Ascochyta Leaf Blight Lawn Disease

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For the last several years, a minor disease has been affecting many lawns during the late spring into the early summer: • It usually occurs during the period of time when the weather switches from cool and wet to hot and humid. • Lawns have been growing well and then heat and humidity blankets the area. • Mowing during the heat of the day seems to be one of the factors that cause this disease to become active. • It mainly affects bluegrass and it is usually on lawns that were mowed too short. The lawn disease is called Ascochyta Leaf Blight. The one good thing about this disease is that it is not a crown killer and the plant will recover on its own. If you see sections of your lawn that look like the picture above, you will notice that the grass blades have turned tan from the tip down, but are green at the base. The turf will recover, but it will take a couple of weeks. Since it has been dry, water will help the grass recover at a faster rate. A fungicide will not help as the disease has already done its damage. Many times, buried debris or other structures lurk a couple of inches below the surface and can present some unusual shapes in a lawn, such as what you see in this picture. Although it may look like a lawn disease , it sometimes isn’t. It is fairly easy to see that there is something square located just underneath the ground. My guess is that it is some sort of utility structure buried in that area. In my years of working on suburban lawns, I have found 4 X 8 sheets of plywood, old sidewalks and patio blocks, as well as many other items, that show up as the weather turns dry. If any of you have a septic system, you are very familiar with the lines of dry grass that form where the drainage tiles are located. There are times when you have to use some detective skills to determine the cause of brown spots in a lawn. If your lawn has suffered from ascochyta leaf blight, or if you're looking to identify and repair another lawn disease, contact your local Spring-Green lawn care team.