Lawn Diseases: Summer Patch
If you have Kentucky bluegrass, fescue or annual bluegrass, and you’re noticing some unsightly rings of dead grass, there’s a chance you might have something called Summer Patch. The proper name for this lawn disease is Magnaporthe poae, and it generally affects lawns from June into September.
How to Identify Summer Patch
Summer Patch can sometimes exhibit similar symptoms to necrotic ring spot, which makes correct identification a crucial part of arriving at the right treatment plan. An official diagnosis can sometimes require samples to be taken by a professional and sent off to a lab, but there are some general symptoms that you can be on the lookout for.
Summer Patch Symptoms
- Irregular patches, rings or crescents in the lawn
- Living grass surrounded by dead grass, otherwise known as “Frog Eye”
- Blackened roots
- General yellowing and decline in lawns that are mixed with bentgrass
Is Your Lawn at Risk of Summer Patch?
If your lawn is already experiencing stress and has a touch of root or crown rot, it is more susceptible to Summer Patch. Soil with a pH level higher than 6 tends to give Summer Patch an ideal growing environment, so be sure to monitor your soil’s pH balance. Poor air circulation, high soil moisture, soil compaction, poor drainage or a combination of high humidity and high temperatures can also lead to the growth of Magnaporthe poae.
How to Treat Summer Patch
To keep your lawn as healthy as possible, try mixing a disease-resistant type of grass, such as bentgrass, in with your existing lawn. You can also try aerating the lawn to promote drainage, reduce the soil compaction for greater root health and moisture dissipation and manage the pH of the soil.
Fungicides are also helpful if you would prefer to not mix your grass types or if you have a high-value lawn, such as a golf green. Apply the fungicide to the area about three to four weeks prior to when the symptoms normally begin to present themselves.
If you live in the Detroit Metro area or any of our other territories in Michigan or Colorado, you’re in luck! The specialists at Fit Turf will be happy to help you fight Summer Patch and keep it from ever coming back.