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Kent's Blog

Dollar Spot Disease is going crazy!

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Lawn Cultural Practices
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Lawn Disease: Dollar Spot
Dollar Spot disease is going crazy on the lawns in the Denver/Parker CO. area right now. I have seen it on virtually every lawn I have been on this past week. It usually happens in the late Spring when the temps get into the 90's the first week of June. Both diseases and insects are active in the Spring and Fall. The symptoms are "wicking" or a pinched off straw colored tip on the ends of the leaf blades. Also purplish colored leaf blades and straw colored bands on the leaf blades. It needs to be treated with 2 applications of fungicide 2 weeks apart combined with good cultural practices. Then the damage will need to be repaired by either seeding or sodding. This disease can do damage or even kill your lawn. It is important to water in the early morning, not at night because this contributes to diseases and mow weekly at 3" with a very sharp blade. Even though you are following these good cultural practices however your lawn can still get this disease just from the atmospheric conditions of the moisture in the lawn combined with the heat creates humidity on the surface of the lawn creating conditions favorable for the fungus to grow that causes the disease. Also going from extremely dry conditons to extremely wet conditions can trigger this disease. Such as when you wait too late in the Spring to start watering and then try to "catch up" by pouring the water to it to get it to green up like your neighbor's lawn that's so nice and green already. You should wrap your backflow or get a permanent insulated cover for it and foam tubing for the pipes to prevent feezing and watch for the lawn to start greening up on it's own. That's the time to start watering but start slowly and gradually increase the amount you put on the lawn until it greens up fully and comes out of dormancy and starts to grow. Mowing too short with a dull blade contributes to this disease because it shreds instead of making a clean cut and gives more surface area for the fungus to enter the leaf blades. That's what you are seeing with the "wicking" is the fungus moving down the leaf blade and when it gets to the crown of the plant that's when it does the damage and thins or kills the lawn. Please see the pictures of this disease on my website at: