Lawn Care Guide

Disease Control – Lawn Talk Podcast

Lawn Talk with Harold Enger – Podcast Transcription

Episode: Disease Control Treatments

Tim Kauffold: Welcome to Lawn Talk, I’m your host Tim Kauffold. Lawn Talk is a series of conversations with Spring-Green lawn care professionals. Joining me is Harold Enger. Harold has worked in the Green Industry for nearly 30 years and is a Certified Turf grass and Ornamental Landscape professional. Disease control treatments are the topic of this episode of Lawn Talk. How do I know if my lawn might have a disease that needs treatment?

Harold Enger: You will need to have to have somebody come out and take a look at it because diseases can be masked by many different conditions. It may be an insect problem or a cultural problem, such as too much water or not enough water, so really you need to have somebody come out and take a look for visual signs of a disease. If you are not sure, that’s when you want to call your Spring Green professional, have them come out and take a look at it.

Tim: And if I am working with a Spring Green professional, are they going to be looking for diseases when they come out or are they going to be just about the service I’ve hired.

Harold: No, they’ll be checking for diseases. If  they see a disease problem they will leave you information about that when they are out there doing your application. That’s to make it easier for you, so you don’t have to worry about it, but we look at it as a partnership. You’re there every day. We are there about every five-to six-weeks. So you are going to notice the subtle changes in your lawn much faster than we do. So if you see something that looks different—a spot that wasn’t there a week ago or a couple of days ago, or an area that is beginning to turn yellow—it’s always a good idea to call your Spring Green care professional so he/she can come out and take a look to see what the problem is. It might be something simple, or it could be something like a disease that you would need to make a possible change in a cultural practice, or apply a disease control material.

Tim: Okay, and if we do have to tackle a disease am I going to get it taken care of it one application?

Harold: It all depends on the disease. In some cases it may require two or three treatments. Disease control materials have a life period, or a time that they will be active, of anywhere from two to three weeks, or maybe up to four weeks in certain situations. If the conditions are right for the disease to develop, it can keep going on for long period of time. I want to take a few minutes here and just explain a little bit about a disease. In order for a disease to develop you need three things. It’s kind of like the fire triangle, in order for a fire to develop you need oxygen, fuel and combustion or ignition. There are three things are needed for disease to develop. You need the host plant which is your grass, your tree or shrub, and then you need a pathogen, which is the disease-causing agent—bacteria, fungus, micro plasma, —and those are already naturally occurring. Probably in most lawns, every imaginable disease is already there, the spores of that disease. The third thing is the environment.

When we are talking about environment we are talking about hot and dry, hot and humid, cool and dry, cool and cloudy, and warm. It could be including too much water, too little water. It could include grass that was left too long, too short. There are many things involved with the environment, but the thing that brings all three of them together is time. The environment has to exist for long enough time for the disease to develop and infect the host plant, so if that environment lasts for two, three, four, or six weeks, that disease can continue to cause problems on the lawn. And that’s why you may need to have two, sometimes three applications depending on where you are in the country.

In many cases, by the time the disease has already run its course, then you will  see the damage. The damage is already done and a treatment is useless at that point. You need to have treated it before the disease develops. You can’t kill a disease. You can only keep it from getting worse or prevent it.

If the disease is already there and has already run its course, it’s too late, there is nothing you can do about it to stop it at that point. There are things that we can do to help the lawn recover. Through core aeration, overseeding, additional applications, or other treatments to help that lawn to come back out of the problem of disease.

One good thing about being on a lawn care service, such as Spring Green, is your lawn will be able to recover after these things much faster than not keeping it maintained. If the environment is there, the disease can develop. If you’ve got a healthy lawn, it’s going to be able to come back out of that disease much faster.

Tim: If you would like to know more about services available from your local Spring-Green lawn care professional, visit the Spring-Green web site, at Spring-Green.com.  There you will find more detailed information, including how to contact a Spring-Green lawn care professional in your area. This has been Lawn Talk, an on-going series for homeowners looking to protect and enjoy their outdoor investment, brought to you by Spring-Green Lawn Care and its many local lawn care professionals nationwide.

Find more episodes at Spring-Green.com or on iTunes under Lawn Talk.

Thanks and have a green day!

For further reading, visit our lawn diseases page.