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Grass Disease Identification

Grass Disease Identification

Turf Varieties
Lawns were meant to be easy

Anthracnose

Description:Infects the foliage and crown, resulting in the yellowing off and dieback of the older leaves. Black hair-like fruiting bodies sprout in clusters on the leaves and sheaths of the plant.

Favourable conditions: Foliar blight occurs between 26.7 °C-35.0 °C and basal rot occurs between 21.1°C-27.80°C

Host species: A wide range of turfgrass species,particularly damaging to wintergrass.

Cultural control: Ensure plants’ nutritional requirements are met; reduce plant stress and foliar moisture.

Chemical control: Banner Maxx, Dedicate, Headway Maxx,Heritage Maxx, Instrata

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Bipolaris

Description: Infects foliage, crown and roots, causing grey to brown lesions, crown rot and leaf death. Infected plants can occur in small spots or patches.

Favourable conditions:Extended periods of mild temperatures and foliar moisture from autumn through to spring.

Host species: Primarily warm season turf species.

Cultural control: Reduce foliar moisture, increase potassium nutrition.

Chemical control: Daconil Weather Stik, Dedicate, Fore Rainshield, Headway Maxx, Heritage Maxx, Instrata, Transact 500, Transact Pro, Rovral GT, TMTD 600

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Brown Patch

Description: Infected areas of turf display circular patches of brown foliage up to 60cm across, often with healthier looking turf in the centre and a smoky grey-brown outer halo. Symptoms vary between host species and conditions.

Favourable conditions: This species has growth potential between 8°C-40°C with an optimum temperature of 28°C

Host species:Most turf species susceptible.

Cultural control: Avoid excessive plant available nitrogen, reduce foliar wetness and avoid excessive thatch.

Chemical control: Banner Maxx, Daconil Weather Stik, Dedicate, Fore Rainshield, Headway Maxx, Heritage Maxx, Instrata, Shiba, Rovral GT, TMTD 600, Transact 500, Transact Pro

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Curvularia Leaf Blight

Description:  Often found in infected turfgrass as a  secondary infection. Lesions may appear on the leaf blade  before the foliage dies and collapses. Infected swards can  appear unthrifty and ‘speckly’.

Favourable conditions:  Extended periods of leaf  wetness, physical and environmental stresses can  contribute to disease severity.

 Host species:  Infects most turf species.

Cultural control:  Reduce leaf wetness as spores are water  dispersed.

Chemical control:  Dedicate

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Dollar Spot

Description:  Infected swards exhibit small, dollar sized  deep sunken patches. Patches can develop rapidly under  optimum conditions and can destroy large areas of turf.  Hourglass shaped lesions can be observed across blades.

Favourable conditions:  Temperatures between 15- 30°C, excessive foliar moisture and low nitrogen can be  conducive to disease development.

Host species:  Infects most turf species.

Cultural control:  Apply nitrogen, remove morning dew.

Chemical control:  Banner Maxx, Bayfidan, Daconil  Weather Stik, Dedicate, Heritage Maxx, Headway Maxx,  Instrata, Patchwork, Prop 500, Rovral GT, Shiba

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Downy Mildew (Yellow Tuft)

Description:  Infected turf becomes stunted with growth  retarded to form broadened leaf blades. Yellow patches up  to 10cm in diameter may form with the turf pulling easily  from the soil due to a lack of roots.

Favourable conditions:  Humid, moist weather with  extended periods of leaf wetness, occurring from cool to  warm temperatures in various forms.

 Host species:  Primarily cool season turf species.

Cultural control:  Reduce leaf wetness as spores are water  dispersed.

Chemical control:  No current registration

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Drechslera

Description:  Brown to purple lesions appear on the  leaf blade and sheath, eventually turning to deep pitted  necrosis in the plant tissue. Blighting of leaves occurs as  lesions grow resulting in thinning out of large areas of turf.

Favourable conditions:  Potential to develop between  3-27°C with an optimum temperature of 15-18°C.

Host species:  Most turf species are susceptible.

Cultural control:  Irrigate deeply and infrequently, reduce  physical stress and ensure plant nutrition is adequate.

Chemical control:  Daconil Weather Stik, Dedicate, Fore  Rainshield, Heritage Maxx, Headway Maxx, Instrata, Rovral  GT, Transact 500, Transact Pro, TMTD 600

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Fairy Ring

Description:  Depending on the species, this disease may  cause large rings of lush green growth to occur on infected  turf, or may result in rings of mushrooms with plant  dieback and hydrophobicity.

Favourable conditions:  The pathogen may be present  throughout the year with symptoms being exhibited from  spring through to autumn.

Host species:  All turf species susceptible.

Cultural control:  To mask symptoms, overcome  hydrophobic soils with wetting agents, apply fertiliser to  mask the rings and mow off mushrooms.

Chemical control:  No current registration

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Winter Fusarium

Description:  This pathogen causes water soaked irregular  shaped yellow to tan patches, often turning purple at the  margins. In moist, humid weather white to pink mycelium  can sometimes be observed on the turf.

Favourable conditions:  Prevalent from autumn through  to spring.

Host species:  Most turf species are susceptible.

Cultural control:  Reduce turf stress and excessive growth.

Chemical control:  Banner Maxx, Daconil Weather Stik,  Dedicate, Fore Rainshield, Headway Maxx, Heritage Maxx,  Instrata, Patchwork, Rovral GT, TMTD 600, Transact 500,  Transact Pro

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Grey Leaf Spot

Description:  In warm season host species this pathogen  causes grey lesions with a dark brown margin. In cool  season host species they appear as water soaked lesions,  which quickly result in necrosis of tissue and blight.

Favourable conditions:  Warm humid weather with  optimal temperatures of between 28-32°C.

