Dollar Spot Alert!
Lawns in our service areas have recently been attacked by a disease called Dollar Spot. It is the most widespread turf disease that affects home lawns. It is a disease that can affect all species of warm and cool season lawns.
What Does Dollar Spot Look Like?
Small, circular, straw-colored spots 1-3 inches in diameter, about the size of a silver dollar, are the most common symptoms and are most noticeable on closely mowed Bermuda and Zoysia lawns. You may also notice white cottony like mycelium in the early mornings while the dew is present. This sometimes resembles spider webs and can be mistaken for an insect issue. If conditions allow the disease to grow rapidly the small spot may grow together and create larger areas of discolored turf.
What Causes Brown Spots in My Lawn?
The disease is favored by temperatures above 85 with prolonged periods of high humidity and drought stress. These have been our conditions over the past few weeks leading into the 4th weekend for most of us. The disease is spread through clipping dispersal and is also favored by high thatch accumulation.
How to Get Rid of Dollar Spot?
The good news is that as our turf recovers from the drought stress we had for 3-4 weeks and humidity levels drop it can and in most cases will grow through the infection just fine. Some best practices we can follow to slow development of Dollar Spot are:
• Water your lawn in the early morning hours from 3 to 6 am and provide your turf with at least one inch of irrigation or rainwater each week
• Mow in the afternoons after the dew has dried completely to lower the risk of spreading through clipping dispersal
• Keep your lawn aerated to help control thatch accumulation and allow oxygen and water to move through the soil profile.
Fungicide applications can be made to control the pathogen causing the disease, but be advised that a fungicide application is not a “spot remover” and that it will still take time for the turf to grow through the damage that has been done. Your Wayne’s professional can advise you on the cost for fungicide applications and what those expectations should be.