Kansas State University


K-State Turf and Landscape Blog

A rainy spring meets a rainy summer. A cornucopia of turfgrass diseases

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

We are at the junction/transition of spring to summer. Large patch is still raging in the zoysiagrass. Dollar spot is active in bentgrass and other susceptible turfgrasses, especially in susceptible varieties. In addition, we’ve had some nights with lows in the upper 60’s or low 70’s, and that can mean brown patch activity. It’s a busy time for diseases. As one of my colleagues said, “It’s a fungusy sort of year here in Kansas.”

With all the rain, it’s been hard to keep up with the mowing. We are feeling it at Rocky Ford, with Cliff and the students busy mowing whenever they can sneak it in. And, it’s hard to spray fungicides when it rains every other day. I put out a trial this past Monday since it was the only day that looked clear. Good thing it was not on the agenda for yesterday, when we had 3 thunderstorms in the same day!

Large patch is still rolling in the zoysia:


Dollar spot is active:

dollar spot

Brown patch might not be far behind:


With all the wet, saturated soils there could by Pythium root rot as well:

Copy of pythium-bentrass-2006

(Pythium spores stained pink in the microscope).

As a final note, I’ve gotten some questions and photos recently about algae.

IMG_2617 IMG_2618

Like other weeds, algae likes to take advantage of thinned out turf. Saturated soils and poor root growth can thin out the turf, and algae loves wet conditions. If you didn’t know where your drainage problems were, algal growth can point the way. There are some fungicides labeled for algae, but addressing the underlying site issues is key.

For a list of fungicides for algae, check HERE and go to page 7.