Lawn Diseases


simple lawn care tips for greener healthier backyard lawns
Take All Root Rot

Take All Root Rot, also know as Take All Disease and Take All Patch, is a severe fungal disease which rots away at the root system of lawn, causing the lawn to first turn yellow, then brown, and if left untreated this lawn disease will eventually kill an entire lawn.

Take All Patch has been found to be most prevalent in St. Augustine grasses, however, it is also becoming widely spread amongst all grass types. The disease first emerges on a lawn in small patches one or two feet in diameter, and then quickly spreads to cover the entire lawns surface.

Lawn damage from Take All Root Rot is most evident by the way it will blacken and rot the stolons (above ground runners) of Warm Season Grasses. Eventually the stolons will easily pull away from it's roots, revealing the disease by the blackened runner.

For the quickest and easiest treatment and control of Take All Root Rot, it is best to treat as soon as it becomes first noticeable, this is the time when it is at is weakest, and also when it has done the least amount of damage to a lawn.

Control and Treatment of Take All Patch

Take All Patch has been extensively researched since it's discovery with some surprising results found for the treatment and control of the lawn disease.

Several lawn fungicides are available for the control of Take All Root Rot, however they all seem to have a limited effectiveness. For some lawns, the treatment will work, but for others it will not, or will have minor impact. The best ways to use the fungicide treatments seem to be in conjunction with other control methods. Ask your local gardening and lawn care store to recommend the best product for your conditions.

Peat Moss Control
Peat Moss, and specifically Canadian Peat Moss seems to be a very effective control for Take All Root Rot. Many studies have been done using the method of applying the Canadian Peat Moss onto affected lawns, and lightly watering it into the blades of grass. The acidity of the Peat Moss seems to change the pH levels by acidifying the lawn so that it becomes unwelcoming to the disease. The lawn then has the chance to begin recovering and also fighting off the infestation itself.

The specific ratios for applying Canadian Peat Moss have been tested and calculated by researchers in Texas, and these are to apply a 3.8 cubic foot bale of Peat to every 1,000 square feet of turf.

The original research can be found here:

Turf Grass Types Affected By Take All Root Rot

Take All Root Rot will infect many lawn types including St. Augustine, Zoysiagrass, Centipedegrass, Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Bermudagrass, Bentgrass and Fine Fescues.

More Control Measures

Often with both pest and disease control in lawns, the best overall game plan is to treat the problems on several fronts at the same time, and the same is true for Take All Root Rot. With each measure we take to make the lawn a more hostile place to diseases, and with each step toward greater lawn health, each measure works together to create far greater control and success rates. Dependant of your own lawn, you may also like to try these:

Lawn Aeration
Lawn aeration will aid in increasing drainage in the soil to aid in greater lawn health, and helping to remove excess moisture levels which are favored by lawn diseases.

pH Control
Take All Root Rot thrives in soils with a pH level above 6.0. Take a pH test of the lawn soil, and if the results show a pH level too high, take measures to bring it down to between 5.5 and 6.0. This is usually done with the application of garden sulphur, but always check with a knowledgeable staff member at your local lawn care and garden shop before proceeding.

Regular Fertilization
Regular fertilizing of lawns will help keep lawns in overall good health which allows them to fight off many early and mild infestations of disease, as well as increasing the effectiveness of fungicides and other treatments. Fertlization also aids in maintaining a proper pH level in soils.

History Of Take All Root Rot

Take All Root Rot was only recently first discovered in 1991, and was found on St. Augustine grass, since that time this lawn disease has very quickly spread to become a major common problem for lawn owners, with severe and devastating results for lawns.

Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis has since been discovered to be the cause of the disease, and the major regions to be affected by it are the Gulf Coast States.