Another summer fungal disease, that can actually lie dormant over the winter, is dollar spot. This fungus tends to infect bluegrass lawns within Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Symptoms of dollar spot can show up anytime between late spring to late fall. And dollar spot grows after a stretch of cool, moist weather.
What is Dollar Spot?
The fungus, Sclerotinia homoeocarpa, is responsible for dollar spot. The fungus can hibernate over the winter because it lies dormant in a grass blade’s stomata, a membrane within the grass blade. Dollar spot flourishes in 60 – 85 degree F daytime temperatures and when the grass is wet for a long period of time. According to the Ohio State University Extension, “prolonged wet foliage is a key factor” to a dollar spot problem on your lawn.
How do you Know That You Have a Dollar Spot Problem?
Like all grass diseases, dollar spot starts small—a homeowner won’t notice dollar spot symptoms until it starts to spread in its characteristic outward, circular pattern. Dollar spot symptoms include
- Small yellow spots on individual grass blades
- A straw-colored or tan band with dark edges starts to spread across individual grass blades
- The band grows to look more like an hour glass on the grass blade
- And the grass blade eventually turns completely white, and the disease will continue to spread throughout your yard.
What can you do about preventing dollar spot on your yard?
- Consider growing grass that is resistant to dollar spot
- Properly feed your lawn: too much fertilizer can cause other fungal diseases to grow. And too little fertilizer won’t do anything for your lawn
- You can use fungicides to control or stop dollar spot, if you can catch the disease in its earliest stages. But it’s too late to stop dollar spot once it starts damaging your lawn in its characteristic circular patterns.
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Source: The Ohio State University Extension, “Dollar Spot on Turfgrass.”
Wendy Komancheck is an accomplished Freelance Writer for Trade Magazines, Websites, and Local Businesses, specializing in horticultural articles. Check out Wendy's bio and website by Clicking Here. Wendy's Google+ Page