Diseases Commonly Found in Warm Season Turfgrass in Georgia

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Hot, humid and rainy weather is common during our Georgia summers. And while your landscape may welcome the rain, the combination of high temperatures and prolonged periods of moist soil may create ideal conditions for warm season turfgrass diseases.

How can you help fortify your lawn against these threats? First, avoid watering your lawn in the evening so your turfgrass will not be damp overnight. The best time to irrigate your lawn is in the morning, before 10 a.m.

Second, early detection will minimize any damage   The best remedy for infected lawns is identifying and treating disease as quickly as possible. But while some diseases show telltale signs, others are harder to identify.

Not sure whether your turfgrass has become vulnerable to a fungus? Handy Andy Outdoors is here to help! Clients can ask a Handy Andy Outdoors technician, call or email our office and request a professional assessment. We will diagnose and treat any problems with the safest and most effective method possible.

Here are handy tips on how to spot diseases commonly found in warm season turfgrass in the Atlanta area:

Dollar Spotdollar_spot

Type of turfgrass affected: Centipedegrass, Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass

What it looks like: Light yellowish-brown patches which are 2 to 6 inches in diameter. At a closer look, you may see light tan lesions with reddish brown margins across leaves.

 

Fairy RingFairy_Ring

Type of turfgrass affected: All types

What it looks like: Fairy rings are a mushroom-type fungi or puffballs that appear in large arcs, or rings, of green grass and/or dead grass.

 

Leaf Spot

Type of turfgrass affected: St. Augustinegrass and Bermudagrassleaf_spot

What it looks like: Leaf Spot thrives in warm, wet weather and will appear as oval or circular tan lesions with purple, brown or red borders. Grass is prone to wither and die if the lesions are not treated, and the parts of the lawn affected will turn a brownish color.

 

Rust   

Type of turfgrass affected: Can affect most types of grass, but most common with Zoysiagrass, Bermudagrass and Fescue rust

What it looks like: Shady lawns are more vulnerable to Rust, which appears as small yellow specks that turn into rust-colored (orange or red) abscesses. If left untreated, lawns can turn an orange or reddish hue and the grass thins out.

 

Slime Mold

Type of turfgrass affected: All Types  slime_mold

What it looks like: Slime mold thrives in warm, wet weather and appears as white, gray, powdery bodies that cover leaves in patches 6 to 12 inches in diameter. While not attractive, slime mold fungus is generally not considered harmful and does not usually require treatment. The fungus typically disappears without intervention during dry weather, although it can be removed by brushing it off the grass.

Dollar Spot Image: Kevin Mathias, Bugwood.org This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Fairy Ring Image: Printing, copying and distributing this information as it originally appeared is permitted. Copyright © 2002-2015, Iowa State University of Science and Technology.

Leaf Spot Image: Don Ferrin, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Bugwood.org This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Rust Image: Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Slime Mold Image: Printing, copying and distributing this information as it originally appeared is permitted. Copyright © 2002-2015, Iowa State University of Science and Technology. All rights reserved.

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