will also turn tan or brown. In the morning, a cottony web substance will appear over the grass when there is dew on the ground. All of this can happen in less than two days. Watch for it when the weather rises above 85 degrees and becomes humid. The best way to avoid Pythium Blight is to correct drainage problems before they start. This can usually be done with aeration, redirecting water flow, and filling in low spots.
Dollar Spot Lawn Disease
The common summer turf disease gets its name from the three to six-inch tan-colored spots it leaves on turf. Dollar Spot often attacks low nitrogen turf. When you begin your spring fertilization, you’ll want to make sure you’re using a high nitrogen fertilizer. Dollar Spot spreads very quickly and most often attacks Kentucky Bluegrass first. Luckily, if caught early, it can easily be controlled. However, summer weather can also affect this disease’s development. Periods of rain combined with high humidity can lead to severe outbreaks. Watch your water use; water deeply and infrequently. If increasing the nitrogen amount in your soil does not combat the disease, a fungicide may do the trick. Just remember that Dollar Spot is one of the diseases that have demonstrated a resistance to fungicides.