LAWN TREATMENT | JUNE 24, 2014
by Becker Landscape
Summer Patch is a turfgrass disease that develops in Kentucky bluegrass and annual bluegrass during the months of July and August.
It is commonly seen in golf courses, athletic fields, professional landscapes, as well as residential lawns. This disease is spread by a pathogen that attacks the roots and crowns of turfgrass and usually occurs during hot weather in July-August. Symptoms include bronze-edged frogeyes and dead areas that grow into each other, but this is usually seen in older, more established stands. The infected areas are orange-brown in color.
The disease attacks the root systems; causing the turfgrass to die. When the soil temperature is high and plenty of water is available, the Summer Patch pathogen infects and colonizes turf roots. Other factors such as heavy nitrogen applications in the spring can lead to Summer Patch. Accumulation of thatch, and frequent light irrigation or rainfall has been known to lead to infection. Infrequent mowing and scalping lawns after allowing it to grow tall have also triggered the disease.
To prevent Summer Patch, core aeration or deep tine aeration is recommended in the spring and fall. This will promote deep rooting, which results in turf that is less prone to infection. Also, deep, but infrequent irrigation is recommended. Reducing traffic to minimize damage and compaction can also reduce the chances of Summer Patch from occurring. Chemical control options can also cure lawns infected with Summer Patch, but this can become costly and ineffective.