Identification: The first symptoms of Take-All Patch is usually seen as a darkening of the grass roots and a yellowing of their leaves. The affected area can either be circular or irregular in shape and can stretch up to 20 feet in diameter. This disease can be easily confused with brownpatch, as many of its obvious symptoms are the same. The biggest difference lies in the fact that, with brownpatch, the leaves of the grass easily separate from the plant when pulled while this is not the case with Take-All Patch. Also, with this disease, the stolons of the grass become discolored, with brown or black roots, and are sometimes so rotted that they are easily pulled from the ground. Regrowth of grass in the infected area is often very slow and unsuccessful.
Cause: This fungus grows on the surface of the grass, including roots, leaves, and stolons, during cool, moist weather. After it has appeared on the surface, it begins to penetrate and infect the tissue of the plant. The disease survives, and is carried by, infested debris, thatch, and perennial parts of grass. It can spread rapidly and over long distances when infested material is transported into non-infested areas, such as by lawn mower clippings. When the weather becomes warmer and dryer, the affected areas become more stressed and end up showing evidence of damage more clearly.
- Provide good drainage for your lawn
- Irrigate only when necessary
- In general, infrequent, thorough watering is better than frequent, shallow watering
- Remove excess thatch
- Aerate your lawn regularly
- If possible, make the pH level in your soil between 6.0 and 6.5
- Use preventative fungicides in the fall in areas this disease is likely to develop
Treatment: Fall application of fungicides along with taking the above preventative measures is the best way to treat Take-All Patch. In certain areas, if your grass permits it, acidification of your lawn may help eliminate and prevent this disease. It doesn't thrive in highly acidic soils. Although this method can be very effective, it can also damage other plants that are sensitive to high levels of acidity, so it isn't practical in most situations. If too much damage occurs to an area, it might be necessary to remove the damaged grass and re-seed or re-sod the lawn.
Grass Types Susceptible:
- St. Augustine Grass
- Bermuda Grass
- Buffalo Grass