Remember those brown spots in your Bermuda grass lawn this past spring? It’s a very common turf disease called Spring Dead Spot, and September-October is the time to help combat that problem with applications of turf fungicides.
Spring Dead Spot is caused by a fungus—ophiosphaerella korrae—which infects Bermuda grass roots during the fall. The fungus does not actually kill the turf, but makes it more susceptible to other problems, such as winterkill. Certain varieties of Bermuda grass are more prone to the disease than others, and there are also many factors which affect why some lawns have a problem and others don’t.
How to Keep Your Turf Dead-Spot Free
Maintaining good soil fertility, proper soil pH in the 5.8-6.5 range, proper mowing and irrigation, aeration, etc. are all important in a Spring Dead Spot management program. Applying nitrogen fertilizer too late in the growing season and/or in heavy amounts will cause a higher incidence of Spring Dead Spot.
This is why our lawn care specialists at LawnAmerica, Inc. cut down on the nitrogen rate in fall. We could be making lawns really green in fall with heavy nitrogen applied, but that’s not what is best for the turf’s health. Too much of a good thing (nitrogen) can sometimes be as bad as not enough!
Applying Turf Fungicides
There are turf fungicides which if applied in the fall will help lessen the disease and allow the spots to fill in quicker the following spring as turf greens up. This year, we are incorporating a new fungicide named Vilista, which has shown good results in field trials.
We believe that adding Vilista to Eagle fungicide will provide better control. Two treatments about 28 days apart are required for effective control, with the first being in September. Contact LawnAmerica, Inc. if you need more information on this service, or any other lawn care treatment solutions.