Lawn Disease Identification Part 5: Dollar Spot
Dollar spot disease infects and kills many different types of grasses. This fungus can kill your lawn clear to the roots and is not to be underestimated.
Dollar Spot (Sclerotinia Homoeocarpa)
When looking at your lawn for an outbreak of dollar spot, it’ll be hard to miss. These dollar coin shaped spots range in size from 1-6 inches across. While they don’t look very serious individually, they are dangerous to your lawn.
The fungus is dormant in the winter, usually living in your thatch or in the soil. When temperatures reach about 60° F, it starts to grow again and peaks in the 70°-90° F range. Other factors that lead to a high growth rate for dollar spot include a low soil moisture but high humidity, low nitrogen levels in the soil, too much thatch and too low of mowing.
If the infection is very serious in your lawn, you may need to consider reseeding after you’ve gotten rid of the fungus.
Prevention And Mitigation
Once you’ve identified that you have dollar spot disease in your lawn, there are some steps you can take to prevent it and reduce it now.
- Make sure your lawn is getting the right amount of nitrogen through your fertilizer. Nitrogen-poor soil is very conducive to dollar spot growth, so having a proper lawn care and fertilizer plan is important.
- Avoid watering your lawn in the late afternoon or evening, as the moisture won’t evaporate as quickly as it does during the day, which creates a good environment for dollar spot disease to spread. Regular, deep watering in the morning is best.
- Be careful with your mowing. Mowing more than ⅓ of the blade off at one time, mowing too infrequently or mowing your grass shorter than 3-3-½” can add unnecessary stress to your lawn.
- Have a lawn care maintenance plan in place. With Valley Green, we can make sure your lawn stays healthy, and monitor it to identify diseases quickly and nip them in the bud. As well, if a disease like dollar spot gets out of hand, we have the correct fungicide on hand to take care of it once and for all.
Remember, if you need help keeping up with the care your lawn needs, give us a call today!