Summer Patch Control for Golf Courses
With the arrival of long, hot days comes an unwelcome visitor to the golf course: summer patch. The disease is most common in bluegrasses and is especially severe in annual bluegrass, making it a serious problem for superintendents. There are several ways to minimize the problem, though.
A cultural approach is a good start to reducing summer patch. Things like syringing, irrigating deeply but infrequently, and aerating in the fall and spring are some best practices to follow. In addition, you can minimize summer patch by ensuring sufficient nitrogen levels.
Realistically, you’ll probably need to supplement your cultural program with a chemical approach as well. Fungicide treatment of summer patch typically involves four applications, 28 days apart, starting when the soil temperature reaches 65 degrees. Prevention is key when it comes to controlling summer patch, so don’t be afraid to spray even before you see evidence of the disease.
Here’s a recommended four-application treatment plan:
- Fame SC to prevent summer patch from spreading
- Insignia to provide maximum disease control
- Lexicon or Navicon, both of which contain Insignia, to promote plant health
- Zoxy to protect against patch and foliar diseases
A strategy that combines chemical and cultural tactics is your best defense against the destruction of summer patch. With these best practices and treatment options in mind, you can maintain the beauty of your course through the heat of the summer.
Special thanks to Jim Hess for assisting with this article.