The Latest Fungus Among Us

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension recently issued a white paper identifying the latest fungus among us that are causing concern.

Take-All Root Rot is a fungus that occurs naturally on turf roots all year long. Extended periods of rain or too much stress on the turf triggers this disease. Since the symptoms start at the roots, it is tough to identify at first but we may be seeing more of it given the amount of rain and extreme heat we’ve experienced recently.

Damage to the roots prevents the grass from obtaining water and nutrients causing the grass to die. Early visible signs include the yellow or light green patches and the roots are thin with an off-white color and some black lesions.

As the disease develops, the roots become very short, black and rotten. Irregular patches or thin grass as well as patches of bare grass form. The problem is that by the time the symptoms are noticeable, Take-All Root Rot has been present for at least two to three weeks, possibly more.

It is challenging to control the fungus after visible symptoms appear, so it is best to take preventative measures to decrease potential damage.

Some steps you can take to help prevent the damaging effects of take-all root rot:

  • Mow grass frequently so that only one-third of the leaf tissue is removed in the process.
  • Apply an equal amount of elemental potassium for every pound of nitrogen. Extra potassium may be useful in the late summer and early fall.
  • Micronutrients, especially manganese, should also be applied in the sulfate form as foliar applications.
  • Do not apply lime to the turf.
  • Preventative fungicide options include azoxystrobin, myclobutanil, propiconazole, pyraclostrobin, thiophanate methyl, and triadimefon. These can be used at least one month before visible symptoms occur.

Chemical treatments should always be applied by a trained and certified professional.

Our clients can rest assured that monitor your landscape for stress caused by plant-damaging insects and diseases. As opposed to the traditional calendar-based cover spray technique of the entire landscape, we employ a modified integrated pest management approach. You can learn more about our certified pest control service here or contact one of our Nanak’s Landscaping account managers.

To read the complete whitepaper on Take-all RootRot, click here.

Nanak’s Landscaping is proactive about the health of your landscape.  If you need help finding the right balance for insect & disease control or fertilizations, be sure to contact Nanak’s Landscaping.