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June 3

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Dollar Spot Lawn Disease

By Greg

June 3, 2020

dollar spot, fertiliser, Fungus, new lawn, winter

What is Dollar Spot

Dollar Spot is a disease that is most commonly associated with the lawns of golf courses, but as you may have found out by now, it can affect anyone. This disease is characterised by its small, distinct tan or bleach white circles, averaging around 2.5 to 12.5cm in diameter. Dollar Spot can also be identified by small marks on infected grass blades. These marks appear across the width of the blade of grass. The mark is light tan in colour with a reddish-brown edge on the top and bottom.

Why is it there?

The fungus that causes Dollar Spot can infect your lawn through water, wind, and the equipment that you use on your lawn. The fungus, however, will only take hold if; there is an absence of soil moisture in a high humidity environment, there is too much thatch on the lawn, the lawn has been mown too short in warm weather, the lawn hasn’t been taken care of correctly (fertilising and watering) and if there is a low amount of nitrogen in your soil.

If the conditions are right for the fungus it will happily take hold, but the dollar spot disease itself only comes through in summer months. The fungus can take hold all year round, hiding in the thatch and soil. Then when temperatures hit around 16C, the dormant mycelium (fungal growth) starts to develop into the disease we know as Dollar Spot and peaks activity at 21-32C. This makes our area, south-eastern  Queensland, the perfect environment for Dollar Spot.

How can you rid your lawn of Dollar Spot?

Sadly, it is better to prevent the disease than getting rid of it, but if your lawn is currently affected we suggest:

  • Using an anti-fungal product on your lawn. Remember when using an anti-fungal product on your lawn, make sure to rotate between different brands and types as the fungus can become resistant if a singular brand is used too often.
  • Fertilise it to help it fight the disease. Make sure to use fertiliser in moderation as too much can weaken your lawn.
  • Avoid watering in the late afternoon or early morning. The lawn will be very moist from the dew, helping the fungus maintain itself.

Preventing the disease

  • Water thoroughly rather than frequently. This means that when you water, water for a longer period of time rather than watering multiple times a day.
  • Aerate your lawn. This promotes root growth and lets the grass grow stronger, making it tougher for the disease to take hold.
  • Maintain lawn. Make sure you know the best ways to maintain your lawn and exactly how much fertiliser and water your lawn requires.
  • If you know your lawn is extremely susceptible to the disease, using an anti-fungal product during peak fungal season helps prevent the disease from taking hold.
  • Clean your lawn mowing equipment after each use.

Conclusion

If you think that your lawn is at all susceptible to Dollar Spot, take precautions against it. It is often seen as small and isolated due to its appearance, but those are only the areas that have been severely affected. These parts will be completely dead, down to their roots which can be devastating to a lawn. If left, the lawn will most likely require a full lawn renovation or reseeding. After the disease has been brought under control, it will not affect the new lawn.

If you are in need of a new lawn renovation because the Dollar Spot has destroyed your lawn, don’t hesitate to call or E-mail our friendly staff. We will be glad to help you transform your garden with a beautiful new lawn.


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