With the summer heat and humidity, you may be noticing dead patches of grass or signs of disease appearing as the summer progresses. What happened? What does that brown patch mean? Why are there little circles? What can you do to get rid of the damage and fix your turf?
Here are three common summer turf problems, and cultural and chemical solutions to save you the headache that may come as you see your turfgrass suffering.
Brown patch is common during hot, humid weather. Brown patch, or rhizoctonia solani, is seen when grass is wet and nighttime temperatures stay above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll see the grass turning brown in circles ranging from a few inches to a few feet in diameter.
To fix brown patch damage, regularly mow lawns, remove clippings of affected areas so brown patch can’t spread and provide good drainage by removing excess thatch and aerating the soil. Applying a granular fungicide like Pillar G Intrinsic Fungicide or a liquid product such as CSI Propiconizole will help kill the disease.
Dollar spots look like silver dollars—small circles, one inch to six inches in diameter. Dollar spot, or sclerotinia homoeocarpa, kills turfgrass all the way to the roots, causing extensive damage. If your turf is already suffering from drought, excessive thatch or nutrient deficiency, it’s more susceptible to dollar spot.
Verticut to remove excess thatch, irrigate based on soil moisture levels and ensure proper nutrients through a soil test. Applying Propiconizole can help treat recurring dollar spots or hard hit areas.
Fairy rings are dark green rings with dying turf inside or outside the dark circle. Depending on the type of fairy ring you have quite often the first sign is a cluster of mushrooms on the outer edge of the rings. Fairy rings are made by mushroom fungi living in soil and thatch, and can take years to grow. This doesn’t kill the turf on its own—but it dominates the water supply, and can create hydrophobic areas which in turn kills the turf.
Aerating the turf and applying water and adequate nutrients can help reduce the presence of fairy rings. Using a product like Mirimichi Green CarbonizPN Soil Enhancer can help with moisture and nutrient retention. If you choose to apply a fungicide for your fairy ring there are several options available, including Pillar G.
Make sure to read labels of all pesticides prior to any application for proper use and safety information.
What turf problems are you facing this summer? Leave a comment below to tell us your problems, solutions and questions our experts can help you with!