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Lawn Diseases

Take All Root Rot

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Symptoms Of 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.

Fungicides
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:
http://www.plantanswers.com/root_rot_fungus.htm

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 sulfur – 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.

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Lawn Diseases

Dollar Spot Disease

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Dollar Spot Disease

Dollar Spot Lawn Disease is a fungal lawn disease which appears most often as multiple small brown patches which are usually the size of a dollar coin, but can be between 1 to 4 inches in diameter. In some instances the disease will be less clearly seen in the familiar circle patterns, and will instead appear as though it is discoloring or damaging a far larger area of turf.

Identifying Dollar Spot

As mentioned, the most easily way to identify Dollar spot is by it’s circle shaped legions, but when it spreads it’s identification can be far more difficult. The easiest way to identify the disease at these times is to look at the damage on the blades of the leaf. Dollar Spot is most easily recognizable by it’s hourglass shaped brown damage on it’s leaf.

Fine white threads can also be seen early in the morning while there is still moisture on the lawn, these can often be mistaken for spider webs, or mites webs, however they are simply the the result of the fungal infestation. These threads will disappear as the day warms up and the moisture on the lawn dissipates.

Turf Grasses Affected

Dollar Spot will infect almost all turf grasses, it is most evident on Ryegrass, Bermuda Grass, Fescues, Annual Bluegrass and Bentgrass. The main pre-requisites for the infestation are low Nitrogen levels in the soil, excessive leaf dampness and lawns which are cut too short.

Treatment

Treating Dollar Spot Disease can be achieved by using a fungicide treatment which will be available for purchase at your nearest gardening store, and following the manufacturers recommendations for application. Dollar spot can also be effectively treated by beginning a high Nitrogen fertilizer routine for the treatment period, changing watering regimes and aerating the sod.

Prevention of Dollar Spot

Dollar Spot Disease is most often prevalent in lawns which are poorly drained or watered wrongly which results in dampness staying on the lawn leaf for too long, the other main factor which promotes Dollar Spot Lawn Disease is a lack of Nitrogen in the soil

Follow the Golden Rules of Watering and water only in the morning, and aim to water more deeply and less frequently. Also begin aerating the turf more often or start it as a regime in your lawn care. The next major factor in preventing Dollar Spot is to always follow a regular fertilizing regime, which not only lifts the level of Nitrogen in the soil (which prevents Dollar Spot), but also increases the overall health of the lawn which can in then more easily fight off any initial infection of the disease befor it becomes entrenched.

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Lawn Diseases

Fairy Ring

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Fairy Ring

Fairy Ring is a name which is applied to a condition which occurs in lawns which results in the formation of circular shaped patterns of either visible mushrooms or bright green rings. Many different species of fungus can create fairy rings in the home lawn, some species will produce mushrooms while others will not.

Turf Grasses Affected

All turf grasses can be affected by Fairy Ring.

Identification

Fairy Rings are easily identified when mushrooms are present and they form a ring in the lawn which can start as a few inches in diameter, and then continue growing until it eventually reaches the edges of the lawn after thoroughly consuming it. The mushrooms will go through stages of appearing and disappearing throughout the year, and the fungus will over-winter itself and re-emerge the following Spring.

In the non mushroom forming fairy ring, the most obvious sign of an infestation is the bright green ring which is visible in place of the mushrooms. The bright green ring in the lawn is a result of the massive amounts of nutrients that the fungus is producing while it is consuming a lawn,

Treatment

Treating Fairy Ring will require several different treatments combined to form an overall plan of attack.

  • Begin watering correctly, this involves watering deeply and less often, and watering only in the morning.
  • The lawn should also be aerated once a year to encourage good drainage conditions.
  • Begin a year round fertilizing regime using high quality fertilizers.
  • Some fungicides, specifically those aimed at mushrooms will also aid in attacking the fungus.

If the Fairy Ring is still only in it’s beginning stages, then the mushrooms can be dug out to a depth of 10 inches into the soil, and to a 10 inch diameter around the mushrooms. When using this method it is important not to drop any of the infected soil elsewhere onto the lawn as this can easily create a new infestation. Always bag the infected soil and place into the rubbish bin. Once the infected soil has been removed from the lawn, the soil can be replaced with clean soil and re-sodded or left to spread and grow over if the lawn has runners.

Prevention

Preventing Fairy Ring from occurring in lawns requires a good lawn management regime which includes good lawn watering practice, regular fertilizing, regular lawn moving, good direct sunlight to the turf, de-thatching when required and yearly aeration.

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Lawn Diseases

Brown Patch Lawn Disease

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Brown Patch Disease

Brown Patch Disease is a turf fungal disease which creates brown circles in lawns which will quickly spread if left untreated. Brown Patch begins as a small circle, or several small circles a couple of inches in diameter, the small circles will continue to grow in size up to a few feet in diameter over many months. Often the inner circle can begin to repair itself even though the circles keep spreading. This is because the active part of the fungal disease in Brown Patch is always at the outer edge of the circle. This often leads to an appearance of rings on the outside of the circles.

Turf Grasses Affected

It is most evident in regions where there is high humidity and most often affect grass types such as Bermuda Grass, Saint Augustine Grass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Bentgrass, Centipede grass and Ryegrass.

Treatment

To treat Brown Patch, you will need to use a Brown Patch fungicide which is readily available for purchase at the local garden shop. The fungicide should be mixed with water from it’s concentrated form, and then sprayed onto the lawn as per manufacturers recommendations on the product label.

In most cases, treatment for Brown Patch disease in turf may require several treatments over a month or two.

Prevention

To prevent Brown Patch Disease from occurring in turf, there are several practices which should be implemented into routine lawn care, lawns should be aerated regularly to create greater drainage so water doesn’t continue to sit on the turf surface for too long. The next best thing is to ensure there is as much direct sunlight to the lawn as possible, this can include pruning surrounding bushes and trees, and finally, it is always best to follow the golden rules when watering lawns;

  • water only in the mornings to prevent moisture from staying in the sod overnight
  • water more deeply – water lawns for a longer time at each watering
  • water less often – reduce the number of times lawns are watered each week

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