Quick Announcement before we get to the tips:
Many have asked for it and I’m happy to finally deliver ::: We now have 2-packs of empty hose end sprayers (32 oz bottle with sprayer head) available for purchase. These are the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to get into spraying as they provide a nice 30:1 dilution which gives you a good 2-3 minutes of spray time per fill up. Check em’ out here.
Pick up a gallon of Humic12 or Spoon Juice and then fill these sprayers as you see fit. This way you get the convenience of the ready-to-spray hose end while saving money by buying a gallon.
We do have 32oz quarts of Humic12 available for those with small lawns, however, if you have a larger lawn (or you like to spray alot), it’s much more economical to get the full gallon and just refill as you go.
Large Patch Lawn Disease
With all these overcast skies and dew sitting on the grass all morning, I’m starting to see Large Patch disease creep into St Augustine and Zoysia lawns. I was going to try and get through the season chem-free but am now finding a need to at least spot treat a few areas. And that is the subject of this video, Using LESS CHEMICAL to Control Fall and Winter Lawn Disease - Large Patch I made on YouTube.
The concept here is that you are only treating the infected areas and just outside of them in hopes of stopping the disease while using minimal chems. This is a form of “integrated pest management” which essentially means only using a chemical control when absolutely necessary and when you do, using minimal means for control. I chose to go with the tried and true “bulletproof strategy” which is an application of azoxystrobin mixed with propiconazole. You can see the store bought equivalent in the video How To Fix Brown Patch & Large Patch In St Augustine, Zoysia and Tall Fescue with The Lawn Care Nut.
Lawn Disease Control
One thing to point out here is that liquid concentrated azoxystrobin is going to work better and faster than granular this time of year. The liquid will get right in where it needs to be much quicker than granular - however - if granular azoxystrobin (Scotts DiseaseEx) is your only option then it’s better than nothing.
You will also see that I mixed in some Humic12 - 12% Humic Acid Bio-Stimulant. I like to balance out the mix with something good and a little carbon into the soil is never a bad idea.
Is Disease Control Necessary?
The answer is no. You do not have to apply any disease control at all if you don’t want to. I can 100% promise you that come springtime, any damage from the large patch disease will begin to disapear and fill back in by summer. I’ve seen it time and time again. Zoysia and especially St Augustine are super aggressive and if you feed them in spring, they will fill right back in, quickly.
However, just know that these areas are also where you are going to see invading weeds like common bermuda show up. Any area that is allowed to lag (such as a disease spot) will open up the turf to invaders. That is part of the concept I was getting at when I took a ride around the neighborhood in the video Florida Winter Lawn Care Step 2 :: Winter Fertilizer Recommendations.
Can I Still Fertilize?
The answer is yes for sure! The last thing you want to do when your lawn is fighting disease is stop feeding it. The nutrients applied are needed to help the turf as it works to endure and eventually recover.
People get super scared about fertilizing when disease is present because they hear all kinds of warnings about “fertilizing causes disease” or “too much nitrogen causes disease” when in fact this is not the case at all. The people telling you that are not considering the full context of what is going on. (or maybe you’re reading a university website and mis-interpreting the context of what you are reading?)
Review the video St Augustine Grass MYTHS Busted // Part 1 to understand what I’m getting at.
So you can see that nitrogen doesn’t cause disease, however, excessive nitrogen can cause flushes of quick growth in the turf that then allows disease to infect the new/fresh tissue and spread… but… there is still one thing that most people overlook and that is the time of year and what effect it has on the turf.
Right now, winter, the days are short and the temps are cooler and guess what that does? It slows the turf down, like a natural growth regulator.
So in reality, you could blast your lawn with nitrogen and it’s not going to grow/flush out quick - it’s not even possible. So once again, there is absolutely no need for you to be concerned about fertilizer having a negative impact on your diseased turf and in fact, it’s just the opposite.
Feeding your turf is what will allow it to recover faster. (Note: this assumes your lawn is not dormant - ie: that you are still having to mow at least every 10-12 days or so.)
If you do have major disease in your lawn, this is where 7-0-20 Stress Blend shines. However, if you already have 24-0-6 Flagship on hand, that is fine too. The key is to keep that turf fed through winter so it can continue to remain as vigorous as possible.
Review the info about the frost line and winter dormancy in case you are curious.
Remember, In Florida:
“If you are still mowing, then you can still be throwing!”
If you’d like to join a group of Lawn Care Nuts on Facebook, check out our Florida LCN group. We’d love to have you!
Hope you have a great week and I’ll see YOU in the lawn!