Early season dollar spot applications need to happen NOW!
Ok, so we didn’t have much of a winter to speak of. Temperatures are in the middle 70’s to low 80’s the middle of March. Shouldn’t this be good news for my golf course? The answer, not necessarily! We are seeing courses that have been mowing since February, looking at turf that really never went dormant, and most of us would agree our turf didn’t go into winter in the best of shape. Now consider the pathogen, if the turf didn’t really go to “sleep” neither did dollars spot pathogen. So let’s look at the picture we have drawn to start this season. We have turf and pathogens that didn’t go dormant and most of you have been mowing as much as possible since the beginning of March. This translates to our normal early dollar spot application being moved up to about…..NOW! With the environment I just described combined with abnormally high temps that seem to not be going away turf managers need to take action now if they want to stay ahead of the dollar spot fight.
Key items to remember:
- Make first treat when fairways have been mowed 2-3 times
- Or make first treat when Forsythia are in bloom
- Use a fungicide that is known to be effective at your location
- If a contact fungicide is used mix with a systemic
It moss be that time of the year!
Yes, it is that time of the year again where people are heading back outside to start work on their yards and turf. One of the first things people notice is a light green matt in areas with thin to no turf cover, our answer, is often that you have moss. Moss appears in areas that are not conducive for turfgrass to grow. These are often areas that hold water, have compacted soil, poor quality soil, lawns that receive insufficient fertility, and may be in full sun, under trees with root competition, or partially to heavily shaded. The best way to prevent or get rid of moss is to reverse the reasons it’s there in the first place. Get rid of the shade, work on the drainage, alleviate compaction, correct nutritional deficiencies, etc…in the affected area. This is sometimes easier said than done and usually requires a lot of work and time. One of the biggest challenges in dealing with moss is getting the type of moss identified correctly. Chemical control is usually the wrong approach to the problem and can be challenging whether you are a home lawn owner or a professional turf manager.
Home Lawn Moss Management:
- Cultural controls; improve drainage, sunlight, soil conditions and implement an appropriate fertilization program. These maintenance procedures will take time to improve the lawn and restore turf density.
- Moss should be raked and removed from the lawn to allow turf grow and to encourage density.
- It there is bare soil, the site may require seeding or sodding.
- Commercially available products usually must be reapplied several times and usually do not get to the real cause of the problem.
- Home products and home remedies must be applied routinely to see results. Again these usually do not get to the real cause of the problem. Some of materials can be phytotoxic to living turf.
Golf Greens Moss Management:
- Cultural controls; improve drainage and turf growth.
The following products have been tested at Ohio State University:
- TerraCyte; a granular product that is applied dry. Very effective on silver thread moss. Very difficult to apply. If applied wrong can damage the turf.
- QuickSilver T&O Herbicide; great product on silver thread moss, must be reapplied several times, very safe product on grass varieties. Do not ignore the primary causes for moss but address those issues to improve turf density and maintain a desirable stand of turf on the green.
Brown Ring Patch / Waitea Patch – Active!
As of yesterday several cases of Brown Ring Patch / Waitea Patch (Waitea circinata var circinata) on Poa annua have been reported. The disease is often active during the transition period of winter/spring to hot early summer like weather conditions, i.e. like we are having in Ohio this week. Even though the disease maybe wide spread on greens and surrounds (we have seen on tees) and the symptoms can be very noticeable, in most cases serious damage does not occur. When there is prolonged infection of the Poa annua plants there can develop on the leading edge (outer portion of the ring) of the affected patches a narrow band of brown leaf tissue.
The following web site is an excellent power point presentation with additional information about the disease and management:
Brown Ring Patch / Waitea Patch – on a green sp 2011
Brown Ring Patch / Waitea Patch – sp 2011
Is it time to treat for Summer Patch?
Questions are coming in about the timing of the first application of fungicides for Summer Patch. Usually the recommendations are for the first application to go down when:
- Soil temperatures are 65°F
- At a 3 inch depth
- For 3 consecutive days
Due to the unusual warm weather and the likelihood that a cool down will occur, it may be wise to wait a bit longer for the first application. Also some researchers are recommending waiting until soil temperatures are closer 70-75°F before making the first application.
Joe Rimelspach is a Program Specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University. His major focuses are the biology, epidemiology, and management of turfgrass diseases and disorders of home lawns, commercial lawns, municipal and park turfgrass areas, athletic fields, sod farms, and golf courses. Applied research is aimed to develop improved understanding of turfgrass ecosystems and the development of integrated turfgrass plant health management strategies for managing turfgrass diseases in Ohio. Diagnostic services are provided to the C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic (CWEPPDC) for turfgrass samples.
Todd Hicks is a Program Coordinator in the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University. Todd heads all of the turfgrass pathology group field studies which include implementation, tracking, and proper application timing. He also mentors the lab's student workers. Todd is also invloved in giving guest lectures on various turfgrass pathology subjects.