Thursday, May 30, 2013

Brown Means Dry?

There are currently some patches of discolored Bentgrass on the tees and fairways.  So, does that mean the soil is dry?  While off-color turf certainly may be dry, there are several other possible causes as well.  This would include dormancy, insect damage, or a turf disease. 

This last option is the cause of what we're presently seeing on the Bentgrass.  Specifically, this is a root-borne pathogen called Take-All Patch.  While we've had this disease show up to some extent each spring, this year there appears to be a larger area affected than in the past.  As with most turf diseases, Take-All Patch thrives in a relatively narrow temperature range--when it's really cold or really hot, you typically won't see any damage.  The most likely reason for greater disease activity this year is the prolonged period of below average soil temperatures we've experienced this spring. 

The good news is that while Take-All Patch may temporarily discolor the turf, it rarely lives up to its name.

Discolored turf caused by cool and moist soil conditions, not hot and dry.

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