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

Red Leaf Spot too..

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

In the past week I’ve seen even more gray leaf spot.  It whacked my yard pretty hard and I was forced to go out and put down some granular Eagle before I lost the whole thing.  I just received a sample from Vermont of bengtrass loaded with red leaf spot.  I usually see this in the spring (just a little this spring) but it was raging in 2009, from spring to fall with the cool weather.  I’m not sure how widespread it is but when I first got the pictures, I could have sworn it was dollar spot, the damage was so severe.  But the spores don’t lie….

A DMI is my recommendation.  The strobilurins will also work but it’s an expensive standalone spray to make just for leaf spot.

Categories: Uncategorized

Gray Leaf Spot is on the Move!

September 6, 2012 Leave a comment

In the past week I’ve gotten six different samples that were positive for gray leaf spot from Mass, CT, RI and Long Island.  In at least half of those cases, strobilurins have been used to try and control the disease and failed.   This is not unexpected, gray leaf spot frequently develops resistance to these fungicides (Compass, Heritage, Insignia and Disarm).  The best approach is to tankmix chlorothalonil with a DMI.  High humidity, rain and warm temperatures will drive the disease. It will slow a bit when things cool down and dry out.

Categories: Uncategorized

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