Check Fungi at the Door in the Transition Zone
The Transition Zone is a challenging place to grow and maintain turfgrass, whether you are growing it in your lawn or on a golf course. However, as a Superintendent, perfection is expected. Ensuring fungal diseases are kept at bay is one way to help reach that perfection. In this blog, we explore two ways you can help ensure fungal diseases don’t keep your Transition Zone course from perfection this spring.
Applying Spring Clean-Up Sprays
Take the time to evaluate the turfgrass on your course and make decisions on whether you need to make any specific clean-up applications. Where it has been cool and wet on bentgrass, brown patch can lurk. Using a combination of systemic and contact fungicides, for instance, ArmorTech Teb 360 XL and ArmorTech CLT 720, will clean it right up. You can also add in ArmorTech IP 238 for good measure.
On bermudagrass, keep an eye out for leaf spot and michrodochium patch. In the Transition Zone, fungicides have been sprayed throughout the winter, but until bermudagrass breaks dormancy, those diseases need to be monitored for.
Some areas of the Transition Zone might see pink snow mold with extended days of cool, wet weather. An early season DMI application, such as ArmorTech PPZ MC 143 tank mixed with CLT 720, will control the snow mold.
These spring applications will set the tone for cleaning up any diseases that have come up over winter.
Stay Ahead of Soil-Borne Diseases
To stay ahead of some prevalent soil-borne diseases in the Transition Zone, like fairy ring, take-all patch, and pythium root rot, monitoring the soil temperature is important. You want to start applying fungicides when the soil temperature is at 55-60 degrees, which is usually late April to early May. FMC’s Fame and BASF’s Insignia are two effective fungicides used to treat those diseases.
In April and May, staying ahead of dollar spot is a big concern on bentgrass. Using Xzemplar will help prevent dollar spot. If it has been a problem in the past, make sure your fertility levels are in good shape. Dollar spot is a low nitrogen disease. Moisture management, like removing dew through early mowing, is also helpful with preventing dollar spot.
Note: A great reference for fungal diseases can be found here.