Controlling Crabgrass and Pythium in the Transition Zone

Bentgrass greens still work well for the Charlie Yates Golf Course in Atlanta, Ga., despite the fact that most courses in the area have switched to bermudagrass greens. "It's almost a niche to have bentgrass greens in the South now, says Thomas Russell, who has been golf course superintendent for the past 10 years. "There's still a perception that bent is a better putting surface, even though Bermuda is winning over a lot of people.” The rest of the 9-hole executive-style Charlie Yates course is 419 bermudagrass, though Russell overseeds the driving range and a half-dozen tees with ryegrass during winter months. “It’s definitely a challenge balancing warm- and cool-season grasses in the Transition Zone,” he adds. Owned by the East Lake Foundation, a community revitalization program, Charlie Yates was an 18-hole course until a few years ago. The foundation runs a charter elementary school and wanted to build an accompanying high school. Therefore, nine of the Charlie Yates holes were reallocated for a high school currently under construction. Russell now maintains the golf course with just a mechanic and two seasonal employees. The course is open year-round, but gets most play in the spring and early summer. “As soon as the Master’s comes on TV, we start filling up,” he notes. Wet, Weedy Spring Crabgrass is one of the major challenges Russell faces. “Last year, we had a really wet spring – which led to a really weedy spring,” he adds. “We applied a short-lived preemergence product in late February, but needed further support a few months later.” By early May, the course had a lot of broadleaf...

Soil Treatment Works "Like a Charm" on Pythium Root Dysfunction

I've been superintendent for the Ocean City Golf Club in Ocean City, Md., for three years now. We have two golf courses – the Seaside and the Newport Bay — for a total of 36 holes. We have 19 USGA-spec greens, 10 greens that are straight push-up and nine that are an 80-20 mix. But I handle preventive disease control the same way on all of them. Before joining Ocean City club, I worked for Ruark Golf Management Group, handling maintenance responsibilities at several of their four Eastern Shore golf courses. It was there I learned how to manage root Pythium pathogens. One of the superintendents I worked with at Ruark, Eric Snelsire at Glen Riddle Golf Club, taught me how to prevent Pythium root dysfunction. He showed me how to use Segway® fungicide as a soil spray about six years ago. I’ve been using it ever since. Here’s what I do: Mix the low rate of Segway (0.45 fl oz/1000 ft2) with a wetting agent and apply directly to the turf Run irrigation over the top after application to get the mixture down into the root zone Rotate chemistries to avoid resistance development. Every other application is Insignia fungicide Make a soil-applied root Pythium preventive fungicide application every month from April through September I believe in early season spore control, in addition to preventive foliar applications. Segway works like a charm in my Pythium root dysfunction program. I’m a huge fan of FMC! Did you enjoy Mike’s blog on Pythium root dysfunction? We love featuring guest posts on our blog! If you’d be interested in writing a guest...

Downy Mildew Control on Impatiens with Segway® Fungicide

I was just in my local garden center this weekend and spotted a couple of impatiens suffering from plasmopara abducens, commonly known as downy mildew. This disease infects bedding impatiens, double impatiens, balsam and New Guinea impatiens. Because of the slow onset of spring this year, the movement of plant material from garden centers to homeowners’ landscapes has been slow. However, as the weather continues to get warmer, it’s very important to make sure homeowners know not to take home infected plants, but equally important is that greenhouse growers prevent and control downy mildew before it becomes a long-term risk for their investment and reputation. The disease has received extra attention recently because in addition to destroying healthy impatiens, it can have long term risks on the soil. If the infected impatiens are not removed promptly from the soil, the soil can become contaminated making it difficult for impatiens to grow in the same area in future seasons. Michigan State University recently published an article on greenhouse growers’ concerns about the appearance of downy mildew on impatiens in several areas of Michigan and the surrounding states. Greenhouse growers in the area are finding downy mildew is widespread on their impatiens, some are even reporting 100% loss due to a downy mildew infection. Thankfully there is a fungicide rotation pattern for downy mildew control. Segway® fungicide has shown effective results in downy mildew control on impatiens. It is also the only product in its FRAC group making it a logical addition to any rotational program. Because Segway’s unique mode of action inhibits all stages of fungal life, downy mildew can...

Fall application of Segway® controls Pythium seedling damping off and root dysfunction.

In autumn, the soil-borne pathogen Pythium infects seeds, seedlings (Pythium damping off) and established turf in greens, tees and fairways (root dysfunction). An autumn application of Segway fungicide with its own unique mode of action and FRAC designation 21 provides unsurpassed preventative and curative Pythium control. This unique fungicide is an important product to have in your fungicide program rotation to minimize resistance. By inhibiting ALL stages of Pythium’s life cycle, Segway helps ensure vigorous turf growth, turf density and spring turf establishment. Seedling damping off: Overseeding and renovating greens, tees and fairways during the autumn is an optimum time to recover turf density damaged by summer season-induced stresses. However, autumn turf seed germination and growth may be slowed by soil-borne Pythium. Pythium zoospores and mycelium infect seeds and seedlings leading to seed decay and wilted, chlorotic seedlings, which could result in seedling death. This severe disease can delay or even prevent robust turf growth and density. Segway application for seedling damping off: Apply 0.45 oz per 1,000 square feet with 2-5 gallons of water volume In severe disease-growing conditions, apply 0.9 oz per 1,000 square feet Reapply in 14 days Root dysfunction: A Pythium pathogen complex infects turf roots in the fall, winter and spring when soil temperatures average between 50°F – 75°F. The soil-borne pathogen complex colonizes on roots and inhibits the root’s ability to absorb water and nutrients affecting turf health and vigor. As soil temperatures reach 85°F root die-back occurs and plant health declines. Symptoms can mimic drought stress. Segway application for root dysfunction: Apply when soil temperature averages between 50°F – 75°F Apply 0.9...

Shining Some Light on Pythium Blight

Also known as cotton blight or grease spot, Pythium blight appears in turfgrass with a variety of symptoms (hence the multiple nicknames). While it typically appears as small, sunken circles of straw-colored grass, Pythium blight can also make grass leaves appear dark, slick and greasy. Gray, cottony mycelieum can be observed in the morning, making infected turf appear fuzzy. Because the fungus can spread easily in water or equipment traffic, Pythium blight may also appear in streaks that follow the direction of water drainage or mowing patterns. Pythium blight (Pythium aphanidermatum) poses a threat to both cool-season and warm-season turf and thrives in hot, humid weather. The spores that cause Pythium blight are commonly found in soils, diseased grass tissue and thatch, waiting for the moment to strike. When the conditions are right (typically when nighttime temperatures are higher than 65 degrees and the turf is consistently wet), these spores germinate and infect the grass plant. If optimal growth conditions continue and nothing is done to stop Pythium blight, it can create costly damage. In fact, a Pythium blight infection can kill large areas of turf in just days — and if temperatures are high enough — hours. Creeping bentgrass, annual bluegrass and perennial ryegrass, as well as some varieties of bermudagrass are particularly vulnerable to turf stand damage from Pythium blight. Warm temperatures and high humidity mean that conditions are ideal for a blight outbreak. To help manage Pythium blight, it is important to provide good air movement and adequate soil drainage. Irrigation management and reducing nitrogen levels can help make turf less susceptible. Be sure to vigilantly...