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How To Prevent Fungus In The LawnWhat’s up y’all - hope you are having a great week!

Things around the south - they are a-changin'!

I’m seeing temps that are really seeming more Fall right now which I’m sure is a welcome relief for many of you.

That being said, your warm-season turf is going to put on the brakes, hard and fast.

When this happens, don’t be concerned about it, instead, just change up your strategy.

Take a look at Athens, GA soil temps just today as I am typing this:

The average at the very minute I took this screenshot is 70F but don’t let that confuse you. It’s the averages from the last few days that we want to see and in the screenshot, on the right you can see:

Current Soil Temp: 70F (11AM, Oct 9)
24-Hour Average: 75.3F
5-Day Average: 78.6F

On the left we see the 5 year average for this day is: 74.8F.

Here is what I draw from that:
First off, seems that the ATL area is running pretty warm this season but it looks like we are on a cooling trend. That means it’s time to adjust your strategy.

 

Fungicides

Seasonal transition periods, especially when humidity is fluctuating, are times when the disease triangle can come together and symptoms can manifest.

I recently showed an example of this on my Instagram TV channel where the conditions are perfect here in Florida for Zoysia to start showing signs of Brown Patch disease.

I’ll be applying a proactive/preventative fungicide here later this week following my bulletproof strategy on How To Prevent Fungus In The Lawn with products straight off the shelf of my local box store.

If you have Zoysia or St Augustine, you may also consider this approach.

 

Pre-Emergent Application

Remember, as soil temps fall to 70F in the fall time, it’s our chance to get down pre-emergent herbicides to stop nasty weeds that will show up next spring.

Pre-emergent means the product gets to the weed BEFORE it comes up and makes a hole in your turf.

All through Georgia, the Carolinas and over to the Gulf States, poa annua, hairy bittercress, and chickweed are major invaders.

I can predict right now that come February of next year, our Lawn Care Tips Facebook Page is going to be hammered with pictures of people asking “what is this weed and how did it get in my lawn?” and it will be one of those 3.

Since you are reading this email, you still have time to stop them. The window is opening for many of you to get your pre-emergent down.

Apply dithiopyr at 4 lbs/1,000 sq ft now, and get it watered in.

Then apply again in December so you are protected until March when the season will start back up again for most of you.

Here are full instructions showing you How To Prevent Fungus In The Lawn

 

 

Final Nitrogen Fertilizer Application

For those of you who have a lawn that goes dormant in the winter (turns brown) then you should consider getting your final fertilizer application of the season down soon too.

Especially if you have Bermuda grass, you want that last app down ASAP and be done with Nitrogen fertilizer for the season.

Spring dead spot can be a concern for your grass type so you want to avoid high nitrogen fertilizer applications headed into winter.

Basically, just get your last application of fertilizer down as soil temps approach 70F and call it “good” for the season.

Zoysia, Centipede, St Augustine, and Bahia, you should follow a similar strategy just because it makes sense not to push the turf too hard when it’s slowing down headed into winter naturally anyway.

(note: South Florida where I live - we can keep pushing, all season, just not too hard)

Recommended Fertilizers would be:
24-0-4 CarbonX - 3 lbs/1,000 sq ft
8-1-8 X-GReeN - 3-5 lbs/1,000 sq ft
6-4-0 Milorganite - 10-15 lbs/1,000 sq ft

Also, don’t forget to irrigate! In the winter, if your ground is not frozen, just because the turf is brown and dormant, the soil is not. It’s still alive and needs moisture.

Get down at least 1” of water per week, all winter long. This will go a long way in helping your turf come out healthy the following springtime.

Bio-Stimulants

These can continue to be used year-round as long as the ground is not frozen.

If you want to give your lawn one final kick of green for Halloween Domination, the “Double Dark” is a nice cocktail that will also bring in plenty of micronutrients, sea kelp, and humic acid.

Air-8 is also great this time of year and can be combined with RGS (Root Growth Stimulant) to help relieve compaction (soil compaction cure) in your soil after summer.

With the soil compaction cure, watering is key - loosen the soil, water it, and you will feel it softer under your feet.

All of these products come with full instructions and in case you want some more ideas on how to use them, here is a fun "Turf and Tree Cocktail Menu” I wrote to help you utilize them to the fullest.

South Florida

For my friends here either right on or below the frost line, our lawns do not go dormant.

For you and me, we have plenty of work left to do.

I am still mowing twice-per-week and have just recently hit the lawn hard with fert coming out of my summer blackout.

I’m also working on digging all my irrigation heads out since they are all covered and blocked now after the long, rainy summer.

I’ll be posting tons of updates, nearly live, all winter on my Instagram TV channel that I started and invite you to follow along here.

The content there will serve to help you guys with your lawns of course, but for the rest of you (even if you are reading this and live in Indiana) I also promise to deliver tons of sunshine and blue skies in those videos to keep you encouraged during the long winter.

Have a great rest of your week and I’ll see you in the lawn!
-AL