Yard Advice from Jason at Royal Green
Tis the season for a fungus among us. We have had a great deal of rain, that coupled with lower soil temperatures is the perfect storm for fungus in our turf grass. Rhizoctonia solani is the most common fungal pathogen attacking our grass right now. This pathogen is in the soil; typically once you get it, it comes back every year when the conditions are right. A soil temperature below 80 degrees, and a wet environment for 48 hours is what this pathogen needs to culture. The things to look for, circular patches with the outer edges yellow, brown and/or orange. If it is all throughout the lawn the circles will coalesce, and it will be hard to find distinct circles. The pathogen attacks the leaves where they connect to the stolon, so if you rub your foot across the affected area the leaf blades appear to jump off the runners. What can you do if you have this infection in your lawn? First thing is dry it out, typically 2 weeks without sprinklers will do the trick. You must watch the turf, so you don’t do more harm than good by damage from drought stress. Next you can have it treated with a fungicide; there are many fungicides labeled for this fungus, but they are not created equal. In this instance you get what you pay for. Once you have dried out the turf and treated it with fungicide, it would be beneficial to top-dress it with sand. DOT grade sand is the best to use, you can buy it by the yard at almost anywhere they sell mulch by the yard. This can be a frustrating process feel free to call Royal Green for a proper diagnoses and detailed treatment plan.