Host species:  Most turf species, particularly Buffalo and  Ryegrass.

Cultural control:  Reduce plant stress, avoid prolonged  leaf wetness.

Chemical control:  Daconil Weather Stik, Headway Maxx,  Heritage Maxx

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Kikuyu Yellows

Description:  Patches appear in spring and summer  ranging from 10 cm to over 1 m in diameter. Infected turf  turns characteristically yellow and eventually dies back  with weeds often colonising the centre of the patches.

Favourable conditions:  Warm temperatures during  spring and summer.

Host species:  Kikuyu

Cultural control:  Mask symptoms with fertiliser  applications.

Chemical control:  No current registration

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Leptosphaerulina Leaf Blight

Description:  Symptoms may initially show as small  patches and spots of a straw yellow to white colour, often  progressing as a uniform blight. On close inspection leaves  will be dying back from the tip down to the base.

Favourable conditions:  Mderately warm humid weather.

Host species:  Most turf species particularly cool season  varieties.

Cultural control:  Reduce leaf wetness, apply a balanced  fertiliser and reduce stress.

Chemical control:  Dedicate

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Pythium Leaf Blight

Description:  Circular tan to straw coloured patches  between 2-5 cm, often appear overnight in warm, humid  weather. Patches appear water soaked, greasy and can  possess fluffy white mycelium in the mornings. Spread  rapidly blighting large areas of turf in a matter of hours.

Favourable conditions:  Hot and wet or humid weather  between 30-35°C.

Host species:  All species susceptible.

Cultural control:  As the pathogen is spread by surface  water, infrequent, deep irrigation is essential.

Chemical control:  Banol, Headway Maxx, Heritage Maxx,  Signature, Subdue Maxx, TMTD 600

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Pythium Root Dysfunction

Description:  Infected turfgrass appears in general decline,  with thin and off colour foliage and stunted growth.  Symptoms appear as small yellow spots and patched  eventually spreading to large irregular patches with this  turf coverage.

Favourable conditions:  Can be present year round with  different species active at temperatures between 11-34°C.

Host species:  All turf species susceptible.

Cultural control:  Reduce general plant stress, particularly  compaction and poor drainage.

Chemical control:  Banol, Headway Maxx, Heritage Maxx,  Signature, Subdue Maxx, TMTD 600

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Red Thread

Description:  Infected turf becomes blighted in small  circles and patches at first, often spreading to destroy large  areas. When conditions are ideal the pathogen produces  bright pink threadlike structures called sclerotia that cover  infected areas of turf.

Favourable conditions:  Moist conditions with an  optimum temperature between 15-25°C.

Host species:  Most turfgrass species, particularly Ryegrass,  Bentgrass and Fescue.

Cultural control:  Ensure adequate soil nutrition, mild  applications of N may help.

Chemical control:  Headway Maxx, Heritage Maxx

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Root Decline

Description:  This ERI pathogen initially exhibits symptoms  as patches of chlorotic turf with stunted root system and  poor foliar growth. Infected areas become larger resulting  in patches of thin or dead turf. Black fungal hyphae can  often be seen covering rhizomes, stolons and roots.

Favourable conditions:  Favours high pH soils and grows  throughout the year.

Host species:  Most warm season turf varieties, particularly  Couch Grass (including cultivars).

Cultural control:  Ensure adequate nutrition (particularly  N, K and TE) and reduce plant stress.

Chemical control:  Banner Maxx, Dedicate (registered for  ERI in general)

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Rust

Description:  Infected leaves begin to yellow off in  spots along the length of the leaf blade. As the infection  progresses pustules of orange spores protrude from  infected leaf tissue and burst resulting in masses of rust  coloured spores over the leaf surface. Large areas of turf  can become infected, turning whole swards orange.

Favourable conditions:  Optimum temperatures  between 20-30°C.

Host species:  All turfgrass species are susceptible.

Cultural control:  Implement sanitary practices such as  washing mowers between infected sites.

Chemical control:  No current registration

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Slime Mould

Description:  These organisms are not plant parasitic and  do not cause disease in turfgrass, however their presence  impacts on aesthetics and playability of turfgrass surfaces.  Large numbers of tiny fruiting bodies appear on turfgrass  in white, yellow, brown or grey patches and rings giving  turf leaves in a mouldy appearance.

Favourable conditions:  Cool humid weather favours  development.

Host species:  All turfgrass species are susceptible.

Cultural control:  Reduce thatch as it provides a food  source to.

Chemical control:  No current registration

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Spring Dead Spot

Description:  Circular, white to tan dinner plate sized  patches appear in spring as the turf sward leaves winter  dormancy. Through autumn and winter root tissue it  affected by the pathogen. Roots and stolons appear  rotted and blackened in affected areas.

Favourable conditions:  Optimum temperature is  15°C when pathogen growth is strong and host root  growth is slow.

Host species:  Common Couch and Couch hybrids.

Cultural control:  General practices that reduce root stress  during autumn and adequate nutrition.

Chemical control:  Banner Maxx, Dedicate, Headway  Maxx, Heritage Maxx, Prop 500, Transact 500, Transact Pro

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Lawns were meant to be easy

Take All Patch

Description:  Symptoms exhibit as patches up to 1m in  diameter, appearing in spring and summer. The affected  turfgrass dies back slowly as the patch enlarges, coalescing  to form large areas of dead turf. As the disease advances  the centre of the patch can be colonised with non- susceptible species.

Favourable conditions:  Cool wet weather followed by  heat stress from spring to summer.

Host species:  Cool season species, mainly Bentgrass.

Cultural control:  Maintain soil pH below 6.5 and ensure  adequate trace element nutrition (mainly Mn).

Chemical control:  Banner Maxx, Bayfidan, Headway Maxx,  Patchwork

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