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Dollar Spot Management in the Fall

September 18, 2023 | Categories: ,
Another Day Another Dollar

Depending on conditions, dollar spot can be an issue all season long for Superintendents. One of the most critical times to watch out for dollar spot is the fall. If dollar spot issues linger in the fall and are not addressed, problems will most certainly pop up in the spring. 

Fall Management

Dollar spot can overwinter and survive the following spring if allowed, which makes ending the season with fungicide applications, proper fertilization, and other cultural practices critical. Use these management practices to ensure dollar spot survival stops in the fall. 

Cultural Practices

Dollar spot is a low nitrogen disease, so maintaining adequate nitrogen levels is key. To maintain adequate nitrogen levels, perform frequent and light, quick-release nitrogen fertilizer applications. 

Be conscious of the kind of foliar nutrients you’re applying. Many products available today are quick-release nitrogen products and have 100% immediately available nitrogen. When nitrogen is available fast, you are more likely to get a quick surge of growth, which makes it vulnerable to fungal diseases. Thus, slow-release or controlled-release nitrogen products are recommended for dollar spot. Foliar-Pak has a variety of controlled-release nitrogen available. Use Foliar-Pak 14-2-4, 11-0-11, Grow-In, Amperage, Bio 12-6-6, and 30-0-0  to add nitrogen and create a healthy plant, which helps it prevent and recover from dollar spot infections.  

Other cultural practices recommended to reduce dollar spot pressure: 

  • Irrigation. In the early morning and night, irrigate deep and intermittingly to help reduce leaf wetness and minimize an outbreak of dollar spot. 
  • Removing dew. Remove dew by employing practices, like mowing or poling, to lessen a dollar spot outbreak.
  • Sharpen mowing blades. It’s essential that your mowing units are sharp and delivering a good cut on the turfgrass to minimize dollar spot infection. 
  • Reduce thatch. Practices like aerification and topdressing help reduce thatch and compaction, creating healthy turf, and lessening dollar spot severity.

Chemical Control

Keeping dollar spot at a manageable level during the season is obtainable with cultural practices and preventative and curative fungicide applications. Make sure to choose the proper spray nozzle and volume of water for uniform coverage when applying fungicides. Below are good fungicide options for controlling dollar spot.

Fungicide resistance can be a problem with dollar spot. When building fungicide programs, be sure to rotate fungicide classes for better success.

Growth regulators and penetrants are also beneficial when attempting to control dollar spot. The reduced growth caused by growth regulators prolongs contact fungicide application effectiveness. Also, a light rate of a penetrant wetting agent will help reduce dew. A drier plant with a small, steady dose of fertilizer will be less prone to dollar spot.

One thing you do not want to do when dealing with fall dollar spot, especially in the transition zone, is to let the chillier temperatures fool you. Dollar spot can flare up late into fall in some areas. Keep scouting for dollar spot throughout the fall, while implementing the above suggestions, and you will reach an adequate control of the disease.