You probably wouldn’t be rich, but you might have enough for a decent night out. We’re speaking, of course, about Dollar Spot, the lawn disease that cheapens the look of your lawn. This lawn disease can infect almost all cool-season and warm-season turfgrasses, including Bentgrass, Fescues, Kentucky bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, Centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass.
Development of Dollar Spot Lawn Disease
If conditions are right, the disease can develop on most any lawn, but a well-maintained lawn will recover from the damage faster than a lawn that does not receive the proper cultural practices for mowing, watering, fertilization and thatch control.
The conditions for Dollar Spot development include:
• Air temperatures from 60-90°F (most active at 70-80°F)
• Extended periods of high humidity, especially at night
• Most damage occurs when days are warm, nights are cool and dew is present for more than 8 hours
• Lawns that have low nitrogen fertility levels
Symptoms of Dollar Spots start with the development of fungal growths called mycelium, which invade the grass blades. On low cut grasses like bentgrass or Bermudagrass, the mycelium will form small, silver dollar sized spots, which is where it gets its name – Dollar Spot. On higher cut grasses, the patches are larger and can merge to form large blighted areas of turf.
The mycelium forms early in the morning and will often dry out as the sun rises in the morning. It will leave behind a definitive hourglass-shaped lesion on the grass blade that has a reddish brown border. In some cases, the leaf blade will turn a tannish-white color from the tip down, but it almost always has the reddish brown border between the damaged part of the leaf tip and the remaining green part of the blade.
Prevention and Treatment for Dollar Spot
Treating Dollar Spot requires following proper cultural practices. At Spring-Green, we develop a partnership with our customers. We rely on them to water during the morning hours and to water deeply, but infrequently. Mowing is also critical in preventing Dollar Spot development. Every turfgrass has a range of heights at which to mow.
During the late spring and summer months, mow at the highest recommended height for the turfgrass in your lawn. Another important practice is to core aerate your lawn every year. Core aeration will help improve root growth, which leads to a stronger lawn.
By following Spring-Green’s Preferred Lawn Care Program, your lawn will receive the proper amount of nutrients to develop a healthy lawn that can resist or recover from disease pressures. There are disease control materials available to help prevent Dollar Spot from developing and Spring-Green can apply those treatments if the disease is observed early on.
In most cases, a healthy, Spring-Green lawn will survive and recover from a minor disease infestation. Contact your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green to help prevent Dollar Spot from developing on your lawn and landscape.