WINTER INJURY UPDATE
Now that warm season turf (Bermuda/Zoysia) are fully out of dormancy, please refer back to my January update. The harsh winter conditions I described in January did have a major impact on lawns. We are seeing a host of issues. Winter kill on the fine leafed Zoysia varieties was widespread. There are large areas of dead turf. This damage is permanent. Bermuda turf was affected with winter injury but the damage was not as extensive. Elevated areas and low spots were hit the hardest. We are also seeing extensive spring dead spot in many Bermuda lawns. Recommended actions for remediation would be a double pass aeration with Lime, heavy fertility and fall fungicides. Damaged areas in Zoysia will need to be re-sodded.
FUNGUS AMONG US
Early May brought us hot, dry weather conditions. Later in May and into early June we saw warm, humid weather with near daily rainfall. My rain gauge recorded 5.6″ of rain in a 12 day span. These conditions set up a perfect environment for fungus activity on Fescue and Bermuda lawns. Brown patch fungus on Fescue turf started in earnest around May 21st and has continued into the 3rd week of June. It is very early in the season to see this much brown patch. We strongly recommend a fungicide program to stop the spread and help with recovery. The best fungicides only give us 30 days of control, so multiple treatments may be needed. Constantly wet soil is the number one ingredient for this fungus. Please limit watering to 2 days per week to allow the surface soil to dry out in between watering.. Daily watering of fescue is an invitation for fungus and shallow roots. Turn off the irrigation when we have rain. Mowing at the highest setting on the mower will really help with controlling permanent damage.
The weather conditions have also created a great environment for dollar spot fungus on Bermuda lawns. There are fungicides that can help with this disease, but the best remedy is proper mowing. Lawns with heavy thatch contract this disease easily. Regular core aeration can help with reducing thatch.
Please refer to our sections on diseases, watering and mowing on the main website and as always please give us a call if you need any more information.