There are many different lawn diseases that affect different types of grasses. The effects of these diseases can be unsightly and aggravating to those who spend the time and money caring for their lawns and they can even be deadly to the grass plant itself.
What is Dollar Spot?
Dollar spot is an infectious lawn disease that affects the leaf or blade of the turf rather than the root. It is a disease that favors bentgrass or bluegrass and is rare on sports turf such as fescue. Dollar spot will have small, creeping, round spots, between 1-10 inches in diameter and appears as a “bleached white spot” within the lawn. In most cases dollar spot is more of an aesthetic issue as opposed to other diseases that can be turf damaging.
What Causes Dollar Spot?
Dollar spot, like other lawn diseases, is caused by a fungus within the lawn. In the morning hours with dew on the ground, the fungus begins to produce and is more active when the daily low temperatures do not rise above 70 degrees. In addition cooler temperatures are ideal conditions for grass growth and can deplete nitrogen nutrients from lawn care fertilization applications or lack of. When desired nutrient levels are depleted your lawn can become a susceptible host for diseases to set in. While weather is typically to blame for most diseases, dollar spot like other diseases, is also susceptible to lawns that are already under stress from poor mowing practices and dull mower blades. Compact soil or too much thatch can also contribute to the stress of a lawn. Dollar spot can be easily spread by lawn mowers and other lawn equipment.
How to Treat Dollar Spot?
The proper lawn care program can greatly increase resistance to lawn diseases like dollar spot. Having fertilizer applied at the proper times, as well as grub control, can greatly reduce the stress a lawn may experience. Also, it is recommended to have a core aeration done annually to reduce compaction at which point overseeding should be done with a disease resistant turf, such as fescue.
If there are recurring problems with dollar spot, fungicide applications can be applied.
Sum it up
To sum it up, dollar spot like any other disease is unsightly but is treatable with the right amount of time and patience. It can be quite a nuisance for those that take care of their lawn or have a lawn care company take care of their lawn. Following the recommendations for your lawn type and your area with proper cultural practices can help prevent lawn diseases from appearing.
It is always a good idea to consult with a lawn care professional and ask any questions you may have. Look around, ask friends or family, and research companies on the Better Business Bureau to find a company that you can trust.