Several diseases could potentially infect turfgrass. Several factors can influence turfgrass diseases, such as changing weather conditions, soil conditions, or improper management by the grower.
In general, plants are affected by a decrease in nutritional quality, which will result in poor forage nutrition. Grass diseases need favorable conditions to develop.
Fungicides are infrequently proposed for use on home yards. Follow excellent yard care practices to forestall significant issues. When an infection flare-up happens, follow redesign methodology and change future grass care rehearses as much as essential to keep the sickness from reoccurring.
The three most common conditions are rust, brown spot, and silver spot. The first one stands out for being the most recurrent in both high and low thermal floors.
Rust is very general in almost all grasses. There is also helminthosporium or purple blotch and brown spot. All 3 are the most critical diseases.
The causal agents are the fungi Puccinia graminis for grass rust, Helminthosporium sacchari for purple blotch and Cercospora or Rhizoctonia for a brown spot.
These occur when temperature changes occur, especially at the beginning of the rainy season, when relative humidity increases. This excess and the high acidity levels in the leaves favor the proliferation of parasites that infect the plant.
Grasses of advanced physiological maturity, which exceed a certain number of days after sowing, are more susceptible to these diseases. They occur in several varieties of grasses, such as kikuyo, ryegrass, or alfalfa.
Generally, it occurs in old pastures, which have lost their nutritional quality and are beginning their physiological maturity stage. A 50 or 60-day-old field is already starting to show this advanced maturity.
Brown spot produces damage at the cellular level, in the vacuole, generating a loss of dry matter and consequently deteriorating the nutritional quality of the pasture. It appears as a burn-in circular patch measuring millimeters or even centimeters.
On the other hand, grass rust is part of the same genus affecting coffee and has similar symptomatology. It consists of brown pustules that invade the leaf and rapidly desiccate it to the point of killing its host (the plant).
Finally, purple blotch occurs on oats and some types of ryegrass. It produces irregular, light brown lesions that look like burns, reducing the plant’s photosynthetic capacity.
Turf should be watered when needed, and moisture should reach the root zone. Proper fertilization should include supplying the necessary landscape chemicals, nutrients, and suitable soil pH.
In particular, avoid too much or too little nitrogen when using landscape chemicals, fertilize during cold weather (especially in early and late fall), and use controlled-release hydrogen fertilizers to avoid swings in food availability. Do not apply high doses of nitrogen in the spring.
Proper mowing has a significant effect on turfgrass health. Weeds and other problems occur when the grass is mowed too short. Mow at the height of 2½ to 3 inches, making sure not to take out more than one-third of the grass blade in a single pass.
Start by identifying the problem, then look at control options; cultural and landscape chemicals. If the circumstance requires it (even with organic practices), some weeds should be controlled by landscape chemicals or mechanical means before turf establishment. When using pesticides, read label directions carefully and follow them to the letter.