As those summer temperatures arrive with the warm nights and the higher humidity, patches, spots, eyes and slimes will show up faster than green grass through a goose. Lawn disease time is just around the corner. With all the moisture we've just had, you can expect them to be worse this year than ever.
Lawn disease spots are easier to prevent than control, so start early. By applying a systemic fungicide we can inoculate the lawn before the disease pathogens get inside and wreak havoc. We've just been through dandelion season and we feel like we can fix anything. We saw the yellow bloom, we sprayed, we killed… easy. Lawn disease spots are a little different. They hit us when the grass is suffering from the heat and drought making recovery slower, so start now. Systemic fungicide will allow the healthy lawn to out grow many of the lawn diseases that show up.
Bluegrass diseases will show up in the form of a slime or dust that wipes off, or even a patch that seems to die over night. Mow bluegrass lawns shorter in the spring and be vigil of the areas under trees or on the north that seem to hold the heavy dew longer in the morning. Mow the lawn a little shorter while it is cool and rain is plentiful. Raise the mowing height as June matures and don’t let the lawn dry out too much before starting the summer watering schedule. If something shows up apply a fast acting contact fungicide and follow it up with a systemic fungicide application one week later. If large areas die in the summer, add a little Stadium Special Sports Rye to your blend this fall and do what you can to help the soil.
Fescue diseases are a little more predictable. They show up as soon as the temperature and humidity add up to 150, usually early in June. Applying systemic fungicide every 21 days through mid August should keep us ahead of the game. If disease spots show up or if it looks like every other blade of grass is brown, apply fast acting contact fungicide and then a systemic fungicide one week later. Be sure and over seed every fall. Add a hybrid bluegrass to the mix and only use the newest varieties like the Heat Wave to ensure the most up to date protection that science can provide.