With temperatures warming up (finally!) we have started to notice a serious turf problem associated with our northwest summers.

Leaf spot is a common fungal disease that can be found in almost any lawn at almost any time of the year. Usually your regularly scheduled fertilizer application will control this problem. However, when temperatures reach 85 degrees and above, with overnight temperatures dropping to 65 degrees and lower, leaf spot can progress to its destructive melting out phase.

This phase of the disease begins as irregularly shaped lighter green to purplish patches of unevenly growing grass within the lawn. Over the course of the next several days, these patches will fade to a tan color, and finally to a straw color as the affected turf dies. A distinctive characteristic of the disease is smaller, round patches of healthy green turf with the dead sections called “frog-eye.”

If you notice any of these symptoms in your turf between visits, please call our office. One easy way you can check to see if this is a problem in your turf is to check your soil moisture. If soil is dry in the affected area, it is probably another issue. If your applicator notices this problem (or any other problem) while at your property, he will, of course, leave you a note with proper recommendations. A minimum of one fungicide application is usually necessary to stop the disease from doing more damage, and the sooner the fungicide is applied the better. Additional instructions about “after care” will be provided as needed.

While there are no guarantees you won’t have disease problems in your turf, there are a few simple steps you can take to minimize the risk:

*Water in the morning only, 5 or 6am is ideal, and watering cycle should be completed by 9am if possible.

*Always mow at the highest setting; shorter cut turf is much more susceptible to disease and drought problems.

If you notice a problem between visits LET US KNOW! The sooner we address a problem, the sooner we can fix it.

Read and follow the instructions on your invoice and/or suggestions on the flyer included after your application. This information is seasonally specific, with valuable tips to help you help us keep your lawn looking great throughout the year.