Dollar spot is a serious lawn disease as it can effect can kill the whole of the grass plant including the roots. This means that affected areas of the lawn will often need reseeding. Dollar spot will infect a large number of different grass varieties.
As its name suggests, how you can recognize and diagnose that you have dollar spot is that you not only have seemingly spots of dying or dead areas in your lawn, but the coloring is silver and grey in color. These spots can range from 1 to 6 inches in diameter and the spots can also overlap to form larger patches of diseased lawn.
The fungus that causes dollar spot will result in the grass blades having discoloration with tan colored legions that have red and/or brown edges in an hourglass shape. This fungus can survive over winter by taking hold on plant matter that appears in the layer of thatch that can occur in the lawn, as well as plant matter in the soil. In the winter, the fungus is not actively growing but when the warmer temperatures are reached in the spring, the fungus will begin to grow and spread if not diagnosed and treated.
Typical environmental conditions that are ideal for the growth and spread of the dollar spot fungus can stem from the following lawn conditions:
· Lack of soil moisture – dollar spot will thrive in lawns which aren’t watered properly. A low soil moisture content will help dollar spot continue to flourish and spread.
· Lack of nitrogen – lawns require nitrogen for leaf growth and a lawn that has adequate nitrogen levels will be more vigorous and resistant to diseases.
· High levels of thatch – prevents water from penetrating into the soil and provides great conditions for the disease to thrive over the winter months.
Another contributing factor to the onset of dollar spot is mowing the grass too short in length during dry periods when the grass growth rate is slower. The lawn is more at risk from disease and weed infestations at these times.
If your grass is suffering, dollar spot might be the culprit. Contact us today for a free estimate!