Dollar Spot: Turf Disease Treatment
If you’re preparing your lawn for the incoming warmer weather of spring and have noticed some brown, circular patches on your lawn, your turf could unfortunately be infected with Dollar Spot.
What is Dollar Spot?
Dollar Spot is a turf disease caused by the presence of the fungus ‘Clarireedia jacksonii’, which thrives in warm, humid climates. It can affect various grass types when the circumstances are favourable. Dollar spot earns its name from the small, round patches resembling American ‘dollar’ coins that can develop on your lawn.
It mainly damages the lawn aesthetically, with brown circular patches appearing in your grass. It can also kill large sections/ patches of grass, affecting the strength of your grass blades. If your blades are damaged, this can then affect photosynthesis, stress susceptibility and the health of your lawn as a whole.
Dollar Spot disease tends to be more prevalent during warm and humid periods, typically in the spring and fall, thriving in prolonged wet conditions. If leaves, twigs and general debris have been left on your lawn, this can help create a perfect environment for disease development.
Detecting dollar spot can be challenging, especially if your lawn is covered in debris. The extent of the damage may not be apparent until the disease has already taken hold.
You might observe rough circles or dollar-sized patches of bleached or brown grass. Sometimes you can even see the fungus itself in the form of a cobweb-like substance covering the areas that have succumbed to the disease.
Unfortunately, the affected grass in these areas is unlikely to recover, and dollar spot may persist in warm and wet conditions.
Prevention & Treatment
Preventing dollar spot involves proactive lawn care measures all year round. You should regularly mow your lawn at an appropriate height for your grass, being mindful not to scalp the grass. Mowing correctly promotes air circulation on the lawn and gets rid of older, possibly infected leaves.
Watering your turf deeply and infrequently to ensure consistent moisture levels is better for disease-resistance than prolonged, shallow watering that allows the turf to stay damp and ideal for thriving fungus.
If you have an outbreak of Dollar Spot, you can use fungicide treatment products available in local garden centres or online to address the affected areas.
Additionally, you can promote re-growth by re-seeding the damaged areas after treatment.