Current Conditions Lawn Tips
A Lot of things going on in our area.
Especially with the current weather conditions.
Ascochyta Leaf Blight
What it is - Ascochyta Leaf Blight is a minor fungus that lives on the leaf blade. The fungus enters the leaf blade through the cut end (when you mow or other traffic areas). It causes the blade to quickly turn a straw-color and appear dead.
Why the fungus happens or how it works is not well understood by researchers. It does seem to coincide with seasonal changes from cooler wet, to hot, humid, and dry periods.
Mowing during the heat of the day, mowing off more than 1/3 of the grass blade, and dull mower blades seem to intensify the damage.
It mainly affects bluegrass, but can still be found on some rye and fescue lawns.
You might notice - Straw-colored wheel track patterns from mowers or other equipment, or areas of heavy foot traffic to be more noticeable than other areas. In effect these actions slightly bruised the grass blades creating a welcoming host for the fungi (which was already present) to invade. Thus, creating some pattern like areas. Also along concrete are common areas to notice the blight and sometimes they just appear to be random spots.
The good news - Ascochyta leaf blight does not typically affect the crown and roots. Therefore, with a little time, patience, and regular watering (hopefully some natural precipitation) the lawn should recover to its former state. This should happen with in 2-4 weeks in most cases, depending on weather and watering.
What to do now - Watering: You want to water infrequently yet deeply, 2-3 days a week for 45min - 1hr in each area. Avoid watering with less than 2 hrs of daylight left in the day do not water at night.
Mowing: While fungus is present reduce mowing frequency and increase mowing height. Avoid mowing during wet weather as it may harm the turf and provide more infection points for the pathogen.
*Avoid mowing in the heat of the day and time mowing to be a day or two after rain or watering.
*Keep your mower height at 3”–4” tall and keep the blades nice and sharp.
*Leave the clippings on the lawn as long as it does not leave clumping.
In the future - Having your lawn aerated every year or two will help reduce your chances of disease and fungus. It reduces your thatch layer, allows better water penetration, and air circulation.
What they are - Patch diseases are fungus caused by hot and humid weather, especially hot and muggy nights. When the turf stays moist all night long it creates prime conditions for fungal growth. Also, watering after the lawn is already starting to go dormant can also cause these problems. That is why it is important to start watering as soon as the first signs of stress appear.
What to do now - In most cases your normal fertilization treatments along with rain or watering, will help aid in the recovery. The grass plant must grow through the disease.
Mowing: Keep your mower height at 3" or taller and keep the blades nice and sharp.
Fungicide Application: Can be costly and are not generally effective at curing patch diseases. In some severe cases, they can help with the spreading of the disease, but will not cure them.
Watering: You want to water infrequently yet deeply, 2-3 days a week for 45min - 1 hr. in each area. Avoid watering with less than 2 hrs. of daylight left in the day and do not water at night.
Once the humidity settles down that will greatly decrease the chances of spreading or new infection.
Down the road - Having your lawn aerated every year or two will help reduce your chances of disease and fungus. It reduces soil compaction and your thatch layer, allows better water penetration, and air circulation.
Dollar spot: is a common foliar disease that occurs on most types of turf grasses. Dollar spot is most prevalent from late spring to early fall when high humidity and cool nights favor the formation of dew on turf grass for extended periods and the temperature is most conducive for growth of the fungus. In most instances the fertilizer we apply will cure the problem and help the lawn grow through the disease. But in some severe cases a fungicide is needed to insure permanent damage is not done to the turf. If you have a concern that you might have dollar spot give us a call and we will come out and take a look.
Insects such as armyworm, sod webworm, cutworm, and chinch bug can go undetected while doing damage. Especially during hot and dry periords when the lawn goes dormant, you may not notice the damgae until things begin to recover.