When all else fails, and you have a persistent fungal issue that returns year after year it may be time to consider our Fungal Agronomics Program. This can be especially true for new clients with a lack of healthy microbial life. Curative rates of fungicide are expensive, bad for the environment and bad for the microbial life in the soil so it can often be the case that a preventative approach uses less product and is more environmentally friendly than treating once an issue is noticed. This also eliminates the chance for damage caused by fungal outbreaks, even those caught early.
Fungal Agronomic Program:
This is a 3 treatment system that utilizes the two most advanced and effective anti-fungal products available applied at critical times of the year to prevent the outbreak before it happens. This is a cutting-edge and proven program developed by the leading provider of anti-fungal products.
What to look for:
There are several types of fungal issues that attack lawns here in Central Arkansas, but Brown Patch and Large Patch are among the most common. They first appear in lawns as small, circular, brown areas several inches in diameter, which quickly increases to 3 to 6 feet. These areas often grow together, forming irregular patches of brown, blighted turf up to 20 feet in diameter.
The foliage of high-cut St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Centipede grass often wilt and collapse, giving the blighted patches a sunken appearance. Damaged turf usually recovers from mild cases when conditions no longer favor the spread of disease. Regrowth of the turf may start in the center of the blighted area, forming a ring or frog eye pattern. Weeds frequently invade turf damaged fungus.
Damage to individual grass plants is usually confined to the foliage. Leaves and leaf sheaths attacked by the fungus, Rhizoctonia, first become water-soaked, then wilt and finally turn brown. On broad-leafed turf grasses like St. Augustine grass, distinct tan-colored leaf spots surrounded by a water-soaked margin are sometimes seen. If the crowns of individual plants or stolons are invaded, large areas of a lawn may be killed.
Why do I have Fungus?
Poor Fertility Managment: Most of our competitors utilize fertility programs containing high nitrogen levels promoting the growth of soft, succulent leaves that are susceptible to fungus. To help prevent disease outbreaks naturally, we apply organic microbial inoculants at critical times during the growing season and only use proper amounts of premium quality slow-release products during periods of low fungal activity.
Environmental Causes / Water Management: Poor fertilization practices aren’t the only cause of fungal outbreaks, environmental conditions such as mild temperatures (between 55 – 70) combined with consistent rainfall or overwatering also play an essential role in the development of fungal diseases. Proper watering practices and drainage are a must for turf types such as Zoysia that is prone to fungus.
To speed evaporation of water from the foliage, prune nearby trees and shrubs to reduce shade and improve air movement and sunlight penetration. Also, if you have a known fungal issue, it is best to water lawns at midday to minimize the time that the foliage remains wet. Annual aeration can also assist in moisture management.
Turf Cultivars: Certain types of grass are more susceptible than others to fungal outbreaks. Make sure you choose the correct type (cultivar) of grass for your expectations and needs. Grasses such as Zoysia and St. Augustine require more rigorous care to maintain healthy turf. These grasses should be mowed at least once per week with sharp blades. Check for frayed tips as an indication it is time to sharpen your blades. Thatch is a significant contributor to fungal issues as it harbors and incubates the brown patch fungus. Periodic mechanical dethatching or core aerification is needed to prevent thatch buildup, especially on high-maintenance St. Augustine grass and Zoysia grass lawns.
What do I do once I have a Fungus?
Step One: If you do happen to develop a fungal issue for whatever reason it is essential to contact us immediately. A fungus can spread rapidly, and damage can take years to recover if not caught early. All our technicians are trained on the different potential fungal issues and will always be on the lookout, but we are only there periodically. This will catch most fungal outbreaks reasonably early, but the key to early prevention is an educated and aware homeowner.
Step Two: Once you have contacted us about a potential fungal issue or a technician has identified a fungus we will need your approval to treat the area.
Step Three: Once the application has been applied make sure to “water in” if at all possible.