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June: Anthracnose and LDS

Still not much disease activity so far this spring.  The two issues I am seeing currently are basal rot anthracnose on Poa (thanks to all the rain and cool temperatures) and surprisingly, a lot of LDS.   With all the rain we have had I would not have expected to see as much LDS as I have but rainfall has not been uniform across the region and while New England totals have been high, some areas seems to keep getting missed by the rain.  LDS has especially been a problem on fairways.  Finally, the root-knot nematodes came out of the winter with a vengeance.  Galling has been significant on many courses and while this may not cause symptoms this early in the season, badly galled roots will begin to show dysfunction as we get into the warmer and drier months.

Categories: Weekly Update

Still all quiet….

We’ve had a long, cold spring this year and  disease has been correspondingly slow to respond.  Cool season root Pythium has been active in a number of spots but very little else has been observed.  Compared to last year (and the two before it), Southern Rhode Island is almost a full month behind schedule. Some locations are still seeing green-up just now and other locations in Northern Maine still have ice and snow on the ground.  The biggest issue I have seen this spring is winterkill and we have not had this much of it in many years.  In fact, some northern courses have recently stimulated winterkill/damage by removing covers too early.  Obviously, damage varies but areas with poor drainage, standing water and which had visible ice are going to be the hardest hit.  The only solution at this point is a lot of seed. Winterkill is not a regular phenomenon in Southern New England but dealing with it preemptively through site changes can reduce its occurrence even further.

Categories: Weekly Update

April 2013 Week 1 Update, The First Days of Spring

The Easter weekend seems to have signaled the beginning of spring, although I hear it was still snowing out in Pittsburgh last Friday.  We’ve seen 3 days of air temperatures in the 60’s and the grass is rapidly starting to green up with all the rain of the past month.  Samples are starting to trickle in but disease activity is still low.  Root Pythium is the biggest concern following 2 months of rain/snow and we may also start seeming some red leaf spot.

Categories: Weekly Update

A Bizarre Week for Turf Disease

Last week, I received three samples loaded with bacterial wilt of Poa. Plants were incredibly etiolated and cut leaves were streaming like crazy (2 from Boston, one from Long Island). In addition, I also received two samples that were full of foliar Pythium (one from Boston, one from Long Island- different courses than the bacterial wilt). It was not taking out huge chunks of turf but had done permanent damage where it was present. I think this may be one of those spring/fall Pythium blight varieties but I’m not sure. Both samples were full of oospores and zoospores and the superinendents had good chemical coverage- except for Pythium fungicides. Finally, my last sample for Friday was of pink snow mold/Fusarium Patch. This one came from just north of Providence. I also got some bermudagrass in from Florida, bermudgrass decline appeared to be the problem but that should not affect anyone in New England!

Categories: Weekly Update

Gray Leaf Spot is still going strong.

September 27, 2012 Leave a comment

In the past two weeks, just about all I have looked at is Gray Leaf Spot. It is everywhere and at a level I have never seen before in the Northeast. It is probable that much of what we are seeing is because of the very mild winter- much like the mid-Atlantic where this disease is a perennial problem. Gray leaf spot is not very winter hardy and without any winter last year and Hurricane Irene driving much of the disease into our area in 2011, we have more if it than we can handle. A DMI + chlorothalonil application is the best medicine but keep in mind that this late in the season, it will probably hold on until we get a good frost. Slow release granular N will also help turf grow out of the disease (neutral pH, acidifying fertilizers will exacerbate the disease) once the plants get some breathing room following the fungicide application.  And in many cases, the best solution may be to start overseeding now with bent or KBG.

Categories: Weekly Update

August 2012, Week 5 Update

Over the past two weeks temperatures in the Northeast have dropped rapidly.  As a consequence, most folks are seeing good recovery from summer stress.  Cooler nights have made a huge difference.  It has also been extremely dry the past two weeks and this has kept most of the disease at bay.  Unfortunately, I am  seeing both gray leaf spot and standard Drechslera leaf spot pop up, despite the drier conditions.  Nematode counts are as high as they have been all season, I expect the peak populations to occur in the next 2-3 weeks.

Categories: Weekly Update