Terra has developed a comprehensive lawn disease program for are customers who want a proactive approach in management of lawn fungus. Unfortunately, we realize when the summer humidity increases so does lawn disease. Our 6-step program does have some fundamental disease control with our Immuniphite phosphite applications during applications 3 and 4. Phosphite along with silica strengthen the cell walls of the turf plant making the turf more resistant to stress and wear. These do work well under mild stress conditions. As most of you know the past summer weather has not been mild with stress on the lawns. Diseases have been appearing in May thru September in most cases. Leaf spots, Red thread, Dollar spots and Brown Patch appear often during these months during times of high relative humidity. The best approach to control these pathogens is by prevention, proper watering practices and using disease resistant turf species in the lawn.
So, lets discuss these approaches. First there is turf species in the lawn. There is no turf plant that is 100% resistant to disease. But there are that will hold up better then others. Perennial ryegrass and fine fescue being the worst. Kentucky bluegrass is okay, but Brown Patch is a major concern in summer. Turf-Type Tall Fescue is the best choice but can be affected by leaf spots and dollar spots usually not bad enough to wipe out the lawn. Second is watering. Too much or not enough. Night or Daytime. The best approach is to water deep and infrequently preferably in early morning so the plant tissue can dry during the day. Wet plant tissue spreads pathogens so that is why its crucial to allow the lawn to dry. Another factor is air movement in the lawn. Whether it’s a dense area of trees or patio structures, air is a major factor limiting turf health. If grass is not transpiring correctly, it will not be able to cool itself down, reducing the plant physiological abilities to recover and increasing the susceptibility for diseases. The solution for this on the golf course was to install huge fans around the green complex. I do understand that you will not be doing that!
The best solution is to perform preventative fungicide applications. These products are absorbed quickly by the plant and can give protection up to 21 days depending on weather conditions. They can work as a preventative as well as a curative control for disease. Our approach will be to perform these applications starting in May and ending in August when disease pressure is at its highest. The program consists of 4 applications. I have included on the next page a tentative outline form of the applications and products used for this additional service. Fungicide products are not cheap that is why these are not included in the 6-step lawn care program. If you have any questions and are interested in pricing please contact our office at your convivence.